Business pride is not a bad thing. I hope that you have pride in your business.
In April, I will receive the 2012 Career Achievement award from my undergraduate college, Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton, Virginia. One of the questions they asked me was what was I proudest of in my career.
It’s a great question and complex for me to answer. The short answer is the business I built with my husband. This year our business and our marriage celebrate 30 years. That’s a big payoff. I have a lot of business pride in what we’ve lived through and built together. As you begin another year in business, celebrate it with pride. You deserve it.
Business Pride & a Whole Lot More
But I (or you) can have all kinds of pride that payoff. In my case, I am also proud of:
- My Staff
- My Colleagues
- My Customers
I am especially proud of how all these groups have helped us survive downturns, take advantage of opportunities, learn, and grow. They have also come together to help us to be proud of the vision and philosophy we adopted. We have seen them take pride in their accomplishments, too. Definitely, a win-win for all.
Why is Pride is Good?
Pride may go before a fall, but it can also be good. It can help a business owner focus on what really matters. My husband and business partner, Daniel Diener, and I may see the Business Success Center as providing sales, marketing, and financial strategy to growing and under-achieving businesses but we also take pride in educating owners so that they can achieve success during and after working with us.
We take pride in having education as a big part of our business philosophy. To us, the Chinese proverb is exactly right: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
That pride shows itself each year in our outreach to our colleagues to participate in educational programs. In our early days in business, it was our Entrepreneurs’ Day. Then it was to ask them to assist with the “Street MBA” and “City Management Academy” that we developed and taught for Austin Community College continuing education. We then brought it in house to the Business Success Center as our “Owners MBA” program but kept them a part of it. Over the years, we have seen the pride of almost a thousand people who learned how to get their business or department on course and over a hundred who are proud of their contribution to this discovery process.
Then there was RISE Week, a full week of free business education provided in locations around Austin. We started doing sessions for RISE by ourselves. Because we were proud of the goal of the event and our colleagues, we asked a few to join us and share their expertise to business owners and wannabe owners. We provided the venue. We all provided our knowledge for 90 minutes for free to anyone who showed up.
Now, four years later, we have 30 experts including Dan and me providing seminars on topics ranging from business ethics to marketing and sales to financial and legal issues. Next week, March 26-30, you’ll find us at our offices at the Chase Bank Building 7600 Burnet Road hosting 25 RISE sessions, 5 a day, from 8am to 4pm. It’s our BSC RISE Week contribution and we’re proud to do it. I hope you’ll join us. Here’s where to go for a list of our presentations and links to sign up, http://ownersview.com/rise-austin-2012/
I want to share my RISE pride with you.
- I am so proud that Ed Lette, President and CEO of the Business Bank of Texas, will be one of our funding panelists.
- I appreciate the pride of Tony Quesada from Austin Business Journal, Kevin Benz from CultureMap Austin, and Michael Pearson of YNN and others who are taking their time to let businesses “Meet the Media”.
- I recognize the pride of knowledge that our other presenters bring and the time they give up to do this.
- I acknowledge the company pride of GoLocal that is donating a GoLocal card supporting local businesses as a door prize for each session.
- I am so grateful and proud of the great help that I have gotten from Jaxzen Marketing to help us get the word out and to educate our experts in how they can use social media to let their customers and prospects know about this event.
- There’s my staff, especially Chris Pasch and Marsha Vanhorn. They take pride in helping make this a success for presenters and participants.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t have done this without all this help. It makes me proud to call all these people “friends” as well as colleagues. I hope they feel this way, too.
Pride and You
If you don’t think pride leads to success, just look at the people who work for you. Pride can also help employees to see their jobs as more than a paycheck.
When studies are done about what motivates employees, no matter what the economy is doing, good wages are not the most important thing. They don’t even come in second.
What does top their list? Pride. Their pride is reflected in their top desires: promotion and growth, feeling in on things, and feeling valuable to the organization.
Now, I’m asking you. What makes you “Business Proud”? Say it out loud. Say it to your employees. Say it to your customers. Pride can be a very good thing to have and a big pay off. In hard times, it can be hard to keep your pride but it’s critical to getting through, getting on, and being successful.
Tell me, too. I really want to know and share it. I wish I had an award to give each one of you.