We live in a complex and unpredictable world. Lately, our world has been even more stressful and out of control than ever – or so it seems. In tumultuous times, I center myself with some simple guidelines that I apply to my personal as well as business life. I am sharing these rules in the hope that you may apply them to your everyday life and benefit from them.
Rule 1: Laugh and the World Laughs With You
Try this – make an effort every day to make someone smile. It doesn’t need to be someone you know, although your friends and family could certainly use a good laugh. Maybe pick a total stranger and share a comment just to lighten the air in an otherwise tense or trying situation. Making a joke at your own expense can win people over and make you appear more human.
Being a small business, we have a close-knit, family-like relationship with each other. Just like other families, there are times where we are more stressed than normal. If we are working on a big project and are up against a deadline, for instance. During stressful times, we find it helps to remain positive and to remember we are working toward the same goal. This positive mood shows internally and to our clients.
Rule 2: Learning is a Lifelong Process
The excitement in a young child experiencing something new is always a delight to watch. Because they are so curious about the world around them, children have energy and absolute joy when they learn something that adults simply take for granted. As we grow older, if we do not learn from our mistakes, we can grow leary of learning new things.
Instead of going through life avoiding new experiences because of a past failure, we miss out on so much. Instead, open your mind to learning something new every day. You may be surprised at how willing complete strangers are to explain something they are passionate about. Try this out and, over time, you will be amazed at how many people are open to teaching you something and share your interests.
No matter how long you have been in your profession or job, remain open to new ideas and concepts. By learning about new ideas and approaches to problems, you will be more competitive and in touch with the latest technology. When you interact with people, in your personal life but also in your business, do more listening than talking. Take the information you gather by listening and learn from it.
Rule 3: Return the Favor
Think back to when you were growing up and you are bound to have a mentor that helped you. Maybe that person was a teacher or, maybe they were someone who simply saw something brilliant in you and wanted to nurture your passion. It’s human nature to take interest in people who share our interests. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for someone to take the time to encourage another, especially if they recognize a spark of interest. Being a mentor is also extremely gratifying. Seeing that light-bulb moment when a person “gets it” and knowing that you played a part gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
Mentoring your customers can be rewarding as well. By enlightening your customers, you open up opportunities for them to grow their business and, as a result, help you grow your business. Encouraging learning drives innovation and success.
Rule 4: Show Some Love
Everyone needs to know they are loved. No matter who you are, knowing that someone loves you is sometimes all you need to get through a difficult situation in life. Love is more than just an emotion, it can heal and change lives. The world is an uncertain place. You never know from one day to the next when someone you love will be taken away. You may not think it will happen to someone you care about, but why take a chance? Make today the day that you tell someone important to you just how much they mean. Maybe there is someone in your life that you have never told: “I love you.” Wouldn’t it be a tragedy not to tell that person and then, one day, they are taken from you? Don’t live with regret for not speaking those three simple words that mean so much. You might just be surprised at how easy and rewarding it is.
Take these four rules to live by and see how much better you feel after implementing them. Maybe you have some rules of your own you’d like to add.
~Nicky Smith, CEO Carolina Digital Phone