There’s a commonly held belief that business success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible to as many customers as possible at the highest prices possible while paying the lowest wages and material costs possible to make as much money as possible.
This is a limiting perspective of success that, when followed, leaves everyone feeling taken advantage of; undervalued; used; and, most importantly, unhappy.
Truly successful businesses take a more comprehensive and inclusive approach. Their approach benefits the many and not merely the few and strives to create as much happiness and success as possible for customers, team members, owners and the community while also generating a profit. This balanced approach takes everyone into account, spreading the fruits of labor far and wide for the betterment of the whole.
This comprehensive approach to success begins with the lifeblood of any successful business — customers.
If customers aren’t happy with the products and services purchased in exchange for their hard-earned money, they won’t return. What’s more, they’ll likely talk about your company in unsavory ways.
When you think about your customers, it’s important to see them as human beings who’ve chosen to do business with you and not merely dollar signs to bolster your bottom line. When customers are valued and treated with respect, integrity and care, they become over time raving fans of you, your team and your business.
This same principle applies to your team members. Without them, your company wouldn’t function. Without their dedication, it’s impossible to operate a high-quality business. Their consent to allocate large portions of their lives to help you in exchange for earning a living shouldn’t be taken for granted. Like you, team members have dreams of happiness and success. Their families depend on them just as yours depends on you.
Your team members constitute a conduit between your business and customers. They aren’t cogs in some wheel. They’re human beings. The more you care for your team members, the more likely they’ll care for you. When you value and treat them with dignity, they’ll typically give their best to you and your customers. The happier and more fulfilled they are, the stronger your business will become and the more success everyone will enjoy.
When you operate from the mindset others want to be just as happy and successful as you do, you’ll see and treat people differently. Through this larger perspective, team members and customers cease to be objects necessary to realize financial dreams. Instead, they become vital links in a chain that leads to happiness and success.
It’s true you can’t please everyone. Some team members and customers will never be satisfied with your exceptional efforts. In the pursuit of greater happiness and success, you’ll need to let go of certain team members and customers.
In my work with companies over the years, I’ve repeatedly witnessed the dramatic differences between businesses that truly care about their team members, customers and community and those that don’t.
Companies that choose to operate from a win-win-win perspective where happy customers, team members and owners succeed are the most rewarding companies to do business with, work for and run. These businesses give as well as receive.
Quite simply, there’s more to business success than power, prestige, profits or status. When business is conducted in ways that honor and support everyone who contributes their time and resources to its well-being, the company is positioned to serve the greater purpose of creating happiness and success in the world. Its mission becomes a more encompassing endeavor, one not solely focused on creating wealth for its owners and investors.
In truth, you’re in business with your customers, team members and community. It’s a symbiotic relationship. When you operate from a balanced perspective — one that takes into account the best interests of everyone involved, not just yours — your business will produce happiness, well-being and even more success.
Truly successful businesses aren’t merely money-making machines. They constitute a tremendous opportunity to make life more pleasant and the world a better place if they’re used for such a noble cause.