It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in. Whether you’re offering a product or a service, you’re still in business to serve others – to uplift, assist and support other people and ultimately, to make their lives better.
But often it seems that we are so busy focusing on the business of business – the importance of what the business does, instead of the people it serves.
Recently we had painters in to paint the apartment. They are contracted to do the regular maintenance for the block I’m living in and the entire apartment blocks in the complex. They arrived in the morning, and arranged to start in my bedroom, which would be done by the end of the day.
When I arrived home at the end of the day, they had done a great job of painting my bedroom. The paintwork was faultless.
But they’d moved the furniture and left it in front of the cupboards so I couldn’t get to them. And they’d removed my window blinds and left them laid out right across my bed.
I really did give it my best effort, but was unable to move my furniture or to hang up the heavy rail of blinds on my own. So I phoned them immediately and they said the paint had not dried in time for them to put everything back and that “these things happen”.
I pointed out that it would be impossible for me to sleep in my room that night. They then suggested I sleep out somewhere else, and that they would sort it out in the morning.
I said I found this unacceptable – they had left me in the lurch with nowhere to sleep and that they could have waited another hour (they left at 4pm) as the paint was now dry.
I asked them to come back to sort out the bedroom so that I could stay there and was told that the rules of the apartment block said no contractors on site after 5pm.
They were not even prepared to consider looking at other options to sort it out and help me. It wasn’t even open for discussion. Basically, their attitude was entirely unapologetic, unconcerned and unhelpful.
Apart from the inconvenience they had caused me, I was disappointed that they as business owners took more pride in delivering a perfect paint job, than they did in looking after their customer and considering my welfare.
I felt compelled to point out to them that while their painting work may indeed be excellent, they had overlooked the person they were painting for and that people were more important than the actual job they were doing. After all, that’s why they’re doing the job!
We are all here to help, support and care for each other, whether in our business or personal lives. But we’re so busy “getting the job done” and chasing profits that we’ve forgotten why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place – to use our talents and abilities and to offer our product or service to uplift ourselves and those around us.
Imagine if the purpose of every business was not simply to sell more, for the most amount of money while giving the least possible in exchange – but to truly uplift ourselves and others by helping to make other people’s lives better!
Instead business has been reduced to a bunch of meaningless jargon where Key Performance Indicators, benchmarks, deliverables and ROI and “it’s not in my job description” is more important than offering care, respect and consideration and service to our fellow human beings and every other living thing on our planet.
Imagine if the values of kindness, generosity, respect, caring and service to others were the real KPIs and deliverables in business.
In an economic environment that focuses on cutbacks and contraction, it may seem counter-intuitive, but the best way to expand is not to cut back and contract!
You can’t cut back and contract your way to growth. The best way to expand business (or anything else) is to expand, to open up – to offer more, to care more, to appreciate more, to give more, to share more, to serve more. And that way we get to create more abundance and prosperity for each other and – bonus – we open up to receive more and to enjoy more in return!
I love this quote from Ram Dass, American author and spiritual teacher who said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
We’re all interconnected to everyone and every living thing on our planet, including our planet itself. And our real business here is to care for and make life a little easier for one another.
We might be customers, consumers, business owners, managers, and employees and sometimes merely reduced to data and demographics, but firstly and most importantly, we are all human beings who depend on each other to survive and thrive.
It’s not about what we do, but how and why we do it. When we recognise that we are all here to bless and serve each other and we do it with love, we can do that through our jobs and our businesses and create a better life for ourselves and others where we can all benefit, flourish and thrive.
About Bettina Moss, Chief Glow Officer at GloWoman
Nominated for Business Woman of the Year Award 2018 in the Emerging Entrepreneur Category, she's a sociologist by training and started her career in journalism in the late 1980s before moving into public relations and advertising. She was co-owner and strategy-client service director at Tandem Strategic Brand Consultants and spent 20 years working as a brand communications strategist to blue-chip, as well as startup clients in South Africa and London.
When her long-term life and business partner (they owned an advertising agency) passed away a few years ago after a long illness, she had to start her life over with nothing but debt and bills, resilience and a sense of humour – and that’s how GloWoman was born… and so her life’s mission to help herself and others to thrive continues.
She is now an inspirational writer, speaker, presenter and an intuitive counsellor and GlowCoach and founder of GloWoman – an organisation she founded to inspire women to rock their most emPowered and enJOYable lives.
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