One of my favorite things my son says is, “That’s not fair.” This statement typically comes after one of his brothers gets something he doesn’t. My reply is always the same: “Life is not fair.” The concept of fair is very misguided, to say the least.
Fair vs. Luck
As entrepreneurs, we don’t simplify our feelings quite to the level of a 6-year-old, but I often see grown adults throwing a fit when life and business are “unfair.” But fair is often like luck. It is better to be fair or have a little luck on your side, but most of the time, how fair life is or how much luck you have is a product of your own creation.
Even Entrepreneurs Throw Temper Tantrums
Unfortunately, as human beings, we often get stepped on and pushed down. Instead of being pissed at people who are not treating us fairly, the next time we don’t get our way or someone makes a mistake, we throw a fit. And then, the first time we get any power, we oppress someone else. You might think you’ve never oppressed anyone, but that’s probably not true. Virtually all of humanity has done it.
A Fair Culture Starts With You
But there is a bright side to this downer article. We have an opportunity right now, as entrepreneurs, to make the world a better place.
When we get up each morning, we can decide what kind of boss we want to be and what kind of business we want to run. Do we run one that is filled with love and concern for others that goes beyond enriching ourselves? Do we need to keep every marble from the business, or can we use some of our gains to help others, including our employees? Can we build a culture in our companies that doesn’t allow backstabbing, gossiping, or oppression? Of course we can. We can do all of this and so much more.
What’s in It for Others?
Nearly 100 percent of entrepreneurs are focused on “What’s in It for me?” I’m a huge believer that you, as the entrepreneur, should be rewarded for your hard work and risk. But you don’t have to be rewarded while someone else gets punished. You don’t need 100 percent of the marbles to win.
The idea that everything is about you cripples not just the business you operate, but also your family at home. What you do in the office translates to who you are at home. Your kids and spouse need to have a good influence, not someone who’s wrapped up in control.
A Focus on Fairness Centers Around People
As we head into 2019, I want you to remember two things:
- Culture trumps strategy every day of the week.
- Happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers make happy shareholders.
If you focus on the people in your business this year, you’ll find all your marketing efforts and business dealings to be fairer.