Last week we talked about being proud of our businesses. As I was thinking about it this week, I think that this actually has to do with a deeper and bigger issue than whether you’re satisfied with the end result or not. It has to do with something way back in the beginning of your planning that too many businesses lose sight of as they continue on for years and as they grow and change: the value they’re committed to adding to the world.
One of the first questions that runs through my head when I’m approached by a new business is “OK, what value are they bringing to the table? What are they doing differently than similar businesses? Are they putting their best foot forward?” These three questions are ones I need to answer to know if I can help them, but they’re questions that each business needs to answer as well.
Are you bringing something of value to the table every time or has your value gotten buried underneath corporate tape, tiredness, crazy people and dollar signs?
Is your business exactly like the guy down the street or around the world selling the exact same thing or do you make your unique light shine through?
Are you really showing the world what you’re made of or are you too shy or lazy or scared to ask for help to really show the world your stuff?
If you’re feeling some embarrassment, defensiveness or frustration with any of these questions know it’s normal. Most businesses/business owners get distracted, especially if they’ve been active for a while. There’s a lot to keep track of and keep in motion that something that seems as insignificant as value gets buried. However, it’s when it gets ignored that things start to fall apart. When you stop remembering that every single thing you do, every purchase you make, every decision you decide directly, ultimately and completely affects your customer is when you fall into the danger zone.
If you want to be a success you have to remember that you are only successful as long as you bring value to the table and people value what you bring to the table. If both of those aren’t met, you’ll fail, or at least not be as successful as you would like to be. What you bring to the table ultimately reveals how much you value your customers.
“To add value to others, one must first value others.” John Maxwell