How to find your businesses WHY!

A vision statement is a concise way of telling you, your employees, and the world what your business would like to achieve in the near and long term. It’s a lot like goal setting, but a little more grand. A vision is more of a destination. Think of it like this: when you were young, you wanted to grow up to be something, the president, an actor, an entrepreneur. In other words, you had a vision of your life as an adult. But we are not talking about just any vision here. We are referring to your company’s, or your business’, vision.

You know that you have succeeded when you have achieved the goal or accomplished the purpose, that you have set out to achieve or accomplish from the beginning. All those hours, resources and efforts that you have spent on planning, researching, and subsequently implementing those plans are directed towards a fixed objective. You know, from the outset, that you want your business to become something. You have a vision in your mind what you want it to be in the future.

A business vision, which comes in the form of a vision statement, is a clear declaration of what a company, business or organization wants to achieve or become in the future. It is not to be confused with the “mission statement”, which puts forth how the company, business, or organization intends to achieve a realization of that vision. The two are closely related, however, since the vision provides a plan for the future, while the mission statement is essentially an outline of the company’s purpose and operations.

Simple. You cannot start planning if you do not know where you are going or you do not know what you want to become in the future. You cannot map out directions if you do not have a destination in sight. You cannot start strategic business planning if you are cannot envision where your business wants to be. If you, as the business owner, have the skill, you can write the company vision statement yourself or with a partner. If you have a few people in your company, the best way to write a company vision statement is to brainstorm. You will be surprised at the plethora of good ideas you will get. Get everyone in your company together, tell them what you are doing, and start brainstorming. In order to write a vision statement, keep in mind two things besides your dream for the future - your values statement and the stakeholders of your organization. Vision statement has to be in line with your company values statement. Whoever your stakeholders are or will be, your vision statement has to be in line with those stakeholders. For example, if you are funded by venture capitalists, they have a say in what your company will be. Don't engage in fantasy. Keep the vision statement real.

You can liken your company vision to your business’ destination. Unfortunately, it is a fact that not all employees are fully aware of where their organization is heading, and having a vision will rectify that problem. All levels of the organization will be kept in the loop, so to speak, and this awareness will give them focus in carrying out their assigned tasks, duties and responsibilities.

Make the purpose a clear message and include the overall team in the vision, this will allow a more fulfilled environment and also as a leader of the company to make the decisions for the long term more effectively. Everyone and everything needs vision, purpose and reason as to why. Find yours and keep looking and refining it until you have it as life and your business will only excel once you do!
Written by:
Kane Hansen.

Why Culture will Help you Grow your Business Long Term

Companies often take a passive approach to culture. They figure it's not something they can control or that they need to control. If they leave it alone, it'll all work itself out. Culture is an important differentiator to set your company apart from the competition. It's also what attracts the right talent. Every organization needs talent in order to stay afloat and brings in the right customers.

Making yourself personally accessible to your employees will help keep your company culture strong. Although it’s hard to maintain personal relationships with a large group of people, you can at least commit to remembering their first names. Ask them about their lives with genuine interest and active listening. Socialize with them and you’ll have an open, respectful, positive and strong company culture. You can encourage and motivate your employees to speak positively on your brand's behalf. Not only will they help you find the right people to hire, but they can also help you bring in more customers. While skillsets and experience are important when hiring new members for your organization, you also need to hire for culture fit. An employee's skills may get them in the door, but your culture is what will keep them there. Giving people an ideal cultural environment in which to work is about more than just preventing them from quitting; your employees shouldn't dread coming to work. They should enjoy coming to the office and value the work that they do. Companies with a strong culture have employees who like the challenges of their job, get along well with their co-workers and enjoy the atmosphere of the workplace. It’s about making them feel truly invested in their jobs. If you create a culture that your employees really love, they’ll feel that the office is an extension of their home, and will feel both excited and passionate about the work they’re doing. And it's true that good talent knows other good talent. And when your employees are happy with their work, they are more likely to share with others. They'll spread the word about their positive experience with your company, and you'll soon grow gain a strong reputation.

As a business grows the culture inevitably changes very quickly. In order to keep up with changing personalities, we chose to get our employees involved in what our culture would be. Company culture is about creating a set of values that reflect who you are and what your business is trying to achieve in the market place. For companies large and small, it has become increasingly important that their culture be infused in everything they do, from operations and human resources to marketing. Culture gives employees a driving goal and purpose for what they do. It connects your leadership team with the rest of the employees and binds them with a set of shared beliefs. Your employees want to feel like they are contributing to something larger than themselves. Employees who are more enthusiastic about the companies they work for tend to be more productive. That means more work and more business being done. Your employees' enthusiasm will also be apparent to your customers and be an attractive selling point for them.

How to Form Lasting Relationships with your Staff

Good working relationships give us several other benefits, our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. Also, people are more likely to go along with changes that we want to implement, and become more innovative and creative. Respect the people who you work with, you must value their input and ideas although doesn't mean you always agree, and they value yours as well. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity hence getting the most leverage out of everyone.

Employees are a lot like plants: give them a place in the sun, just enough attention, but not too much, and room to grow and they'll thrive. Keep them in the dark, hover over them too much, or neglect them outright, and they'll fail to produce. If building a stronger relationship with your employees is important to you, you can't go wrong by shining the spotlight on their achievements, giving them enough positive reinforcement without micromanaging, and allowing them to develop their talents.

Trust is the foundation of every good relationship. And the simplest path to increased trust is respect. It’s respectful recognition of accomplishments and transparency around failure. It’s connection between leaders and teams. It doesn’t cost anything to buy, but each side needs to make time for it. Practicing daily respect habits like "listen and care, make eye contact, and acknowledge yours and their flaws" will drive engagement, and ultimately performance. When you trust your team and colleagues, you form a powerful bond that helps you to work and communicate more effectively. If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don't have to waste time and energy "watching your back." Employees feel comfortable coming to you with new ideas, concerns, or, in the worst-case scenario, complaints, then it's easier to establish the natural give-and-take that comes with strong relationships and be ahead fo the curve in the business from inside knowledge for the team directly.

Spend quality time with your employees. It's not enough just to be present for meetings and other essential tasks. If you want to have a real relationship with your employees, you have to be there for the ups and downs. Volunteer your assistance on a difficult project, provide a lunch for everyone during a hectic time and eat it with them and make the monthly employee birthday party special.

Taking responsibility for your words and actions. Those who are mindful are careful and attend to what they say, and they don't let their own negative emotions impact the people around them. Be fair to all of your stuffs, don’t create discontent in the workplace faster than obvious favoritism toward certain employees, or worse yet, a relative this damages moral fast. You're not going to like everyone equally, of course, but the important thing is to treat all employees equally. Enforce rules uniformly, reward hard work and exceeded expectations the same way for every employee, and try hard to have a positive attitude, even toward employees that are difficult to get along with.

Don't just manage your employees create good relationship with them, be friendly but not be friends with them, respect them and they will respect you as well. Play by the same rules your employees are expected to play by. Don't take advantage of your status as a manager or business owner to make exceptions for yourself, or you risk creating an "us versus them" environment which is toxic and will destroy the chances of any amazing growth and developments within a company.

Written by:

Kane Hansen

How to Overcome Failure and Stay Motivated

Most highly successful people achieved their greatest success one step beyond what looked like their greatest failure. As for majority of the general public, we usually only learn about these individuals and their companies once they have made it big and hence the saying "overnight success" is made. We admire their success yet rarely witness the immense struggle they went through to get there. By not being exposed to their failures, we are unfortunately only left to compare ourselves to their achievements. This in turn can make it hard for us to validate the mistakes we make and problems we experience. We often second guess ourselves and question our abilities; not realising that adversity is required in order to succeed, it's all part of the growth.

This way of thinking has made the world afraid of failure. Even from a young age we have been taught that being wrong and making mistakes are bad. Our mind itself uses painful memories of the past to provoke negative emotions like fear and anxiety to stop us from making those same errors today. When actually you didn’t know that the time you learn the most is when you try and fail and should be encouraged if anything but with some context around strategy and preparation. If you can learn the mistakes you made then maybe next time you can overcome failure and reach success easier or faster as reflecting on the past allows for this. We fail forward by learning from our setbacks and making the necessary adjustments until we succeed. Every change we make, every person we meet, and every bit of information we absorb is coming together so we can create a different outcome. Never ever let failures even scratch your confidence level. If you fail it doesn’t mean you can never do it. Keep going at it and believe in yourself and that’s very important in overcoming failure. Don’t wander in the past but rather concentrate on what you’re doing “now.” By staying in the present you allow yourself to grow from your failure and overcome it rather than drowning in your own pain.

By being motivated and carrying yourself daily as a motivated person, you will do this on auto polite overtime. Such people taste the real sweetness of success once the work and energy has been put into getting their the right way. The recipe of successful people contains the magic ingredient of motivation which makes all the difference. Usually, taking the first step towards doing something big happens to be a great challenge, but when you are motivated, it is not a hurdle at all. Once you start off, things go on getting easier as you get more used to them. A part of the motivation to start the process is necessary but the constant continuation of these tasks or action allows the habits to be formed and developed overtime for faster success.

Please refer to the habits for success blog, I written for a more detailed insight to the part 2 to becoming successful after you master the motivation skill set.

Written by

Kane Hansen.