Feb 2, 2009

"Fri": I look forward to owning my own business

The big reason I got into the study of marketing was because one day I want to own my own business. People always follow that little revelation by asking “oh yea? What kind of business do you want to own?”, which is a fair question, but I honestly don’t yet know for sure. Besides, those are the specifics, the nitty-gritty, areas I’m working on. I’m much more of a big picture person (which is dangerously close to saying “I have trouble getting things done”).Also the reasons I have for wanting to be the boss transcends many different kinds of businesses. They’ll apply whether I end up owning a MLB franchise or just running the local Long John Silver. I’m not really a fan of hush puppies so hopefully the reality ends up being closer to the former.

I’ve had a couple of different jobs, been apart of a slew of organizations, and I feel like I’ve learned something about myself through membership in these groups. I learned that I’m a control freak. I think I might be the worst kind of control freak too. I’m the kind that if I’m not in control or leadership or whatever, has trouble caring and participating in the group. I think it’s like the tragedy of the commons, if I’m not in charge I feel like I have little ownership of that group, project, whatever, and then don’t really care about it. It makes sense in some ways, but it’s not really a very Christ like attitude. For example, I was doing most of the technical stuff for my church, and even though it was time consuming I enjoyed it because I could take ownership of everything. When I came back after the summer I wasn’t needed as much (which in reality has been great) and now have trouble caring at all to help out with the tech stuff. Like I said earlier, I realize it’s not a great reason or attitude, but it is definitely part of the mix that makes me want to be in charge of a business.

This other reason has a kind long story. About a week ago Friday I had to watch as we fired 6 guys from my job. Guys I’ve known on average for about a year. I understand why we did it, and don’t think it was a bad decision, but it still really sucked. That night I just wanted to drive around and think. I had only had like an hour of sleep (I had to work really late the night before) so my thought weren’t exactly inspired. One thing I do remember thinking however was that when I own a business I would never fire anyone. At first it sounds a little bit crazy, but there are existing places that use this philosophy and at the same time are really successful. Here’s why: If you know firing someone is not an option you’re more careful about the people you hire. Also if you know you won’t get fired you take more risks, voice your opinions, and don’t suck up to the boss. That’s what I’m looking for, a group of people who challenge me, who don’t take my word for it and tell me when I’m wrong. I feel like those kinds of people can only exist if they feel secure.

Security is only half the equation though; the other half is careful selection. There are people I’ve worked with who are amazing, hard-working people, stuck in bad jobs. Owning a business would allow me to take people like this, really awesome quality people, and give them a job they deserve. Some of the greatest people I met were working for $7.25 at Target. It was unbelievable to me. They deserve better.

Once I had my quality people who challenged me I feel like a lot of other things would fall into place. There would be just a couple of other things that I would want to do to create the work atmosphere I always wanted. I would want everyone in my company to go eat lunch together at least once a week. How awesome would that be to look forward to that day of the week when there was a mini-party at work. Speaking of parties, I would make sure we had an amazing Christmas party every year. A family kind of thing, it wouldn’t need to be expensive or anything crazy; maybe just a potluck, some music and a secret Santa or white elephant. And if we were really successful who knows? Maybe something crazy. Also the company should pay for your tuition if you want to go to school, no exceptions. The company is seeing direct benefit from you getting smarter and learning more, if you’re going to take that kind of initiative then you get a reward.

I’m not sure how successful all these ideas would really be in the real world. I just figured I’d get them down on paper so I could look back one day and see how close I came to making good on my promises. I feel like if I could even come close to these ideas it would be great. And hopefully above all else, me and my amazing, challenging group of people who work in this yet to be defined business would serve as a great witness to everyone else of Christ. If I could just accomplish that…..well, that would be a dream come true, and something to look forward to.

No comments:

Post a Comment