Are you incorporating dreams into your small business? Not just your dreams, but the dreams of others. I'm guessing not many people dream of being a small business bookkeeper when they are young. However, my job rocks; I really do love it. I love helping other small business owners grow their business. If your bookkeeper doesn't help your business grow then you might have a bad bookkeeper. Here are three real life examples of incorporating dreams into your business.
No I did not dream of being a small business bookkeeper, I just happened to be good at it. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and got thrown into it. When I got into bookkeeping I started to realize that many small businesses did not need a full-time bookkeeper. Some only needed a very part-time bookkeeper. When I started this business I began to collect several of these businesses as clients that needed part time bookkeeping help. About that time was when I fell in love with the state of Montana. I thought to myself: "wouldn't it be great to spend the winters in Utah skiing Alta and the summers in Montana fishing all while doing bookkeeping for these businesses?" I could have gone to an accounting firm in downtown SLC and told them what I wanted, but I knew they would laugh at me so I started my business with this dream as my goal. Today that dream is a reality and I am happier than ever. The thing is that it didn't happen without a lot of hard work and I continue to work harder than ever today (as I'm writing this it is currently 7 pm on a Friday, I know I'm a loser). It is important to dream as a small business owner and to continue to work hard until that dream is fulfilled.
We recently had a meeting with a key employee of our team. We thanked him for all of his work and told him that we wanted him to become a more involved person with the business. Then I asked him what he wanted. He replied with all the normal stuff like more money, profit sharing, the ability to buy a house, retire someday etc. Then he said something that really sparked my interest: "I know this is a long shot but I would love to be able to go to Japan for a few weeks to go skiing each year." Yes! I loved it for some reason. Just think of how great of a situation this is if I actually make this dream come true. The employee is psyched and never wants to leave. I would feel great as an employer empowering our employee to make their dream come true. Doesn't that work for everyone? Aren't we both happy? If you don't know what your employee's dream about and how you can help then you should ask them.
I love our customers. What I love the most is making them more money and contributing to their business. I love making their dreams come true. Here is a true client story from years ago. When I started working with this particular client they didn't have the most efficient or forward thinking office. The owner's major complaint was that he felt trapped in his business like he couldn't leave. He didn't have the confidence that he could leave and his business could operate. He thought he would be stolen from. He didn't know how to take an extended vacation but keep the business going. So I started to work with him on it. I set up digital systems where he could still pay his employees and vendors while away from the office. I helped him develop the proper checks and balances to ensure money was not being stolen. I watched as he slowly took longer and longer vacations while the business still operated and he still made money. I sent him an email a few weeks ago and got an auto response that he would be out of the country for 4 weeks in Mexico with his family. I call that living the dream.
It is important to dream as a small business owner. It is also important to realize that others that interact with your business dream as well. Make sure that your business fulfills the dreams of everyone around you.
Photo Credit (no credit. Office dog Cooper picture taken by Matt Roberge)