Gorilla sucking thumb

Small business principles that play out over-and-over again.

Please comment with KINDNESS and add your own “true-isms” below.

Decide once.  For example, decide once how you’ll celebrate employee birthdays, and never decide again.  In our office, when it’s your birthday, we play Plinko at our weekly q and you win cold-hard-birthday-cash.  This prevents the mental load of deciding each time it’s someone’s birthday who’s going to get the card or what gift to give.

Micromanaging is a sign of distrust.  If you find yourself micromanaging someone, ask yourself if you would be better off finding someone else to do the job.

A fantastic employee is immediately fantastic.  If you have to constantly cajole and motivate someone, they will likely never be “fantastic” in that role.

Connection cannot be bought.  Whether it’s your customers or staff, you must put in the time and hard work.  People tune out when they hear this because they want a template or an app that’ll do the connecting for them.  In my experience, there are no shortcuts.  

Pretending to care always feels inauthentic.  There’s a lot of talk of empathy in the workplace, so I see a lot of templated responses like “Thanks for sharing.”  If you really want me to feel the love, tell me something specific you are taking away from what I’ve shared with you.  Here’s a good one: “This is fantastic Paige!  I’m going to add that widget to my arsenal this morning – I’ll let you know how it works.”  



Acronyms confuse people.  Spell things out, especially at the beginning.  And please don’t write on your resume: “I used GHT software to fix the UYL report for the HUD department head.”  I have no idea what this means.

At the beginning of anything, think through your decisions.  For example, choose a bank that’s in a supermarket so you can pick up bananas while dropping off your deposits.

Small changes can make an enormous impact:  Try facing your desk away from the doorway. You’ll decrease interruptions, get home earlier and spend more time with your kids – all from a 45-degree turn of your desk.

If it feels like a slog, you’re probably doing something very right. And the lucky thing about a slog is that if it feels like a slog to you, it will also feel like a slog to others (who will be more likely quit slogging). Keep slogging along, and you’ll win.

Get the stuff out of your head on onto paper.  Ask Siri to take a note.  Write it in your calendar or on your list.  If stuff is in your head, great ideas can’t percolate.

Be weary of entering into a business partnership unless you need money or expertise. If you do have a partner make sure you both have the same level of ambition, or else there’s likely to be lots of “I did more than you did.”

Integrity might screw you over.  Knowing this ahead of time will make you feel better when you get hoodwinked.