I am a schoolteacher’s son. I am married to a schoolteacher. And I have two school-aged children who just started another year of elementary school this week. So I have seen, and understand, all of the work and effort that schoolteachers, and parents, put in throughout the course of a school year. But everyone works a little extra at the start of the school year as everyone gets accustomed to new traffic patterns, teachers, and daily rituals.
School is where most of us learned many valuable life lessons. We apply many of those lessons in our business today. Here are some valuable lessons I learned as a student, parent, and from witnessing my Mom, and wife, get ready for the school year that can easily be applied to any business.
I recall going to my Mom’s classroom to help her set it up. The same holds true with respect to my wife and her classroom. Both my Mom and wife each spent hours setting up their lesson plans for the coming school year too.
As a parent with two school-aged children the lesson plan is a vital piece of information. It allows us to understand the teacher’s expectations for the coming school year with specific benchmarks to hit throughout the course of the year.
Business planning is just as important. Preparing one can be daunting. But when one has a plan, much like schoolteachers do at the start of the school year, that plan is the best path to prosperity.
2. Standing Up to Bullies.
No one likes a bully. We are all taught at an early age to stand up to bullies. However, too often in the business world businesses are afraid of the legal costs associated with standing up to bullies. Perhaps it is an employee who opened a competing business by stealing all of your customers in violation of a non-solicitation agreement, or a third party that is violating your registered trademarks. These are actionable offenses. Much like you did not tolerate a bully in the playground, don’t tolerate a bully in the business world either. Stand up for your rights and stand up to those bullies. Litigation can be a necessary expense, and included in your business plan, to help chart a prosperous future for your business. But if you don’t stand up to those bullies, then your business may just get pushed around.
3. Continuing to Learn.
In speaking to my wife and mom they both told me that the best students were generally the students that always stayed curious. The desire to keep learning something new is a powerful one. It is also one way to ensure continued growth. Business does not stay still or static. Neither should your education especially in your line of work. So make sure you are staying on top of all of the trends in your business and make sure you are always ahead of the learning curve. You don’t want to be that business relying on pagers to communicate in a world that is run by smart phones because you never took the time to learn how to use a smart phone.
You have the opportunity to shape your business any way you’d like. But to make it the best possible business you will need to engage in planning, learning, and standing up to bullies. Those are three hallmarks of not only a school year, but also of a successful business. Feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss the school year that just began or an issue impacting your business.