You may have heard of or read a simple credo put out by Robert Fulghum: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” That credo, which led to a book, consists of life lessons that are taught in kindergarten.
Thinking about that, I’m not sure if everything you need to know in order to run a successful business is learned in Kindergarten–being able to count past 100 in helpful in the business world–but there are definitely some important lessons learned in those early years.
Let’s take a look at Fulghum’s thoughts and see how they apply to leading a successful business.
Everything I Need to Know About Running a Successful Business I Learned in Kindergarten (Kind Of)
Work as a team in your business. Share successes, share failures, share the donuts brought into the break room this morning.
Play fair with employees and co-workers, and play fair with costumers. However, remember that fair does not always mean equal. Different people require different things.
Don’t hit people.
Self explanatory in a professional work environment, I should think. However, don’t metaphorically hit people either. Even if others around you make mistakes, be gracious about it.
Put things back where you found them.
Practical advice for an office, or for an individual. No one wants to spend precious time searching for a stapler.
Clean up your own mess.
You mess something up? You fix it. Whether you mess something up with a customer or a co-worker, make things right.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Stealing is never a good business strategy. More than that though, don’t take credit for someone else’s ideas.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Did you not heed the advice about not hitting? If you do hurt someone by your words, actions, or inactions-apologize. It’s the right thing to do, and helps to keep the workplace culture positive.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Perhaps this one doesn’t technically apply to businesses, but being sick sure doesn’t help anything, right?
The rest of the company will thank you.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Or, a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Or, a walk around the block with an iced coffee. The point is, it’s good to take a break. It prevents burnout and keeps you feeling refreshed. That is key to a successful business.
Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
You need a healthy work-life balance. Prioritize that because exhausted, strung out workers are not effective. Bonus: when you try new activities, you never know who you will meet or what business connections you will make. It’s all about who you know, right?
Take a nap every afternoon.
It may not be feasible to actually take a nap each afternoon, but do remember the importance of sleep. The impacts of not enough sleep on health and cognitive abilities make you want to put sleep hygiene at the top of your to-do list.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Stick together. When you run a business, you want to build a cohesive team where everyone shares the company’s values..
Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Wonder, think outside of the box, be open to new possibilities. Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of the day-to-day.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
A little perspective never hurt anyone.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.
Look and be aware. Look up from your computer every once in awhile and know what’s really going on with your employees–are they doing their jobs? Are they satisfied? Do they have other ideas to contribute?(Plus, taking a break from your screen is good for your eye health).
Look at other businesses in your industry and learn from them. Look and listen to what your customers have to say about your products and/or service. Look around in order to learn and improve.
[Bold headings are from an excerpt of Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum, Penguin Random House Canada]
Having a successful business is more than just numbers. It’s about building a team of the right players, working hard, knowing when to take a break, and constantly learning.
It’s also about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Delegate and outsource when possible. You don’t have the time (or the skills) to do everything perfectly.
Looking for some help with the numbers aspect? Contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance.