As business owners, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of success and rapid growth. But with growing a business comes responsibility; your brand is no longer just about you, but rather everything that got you there—the customers who have supported you from the start and the employees who have worked tirelessly to ensure your business’s success.
When a person becomes successful, it seems like suddenly they’re too busy dealing with the higher echelons to take time out for the “little people”. It’s something that’s always bugged us. It was all fine and dandy for you to respond to comments and whatnot when you were a little guy, but now that you’re big…
It’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about lately, because we’re growing. We’re taking on bigger jobs, bigger companies and more work. Along with this growth, come questions like:
- How can we continue to write our blogs personally?
- Will we still be able to moderate the blog at the same level of attention?
- How can we continue to build our relationships?
- What will fall by the wayside?
We’re facing the possibility that we may not be able to do all the things we’ve been doing: things that make a business more approachable, more human – friendlier.
Today, we’d like to discuss the idea of “remembering the little people”. Not just for your benefit, as your business continues to grow, but also as a reminder to us. Because one day, someone might be complaining about us – how we were cool with commenting and sharing while we were a small company, but now that we’re big…
You Didn’t Build the Business On Your Own
Wherever you are in your business goals right now, you didn’t do it all by your lonesome. Do you have friends and family that support you? Maybe, the “little people” you need to remember are the old bosses you had. Those who, by their actions, forced you into a position of “I’m not going to take it anymore.” So, you packed up your professional bags and took them on the road. You hung out your freelancer or entrepreneur sign and settled into the business of running a business.
Or, maybe the “little people” are your clients and customers. They bought your product, contracted your services, or otherwise invested their trust and money in your brand. It’s a big leap of faith for them to do that – to complete that first order.
Or even you – yeah, you. Because you’re one of the little people, right now, at this time in your business. You’re working the long hours, struggling to figure out how to do it all, fighting that uphill battle. You’re wishing one of those “higher ups” would answer a question and give a helping hand.
Don’t ever forget where you are right now – no matter how far you go.
Why Remembering is So Important for You and Your Business
You didn’t think we’d write a blog without adding info for you to use, did you? Other than keeping you on solid ground sans swelled head, what good does remembering do?
- Friends and family – Believe it or not, a lot of successful business people aren’t so successful in life. They put so much energy into building a business, into their meaning of professional success, that there just isn’t much left over for anything – or anyone – else.
The Takeaway – Don’t neglect friends and family. If for no other reason, than that a business won’t keep you warm and laughing when you’re old. When you unplug for the day, really unplug. Put your business thoughts to bed. Turn off your phone; step away from the computer. You need the break, and they need your undivided attention.
- Employees and crappy bosses – Why remember a bad boss? Why dredge up old memories? Often, the motivating force behind people “becoming their own boss” has to do with their previous encounters with professional authority. A good employee is hard to find. Yet some business owners forget, and use sentences like, “You’re replaceable.” It’s true, but then, bosses are replaceable, too.
The Takeaway – Good employees help your business grow. They help you with the “grunt work”. They talk to clients, to customers, to potential partners – all to grow your business. Don’t forget what it was like when you were the employee. The more you treat your employees with respect, the more they’ll be willing to go that extra mile that is so often needed.
- Customers and clients – The people who buy your product or pay for your services are the backbone of your company’s growth. You can’t be successful without them.
The Takeaway – Treat your customers like friends whenever possible. Thank them when they take that final step of payment, or the extra step of connecting with you. Although some businesses have NDAs, eCommerce sites might offer to connect using #newcustomer, for example. Let them feel like they’re an important part of the business, because they are!
- You – Listen. Without “you”, you can’t do any of it. Don’t ever forget that, although you’re a vital part of the company, you aren’t the company itself.
The Takeaway – Cut yourself some slack once in awhile. Accept that, darn it, you’re human, and you’re allowed to be human. You’re allowed to rest occasionally and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor. It’s not illegal to pause for a day!
All of the people above, all of the so-called “little” people, helped get you where you are. You didn’t do it on your own; remember that others helped you along the way, no matter who they are or how they did it. That’s why we say:
When all is going well with your business, when comments are pouring into your blog, when you no longer have to ask for retweets and your bank account is flush with greenie success – remember the “little people”.
Now’s your chance, and we’d love to hear your stories. Tell us about someone who has made a difference in your business or outlook on life!