There’s more to life than the bottom line. Right?
If you believe that, then you probably measure the success of your small business using metrics that don’t show up on your balance sheet.
My friend Jonathan Cottrell certainly does.
He’s started and successfully exited multiple companies. This guy knows business. He also knows passion and purpose and, for him, that’s all about the power of love.
Here are Jonathan’s four tips for harnessing the power of love to squeeze more fulfillment from your work life.
1. Ask How You Can Improve in Your Role
If you’re a solopreneur without employees, you may not think this one applies to you. But every entrepreneur fills multiple roles.
You’re a seller to your customers, a borrower to your lenders, and a partner to your suppliers. Oh, and don’t forget that you’re also a parent, a child, a spouse, and a neighbor.
The people in your life are really all that matter. Ask them how you’re doing and how you can do better.
(Jonathan’s wife Nicole has thoughts on this as well. Check out her tips for sustaining your marriage as an entrepreneur.)
2. Treat People Like Family
Jonathan and I cofounded PHX Startup Week in 2015 and we passed the baton prior to the 2017 event. A few days before our first Startup Week as attendees rather than organizers, Jonathan called me unexpectedly to tell me he was thinking about me and that he loved me.
Jonathan has always treated me like family. I know he treats others in his network that way as well. When you treat people like family, they want to play a role in your success.
3. Share Your Hopes
Don’t make folks guess what you need. Most people won’t even try to guess. Those that do will probably guess wrong.
It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that it doesn’t naturally occur to people – even people aligned with the power of love – that they may have something that’ll help you get to where you want to be.
If you don’t ask for what you need, you won’t receive it. Period.
4. Be Intentional About Relationships
Relationships tend to happen organically through school, work, church, or community organizations. Those outlets are great for creating new relationships but not for nurturing them.
Why leave the feeding and watering of important relationships to chance?
Jonathan has a list of 30 folks with whom he regularly checks in by telephone. I have a recurring task in Asana that reminds me to schedule coffees and lunches with my intimate friends, including business contacts.
We’re intentional about our relationships because we know how important they are to our success.
The Power of Love and Your Bottom Line
Jonathan is a big proponent of the book Firms of Endearment, which contends that today’s greatest companies are fueled by passion and purpose in addition to profits. The big cash comes their way as a result of their investments in all their stakeholders – employees, customers, and partners.
(If these concepts are new to you, you might need a crash course in conscious capitalism.)
According to the book, firms of endearment have out-performed the S&P 500 by 14x and Good to Great companies by 6x over the last 15 years.
So, what’s the passion play for your company? Love seems like as good a place to start as any!