Stronger Together

This month one of the topics we’ll be talking about is strength. There’s been a lot of talk and news about social media lately, and a lot of it has been negative. I’m a supporter of social media, I feel it does more good than harm, that more families and friends have been brought together through it than hurt has been done. Of course I don’t make a point of interacting with or checking out the negative stuff, but just like the nightly news I know that there are things on there that I would rather not see, and should not be done to others. If anything I think social media has helped raise awareness and forced the assitance timeline on dealing with issues like hate, violence and bullying because it’s harder to hide them and a lot easier to talk with someone about what’s going on.

Social media has allowed us to have those special family moments even though many of us are on opposite sides of the country or somewhere in between. Even though it’s not astronomically expensive or difficult to travel anymore, we still have lots going on in our lives so we don’t make those trips as often as we could. But through social media we’re able to develop close relationships with extended family and share the special moments and adventures of our lives with them.

Social media does allow us to connect without having to go anywhere, but I think it’s important to spend time physically with others too. Summer is a great time to do so, because towns and cities across the US have special events like food truck nights, town wide garage sales, fireworks and concerts. For those of us who live in the center of town or near the locations that frequently host events it can be a bit of an inconvenience, but seeing the joy, excitement, happiness and connection of the people that attend is usually worth the temporary inconvenience.

I believe that by taking the time to interact in positive ways with others, as well as come together in times of tragedy we’re able to build not only stronger relationships but a stronger, healthier, happier country. Make time for your community this summer.

“We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.” Desmond Tutu

The Future of Your Business

Lately I’ve been coming back to a topic that isn’t one that we really like to think about, but is something that affects us personally and professionally: death. At some point in time all of us will die, and just about every business will go out of business at some point in time. Very few businesses stand the test of time, often because the world changes and either they can’t keep up with the changes, or there’s no one to continue on after the current owners are done with the business. So today I thought we’d take a minute to talk about next steps with your business, whether you’re hoping to sell, planning to pass it on or some day going to close up shop.

Whether you’re planning to sell or planning to pass it on one of the most important things you can do to not only make your business appealing to the next person, but to ensure that you pass along the best version of your business that you can, is to keep good records. This means that not only is everything recorded in a way that people can easily figure out what you’re sharing, but the information can be used to make important decisions in the future and the information shows that you’ve got a great concept and the customer base to support the business.

If you’re planning to close up shop some day one of the most important things you can do now and when that time comes is have good resources that you can pass your people off to. I’ve been connected with several individuals and companies who decided to close their doors and left absolutely no way for people to keep in touch with them or suggestions about who they can connect with that offers the same heart, quality and services that they did to now replace them. I understand if you want to be done with your business (or need to be), but you’ve spent a lot of time building trust with people and they’ve gotten to know you and see you as a valuable resource, so to just toss them out like garbage just because you’re done is inconsiderate. You’ve got a new future you’re moving on to, but they were relying on you for parts of their future.

But the fact is that paying attention to detail, keeping good records, building a network of reliable customers, having data to consider, and having a network of people you can recommend people to are things that can be invaluable now while your business is being built, growing or thriving, not just when you’re closing that chapter of your life.

The one last thing I would encourage you to keep in mind is that everything does come to an end at some time. It’s always better if you’ve got the control to finish things out as you want them to go, rather than working through a mess or leaving the mess for someone else. What plans do you have for the future of your business?