I have often been asked the same question over the years, “what does it take for my company to succeed,” and throughout the years the answer has sometimes been long winded. Great customer service, powerful messaging, consistent news coverage, strong leadership, etc. But as I advance in years and experience it has become clear to me that it is much simpler than that. At last count I’ve been involved with or led the marketing effort for about 45 companies and major initiatives. In my career, I’ve seen businesses come and go, some excel and some fold in one year. Some have had passionate leaders others didn’t have a clue and challenged every bit of advice we gave them. Needless to say, they didn’t do well.
The point of all this is that after all these years I can distill that answer down to three simple words. Every successful company has these three things in common, some in more abundance than others but you must have all three. They are:
You can get away with not enough cash if you have courage and compassion. Courage means being brave and standing for something. Making bold statements with your company and backing up those claims with guarantees is what sets you apart. There’s no room for watered down messaging. Say things like “when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight and then guarantee that value proposition.” Say, 30 minutes less or its free.” I’m sorry, telling people you give great customer service doesn’t cut it. If you’re not giving great customer service then you have no business being in business. You have to have the Courage to find out what you do well, tell people about it and guarantee what you claim. You also have to have courage to check your ego at the door. No one cares about how great you are unless you are an athlete, author or celebrity. The rest of us want to know how well you know us, care about us and what you are doing to change the world (in a good way).
With Compassion you treat everyone with dignity and respect from the top down. Employees are empowered, valued, challenged and protected. Everyone gives back to their community and volunteerism is not encouraged its expected. Humility is a key ingredient for success. Humble people are always learning, share the limelight and strive to live their best life.
And finally Cash. Certainly with tons of cash you can buy as many customers as your pocket will allow, but without Courage and Compassion you won’t hold them for long. And isn’t it a lot more fun to spend that cash when you have friends around? I promise you though, with Courage and Compassion as your first priorities, you’ll always have plenty of money to save and to spend … and the resources to share your story of courage, compassion and success.