Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Good Energy - daily direction and what is worthwhile
It is one of our most finite resources. And it is in the news a lot lately. From fuel for trucks that carry our goods from coast to coast, to the electricity that keeps a child's nightlight on to scare away the monsters, it runs our daily lives more than we even realize. But I'm not going to be talking today about that type of energy. Nope, I'm talking about *your* energy as one single human being.
You, too, have finite energy. Though we all awake each day with seemingly limitless possibilities we must be careful how we allocate this most precious resource. As a small business owner I am very aware that there is only so much I can accomplish in any given day. So I must be attentive to how I spend my time, and therefore energy. I want to spend my energy on things that will best benefit myself, my employees, and my family. Anything less is an injustice to myself and them.
Sometimes this makes decisions about what to do a little difficult. Every day I ask myself, "What is most important today?". Whether it is calling clients that are late on payments, working on a new label or brochure design, or simply caring for my daughter when she has a cold, there is always something that rises to the top of the pile. There are some activities that are just not worth my energy anymore, as well. I have to try and spend my energy on tasks that only I can do for the business. Anything that can be handed off to employees must be.
In some cases this is actually harder than it seems. After all, I started a business because I like to create. Sometimes it is difficult for me to spend my time on the finances instead of experimenting on a new soap or scent recipe. But we will never reach our collective goals if I can't manage my energy and time well. So for the sake of the company it is sometimes best if I keep myself on the computer instead of in the studio. (sad but true!)
Another factor of energy is the studio's collective energy. I am the steward to everyone here. Each employee brings their own energy to the studio and, potentially, conflicts if not managed properly. I am responsible for choosing the right employees, training them well, and communicating our business goals and methods to them so that they can embody those goals in everything they do here. Effective communication is key, and I have to try to maintain those open avenues so that our workplace remains positive instead of toxic.
Toxic work environments is one of the main reasons I felt inspired to create my own business in the first place. When there is discord in the workplace it diminishes the energy of the whole team. After all, energy spent complaining or bickering is that much less energy that can be spent towards actually accomplishing something. It is the job of each employer/employee team to make sure that a job fit is good.
Not everyone will be suitable to work for Blissoma. Some people (oddly enough) gain pleasure out of conflict and seem to want to foster it for their own excitement. Some people just aren't *really* interested in doing anything. Sure they might need a job, but don't care about the work. None of these would be individuals I would want on my team. I want our business to benefit as many people as possible, but allowing a negative or stagnant individual to be present on our team would damage that goal. I also spend 80 or more hours a week on my business, and as such couldn't stand to be around anyone nonproductive for that much time.
Some people are energy vampires - you've probly heard that phrase before. They take and take, without giving anything back. I can't be around people like that. I also can't be around people that gain joy from energy sabotage - saying belittling things and spending a lot of time trying to seem superior. Something I've found over time is that my energy to contribute to a job is very sensitive to my surroundings. When others around me are excited and active, that excites me! I can give twice as much when surrounded by good people. In that way the collective energy of a business can be exponentially more when a team is constructed of positive people, all feeding each other.
I also definitely believe that every person has a right to employment that really feeds their spirit. No one on earth should have to do work that beats them down inside. Your working hours make up a huge percentage of your life. I was never one that could think of a job as "just a job". If it wasn't really what I wanted to do I spent the entire time dreaming of the other things I wished I was doing. Very dissatisfying. Each person has their own calling, which is what is truly marvelous! Together we can all function as a society if people really find their calling. Whether that calling is communications, construction, agriculture, or research there should be places for all of us to thrive.
Here is hoping that anyone reading this finds the tasks that are truly worth your energy. It is our most important and lifelong pursuit.