by Marcus Straub
Truly successful businesses aren’t merely money-making machines. They actually represent a tremendous opportunity to make life more pleasant and the world a better place — if they’re used for such a noble cause.
There’s a common belief success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible to as many consumers as possible at the highest prices possible while paying the lowest wages possible to make as much money as possible. This is a limited perspective of success, though. When followed, it leaves almost everyone involved feeling taken advantage of; vastly undervalued; used; and, most importantly, unhappy.
In my work with companies over the years, I’ve witnessed the dramatic differences between businesses that truly care about their team members, customers, and community and those that don’t.
A truly successful business, one that benefits the many and not merely the few, strives to create as much happiness and success as possible for customers, team members, business owners, and the community while generating a profit. This balanced approach to success takes all players into account, spreading the fruits of everyone’s labor far and wide for the betterment of the whole.
This begins with the lifeblood of any successful business — customers. If they’re not happy with the products and services provided to them in exchange for their hard-earned money, they won’t return and are unlikely to speak highly of your company.
As you consider your customer base, it is important to see them as human beings who’ve chosen to do business with you, not merely dollar signs added to 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. The happiness and success of everyone increases.
The same principle applies to team members. Without them, your company wouldn’t function. Without their dedication, it would be impossible to conduct high-quality business. Their agreements to exchange large portions of their lives to help you in return for earning a living shouldn’t be taken for granted. Like you, your team members have dreams of happiness and success. Their families depend on them just as yours depend upon you.
Your team members represent a conduit between your business and customers. They’re not cogs in the wheel of business. They’re human beings. The more you care for your team members, the more likely they are to care for you. When you value and treat them with dignity, they’ll typically give their best to you and your customers. The happier they are, the stronger your business will grow, and the more success everyone will enjoy.
When you operate from the mindset that others want to be happy and successful just as you do, you’ll see and treat people differently. Through this larger perspective, team members and customers cease to be objects necessary to achieve your financial dreams. Instead, they become vital links in a chain that leads to happiness and success throughout the process of doing business.
It’s true you can’t please everyone. Some team members and customers will never be satisfied with your efforts, however exceptional. In the pursuit of greater happiness and success, you’ll need to let certain team members and customers go.
But 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 profits, status, prestige, and power. 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 providing wealth to owners and investors.
Your customers, team members and you are all in business together. It’s a symbiotic relationship. When you operate from this balanced perspective — one that includes the best interests of everyone involved, not just yours — your business will produce happiness and even more success while improving the quality of life and the world as a whole.