Growing a new company, starting a business, starting a church, or taking an idea from thought to reality is perhaps one of the most difficult things you can ever do. There are always “backseat drivers” or “Monday morning quarterbacks” who will tell you everything you did wrong and all the right decisions you should have made. Do not listen to them.
It always makes me laugh when you hear these college professors who write books on business and the proper way to make decisions, yet they have never put themselves at risk or went without a salary. The person I want to hear from is the one who has been in the trenches trying to make something happen.
Our company, Hotel AG, is made up of mostly independent contractors who have put themselves on the line to earn a living for their families; they have taken the risk to be financially independent. I have often said that when you build a house, build a company or start any new idea that it will take twice as long and will cost twice as much as you think it will. In the case of Hotel AG, it took three times as long and cost three times as much… I don’t ever want to start another company. Ha.
It is said that in life you have two graph lines: ability and opportunity. These two graph lines cross in an average adult’s life 2-4 times. When those lines cross, it represents the greatest opportunity for success and for ideas. Like the father that was sitting on his front porch watching his daughter swirl a bicycle tire around her waist and said himself, I can make something like that. He invented the hula hoop. These type stories are endless where average people see an opportunity to do something that is not so average.
Regardless of what you start or build or join, there are a few points I want to share that have helped me through the years.
(1) Always be truthful.
(2) Be bold, but never arrogant.
(3) Have a weekly meeting so everyone knows what everyone is doing. It stops the gossip.
(4) Do not try to be someone you are not. People can see what is real and what is not.
(5) Always try to set the example.
(6) Deal with conflicts immediately.
(7) Always try to do what is right, whether it is expected or not.
(8) Treat your people right and with respect and they will protect your business.
(9) Never gossip and never whisper about someone.
(10) Try to find the good in people. Do not try to find faults instead.
I think these same ideas/rules work regardless of what your job is or where you work. Sometimes in life, it is the simple things that make the most impact on others. KT