When we created our company we knew we wanted to base it on values of ethics and integrity. We were aware that a person who has worked hard to develop a high standard of integrity will likely carry these concepts into their professional and personal lifestyle.
It takes awareness and courage to act in the moment and to stay in alignment with your beliefs, values and ethics. A quote we recently highlighted in one of our team meetings was, “The most expensive thing in this world is Trust. It can take years to earn and only a matter of seconds to lose.” (Unknown)
A great example of something that occurred when we were fresh out the gate, nervous and so, so scared. We were offered a huge deal with a local plumbing company in our area. We were introduced to one of the owners and he was tired of being overcharged by flood companies. His partner took me in the back office and showed me a stack of checks (yes, literally a stack) that were made out to the previous flood company. He explained how we would pay them a $250 referral fee per job that was referred to them, in addition, the flood company paid them a 30% commission check. I told him I wasn’t sure how we could afford to pay such large bonuses. He then proceeded to let me know just how this is done. This other flood company consistently over measured and over set equipment. I was flabbergasted. And then in his next breath, he promised to make us a million dollar company in one year. Wow- I thought “I hit the jackpot!” as this was my dream to quickly get our revenue to one million. And then reality hit and I remember our ethics and integrity values. I let him know this wasn’t for us and turned around and walked away. Because we chose to live within our value system we continue to flourish.
Another example happened a few years back when we were struggling with low cash flow and were overpaid by an insurance company. A one thousand dollar overpayment. One thousand dollars can do a lot when expenses need to be paid. Serendipity or adversary testing troubled waters? Who knows, but I do know that because ethics and integrity play huge roles in who we are and how we make decisions, we knew right in that moment we were mailing the check back. This was also a super great example of following your core values and having your team witness it.
In addition to ethics and integrity our roadmap to entrepreneurial success also includes:
- Whatever you are be a good one; Be that one person who tries to make the world a better, happier place
- Be of service; volunteer your time. It will enrich your life
- Believing in yourself. Take a step and roar!
- Get involved in your community. Associations, serving on boards and networking
- Do not limit yourself! Continue to think and work outside the box
- Be grateful. Journal at least three gratefuls every single day
- Do not give up! Plan on the climb being rough and steep
- Keep the faith! Even though you can’t see the entire staircase do not be afraid of what’s ahead
- Do what you say you are going to do; Vitally important
- Answer your phones! Try not to let them go to voicemail
- Communicate and listen; with your team and clients
- Show your value
- Embrace risk, be persistent and do not be afraid of failure
- Keep your positivity at high levels; your actions and your words
- Take inspired action daily
- Education is vital to your success! Applied knowledge is power
- Continuously show appreciation to your family, your friends and your clients; you wouldn’t be in business without them
I continually work on improving myself. I love to share my personal development strategies with my team. As we all know, our personal developments stretch over into our business dealings. My goal is to inspire and empower others; I know I can’t keep every employee but I hope I enrich their future lives with my motivational words I pass out to everyone I meet (each client and business associate I meet receives an inspirational quote).
“It is critical to define your own success in order to reap the payoff of running an operation. Success is understanding exactly what you want to create in the world, however you define those things. It is most definitely a process. And you have to trust the process.”
What really is entrepreneurial success? It is setting the standard for the industry, setting your brand up for success, setting the example for others and setting a culture for your company.