The reason I started a company.
To some, a dream job is in a certain field. For others, it’s being a part of a certain company. For me, it’s all about the environment.
Imagine waking up every day with the freedom to work from anywhere. You have no set hours. You can take as much time off as you want. You can wear what you want. The only requirement is your work is completed. Would you go into the office anyway?
I love being a part of small business. Both of my parents had small businesses when I was young. They always encouraged me to make things and be active. Sitting around was never accepted. My parents were happy as long as I was pursuing something and living out their mantra for me: “Always do your best.”
It’s a simple and powerful little phrase. It doesn’t demand perfection, nor does it allow room for complacency. It’s provides safety and motivation. It allows for failure while encouraging you to try again.
I have been a part of teams, organizations, and companies where the underlying mantra was be the best. While this is a great idea to pursue, it doesn’t create a culture where being the best is actually a result. It causes people to focus more on the work than the people doing the work. As a result, people burn out, become cynical, and a fear-based mindset starts to set it. Everyone is afraid of doing the wrong thing.
In 2012, I decided I was going to start a company with one simple goal. It had to be a place where people actually want to work.
Today, my team and I are pulling this off. Do you remember the scenario from earlier? This is the reality at my company.
Their are two areas where we are very intentional in order to pull this off.
The first is our values. They a clear, and we only hire people who fit. We even go as far as prioritizing character and personality over experience and pedigree.
- Be helpful. It’s the helpful who win.
- Be honest. The truth builds relationships.
- Be fun. People like working with happy people.
- Be generous. Put more in than you get out
- Be creative. Make things, and make things better.
- Be irrational. Do things others won’t.
The second is our workplace. Our office feels more like a place you would hang out than a sterile office. It’s set up model our “coffee shop” beginnings. Doors are open. Music is playing. No one has assigned work spaces. The dress code is “don’t be inappropriate.” We just show up and have fun.
The result of all of this is we have a team who is happy, engaged, cares about the people we serve, works hard, and constantly improves.
And…they show up every day, even when no one is telling them they have to.