Farillio asked me to write a blog on the reasons why business is personal. And it wasn’t hard to write...
...because values are at the core of business being personal.
I’m fighting the belief that I’ve been told so many times by people who I really don’t want to associate with in business. They say, “It’s not personal Penny; it’s just business”.
What’s more personal than the reasons each of us work for, buy from, or supply a company in a world of mistrust, fake news, highly stressed employees, hard-working business owners?
It’s the people that make all the difference to our day. Whether B2B or B2C, I want to raise the energy of people I meet. The hello and chat at a supermarket till to the amazing person serving me, to the interaction with a potential supplier, – even the annoying hotline of support that some poor person is having to work for when they have to endure the lack of user interface of the company they represent.
From the helpline to the face-to-face encounters we make with a company, each hold the responsibility to be human and humane in the way we interact. The emotions we leave behind will either energise or drain everyone that we interact with.
If we employ people or have processes in our companies that destroy the energy of our stakeholders, then we are basically having a set of values that destruct rather than construct a great business relationship. In other words, we’re throwing bad energy into the universe as a business.
My book has been written to shine a light on the impact we can have on our own lives. The emotions and mental wellbeing that, at the end of the day, only we can own. It is no one else’s responsibility to heal us. When we heal ourselves, we heal our business and we heal all those that we engage with from that moment on.
We have to know what life, energy, people and companies we want spend our time engaging with. Through self-awareness we discover whether it is us that needs to develop and adapt to, or, whether the company and people we hang out with are a ‘danger’ to our sanity and happiness. Sometimes, as I state in my book, we have to ‘positively surrender’ in order to move our life in a progressive way.
Following 33 years of a business career, and as a person that holds people and relationships, culture and leadership at the core of my business values, I now chose to work with good, kind people that care. Leaders that place trust, integrity and wellbeing of all their company interactions at the centre of their business drivers.
I’m a huge fan of Merlie Calvert, the founder of Farillio, and I feature her in my book ‘Business is Personal’.
From the very first encounter with Merlie, I knew she ‘got it’. Her values shone through. A genuine ability to care, consult, listen, support and build lasting relations. Merlie knew that trust and long-term relationships were a critical part of her business and she built her business based not only on her skills, experience and commitment to the legal aspect of business, but also on the core values she holds.
In my book, I discuss the integrity of business and how we cannot run away from our deep values as leaders. They will always show up. Merlie, as a business leader and entrepreneur, already had her company values ingrained in the fabric of the business.
I quote the Farillio Values in my book:
- Empowerment – the first and foremost value of everyone in our community, team, customers, suppliers and fans.
- Upfront and personal – no frills, no nonsense or vanity, and absolutely about the people we serve, in the trenches alongside them, not remote or preachy from a theorist’s position.
- Togetherness – truly collaborating, showcasing others and solving real problems together; recognising that we are only the wrapping around our brands that deserve recognition for who they are and what they do.
- Tomorrow-focused – accepting the status quo is not an option. Better is a constant goal, not an end position.
Why is business personal?
Because no matter how much we try to automate, create processes and be hands-off with our stakeholder, it’s always a person at the end of the process. Humanity and the energy of people is the start and end of all business. Merlie knows this and I honour her and Farillio for this.
We do have choice, we can always change – we just need to know what life and business we want to have, and then make it happen.
When we embrace that business is personal, it’s quite amazing what magic then happens.
About the author:
Penny started leading conversations in business wellness in 1998 when she founded the world’s first business online community, Ecademy. She has been a business owner, speaker and writer for 20 years. She was awarded her OBE by the Queen in January 2014 for her contribution to Entrepreneurship in the Social Digital World.
Penny’s latest book, Business is Personal launches on the 22nd January 2019. In the book, Penny discusses the importance of us holding onto our own beliefs and definition of the life we want to lead and live, in a world of ‘comparing and despairing’ that has been created by the overuse and dependence on social media.
Penny boldly opens up about the trials of her own life and the observations she has of the way we are all being sucked into believing we lack, rather than having the confidence in our own values, skills and dreams. Penny is keen to ensure that business startups, self-employed, business owners and employed people are also guided and supported in a world of communication that not only impacts the mental health of teenagers but very much impacts working adults too.