Turning your passion for your business into a plan for continued success Featured

7:01pm EDT January 31, 2011
Robert A. Valente, CFP®, AEP®, CEO and Managing Member, RAV Financial Services LLC Robert A. Valente, CFP®, AEP®, CEO and Managing Member, RAV Financial Services LLC

In last month’s article I explored several intangibles that are part of a successful business and personal life.

What is your definition of a business and personal financial plan? Are they two separate entities? One integrated plan with two parts? However you define them, are both plans in sync with each other? More importantly, is the purpose in both blueprints originating from the same source?

You have a passion about your business, and that passion should catapult you to success. Is that passion contrived or real? Differentiate enthusiasm from passion. The comparison is likened to watching a live performance at the theatre. Is the actor playing the part or is the actor the part?

A business can give us the success and pleasure we desire on a tangible level and enthusiasm can be a fantastic “package” in which to deliver that message. What the client ultimately buys, however, is the manifested purpose of the individual and the company. The business professional must convey his or her own purpose and that purpose should be acknowledged by the customer.

So as you embark upon this path of success to significance, how do you impact people’s lives along the way? How do you impact your client’s and your employees’ lives?

As you reviewed your reactions to last month’s article, what were your answers to Question #1?

Let’s assume you agreed with “making an impact on people’s lives.” How does your purpose permeate the lives of your employees? Too often the business professional assumes that the purpose of the business and its core values of its owners are obvious to its employees. You may assume and expect your employees to know “what’s in your head.” Good companies schedule regular meetings with staff to discuss the details of the day-to-day business activities. Smart companies use this opportunity to educate employees on the why and the purpose of the business and how your values and your company’s purpose will impact the lives of your customers. Interestingly, by explaining how your work impacts the lives of your clients you now begin to impact the lives of your employees. Your employees are and will be your ambassadors for your company and your beliefs.

I learned a long time ago that the job of the business owner boiled down to three functions [1]:

  • Coach your team
  • Create the opportunities
  • Create the vision

Your vision, which is allied to your purpose, needs to be shared with your people. By sharing that purpose with your team, you position them on the same-page with you. Now your employees are empowered by the foundation of “why you are in this business.”

So after you have identified the purpose of your life and your life’s work, the next step is to convey that message to your employees. Employees are your substitutes for you in your business both now and in the future. Smart businesses instill daily the culture of the owner(s) and founder into the lives and habits of their employees.

Smart businesses on their way to significance understand the need to refine each day the KASH [1] of its employees:

  • knowledge
  • attitudes
  • skills
  • habits

This KASH not only entails the pieces needed by employees to do their job correctly, but it is also important for you, as a business owner, to work daily on your employees’ KASH relative to your business and life’s purpose. Even though your life is finite, the business should continue beyond you, if the purpose and vision by which it was created is transferred to everyone in your circle. Teaching your employees in such a way that they begin to “own” the purpose experienced from you, it’s a very dramatic way to make an impact on people’s lives.

Here is your homework for next month. Ask yourself this and ponder your reactions.

Question #2:

This time, you visit your doctor who tells you that you have five to 10 years left to live. The good part is that you won’t ever feel sick. The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time you have remaining to live? Will you change your life and how will you do it? [1]

I look forward to your comments. 

Robert A. Valente, CFP®, AEP®, CEO & Managing Member of RAV Financial Services LLC, can be reached at rvalente@ravfinancial.com.

[1] Lighting the Torch: The Kinder Method(TM) of Life Planning by George Kinder and Susan E. Galvan.