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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Individuals > Businesses


Individuals matter more than the businesses that employs them. A lot more.

Businesses don't make decisions. Individuals do.

Businesses don't have friends, a social conscience or a soul (BP anyone?). Human beings do. 

If you think that you can trust a business, any business, you're wrong. But you can trust some individuals within a business.

What can a single individual do to a business?  Ask Steve Jobs.

History abounds with companies that were resurrected (or killed) by a handful of individuals.

What does that mean if you're a business owner? Be very careful about the people you add to your team. Hire only the very best, create an environment where they can excel and make sure to keep them. A high turnover is the sign of a sick business.

If you're working for a company, big or small, do not lower your arms.  Challenge the status quo and strive to make a difference. If your employer won't let you do your best, find a smarter one.

If you're a salesperson, you have to realize that your clients are not companies, but rather individuals within these companies. Therefore, when you present them your product or service, do not only think of what will be good for you (poor), their company (average), but rather, what will benefit them individually (better). If you're doing a great job at helping other people, they will work with you again and again, regardless of where they are employed.

As sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer famously said: "All things being equal, people would rather work with their friends. All things being not so equal, people still want to work with their friends."

I still have a lot to learn, but after 15 years in business, if there is one advice I can give you, it is to never play games. Never work just for the money. Never invest time and energy with people you don't like or respect. And above all,  surround yourself with bright, smart, honest, competent and positive people. If you can only do this, the rest will take care of itself. 

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