Live Longer, Work Wiser
To say you live and you learn in my mind is an understatement. I believe that in life and in entrepreneurship, experience is truly the best teacher. For many, starting a business is equivalent to being resourceful. Although it would have been nice to have launched a business with seed funding, I find hidden strength in the pressure that creates diamond, the work that yields greater understanding and truth that leads to success. Here are a few lessons that I learned in business that I believe make a great impact in my work but also my personal life:
1. Never ask someone to do what you are unwilling to do.
As professionals, it is best practice to hire people to supplement the areas that we are most weak. For example, if the chief executive is a visionary, it would behoove him or her to have a very detail oriented team member on their leadership team. That said, people can sense when they are provided with a task just because someone else has no interest in doing it. Additionally, there are often tasks that demean others or consists of them having to go against their ethical or moral convictions and this in not cool.
Recently, my company was hired to do the makeup for a photo shoot and as always, I jumped right in and worked with my makeup artists as opposed to sitting and watching them complete the job. This is not to say that if there are higher order tasks required of the CEO, that he or she should be working on others’ jobs or micro managing, it is a simple nod to the fact that everyone can take pride in knowing that they work for someone who is willing to work just as hard if not harder than the team members. This is the sign of a true leader.
2. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work.
The sign of an amazing leader is one who is willing to get dirty and get the job done. Those who work with you and for you should know without question that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and assist when needed to get the job done. I have found that people will work harder to help you realize a dream when they see that your pursuit of the dream is at an all time high. Energy feeds energy. Additionally, it sets the tone for your working environment. Slackers are not permitted and will be governed by the energy that is within those you work with.
3. Know a little or a lot of everything.
If you are aware of how to do everything within your business, weathering an unexpected storm can prove to be a little less difficult. Moreover, you will be able to genuinely access if others are doing an effective job towards the goals that have been set. With my cosmetics company I Love Me, I have worked to learn every aspect of the business. My goal is to sell quality cosmetics to women and makeup artists at a reasonable price and most importantly empower girls and women to feel beautiful from the inside out. That said, I am still working daily to become one of the best makeup artists ever! I don’t express this as my goal because my ultimate goal is to be successful as the CEO of the company and increasing our selling territory and customer base; however I should have just as much knowledge if not more about makeup and its application as each of the makeup artists on my team. Doing so allows me to empower those that I work with as well as carefully access our progress. Lastly, the more I know, the more that I am able to teach others so I work hard to learn and grow daily.
When it is all said and done, every day of our lives should yield new findings from which to create new beginnings. This is the key to living longer and working wiser.
Ardre Orie is an entrepreneur and philanthropist in Atlanta, Georgia.