M.A.D.ness Comes in Small Packages
I believe everyone should be a M.A.D. (Make A Difference) Small Business owner, or even better, a M.A.D. person so I’m sharing an amazing story about why we should be helping people wherever we can and the power of Paying It Forward.
I was recently at a networking breakfast, and as part of the event, I was introduced to this amazing, yet very young, entrepreneur – Ava.
In Queensland, there is now the opportunity for kids to collect cans and be paid to recycle them. This has resulted in the rise of a number of small businesses being run by little people, including one in my street which is really cool.
But when I was at this event, I was introduced to Ava, all of nine years old, who has started her own recycling cans business which is just absolutely fantastic.
What was even more spectacular about this young, bright, enthusiastic, inspirational little girl was that she was already embracing the business fundamentals which many small business owners really should be doing in their business.
These are fundamentals we often forget to do or say we’re too busy to do but are critical for business success.
These included her flyer which clearly stated her mission, what she was doing, how she was running her business; as well as a spreadsheet to record income, expenses and other vital information.
As a Simple Systems Specialist, I can already see she is miles ahead of many established businesses because she has many of the systems and fundamentals in place which is absolutely fantastic.
But the most wonderful thing about this lovely, young entrepreneur was that she’s what I call a M.A.D small business owner. She wants to Make A Difference (M.A.D).
And I believe all of us should be M.A.D small business owners, so much so, it’s actually one of the chapters in my book The Five Little Business Pigs.
The recycling scheme from the government means you gain 10 cents for every can you recycle at the various locations around the State.
As part of Ava’s business model, she has done two key things:
- Recruit other children to work under her banner.
- Decided to support four charities, one of which is Share The Dignity.
And although the business is only in its infancy, she’s already raised $25 for one of her charities which is absolutely amazing.
But here’s even the best bit which shows how we should all be paying it forward or being a bit M.A.D.
Ava offers each of the children who come under her banner a choice. To either Keep the money she gives them OR Donate some or all of that money to one of her four charities.
Now we’ve got kids making choices about whether they:
- Keep it or not?
- Help others or not? Which is Pay It Forward in action and they are choosing to play a bigger game.
Now I know many small businesses support their community in a variety of ways which is just fantastic.
But within your small business, how would something like this concept fit into say your Reward and Recognition program? How would your team react if you gave them a choice to Keep all of it, or Donate some of it?
Now let’s take this idea down to a true business level.
- How are you paying it forward in terms of leading your business?
- How are you paying it forward in terms of helping each of your staff understand their roles?
Because paying it forward is really about helping others, isn’t it? And in all different ways, financially, emotionally, professionally which could be via learning or Professional Development.
So how are you paying it forward to ensure not only you grow, but you help others grow, you help others become a better worker, a better person?
Or are you actually stuck in the mindset of ‘they can’t do it as well as me so why bother to help them?’
Or ‘If I try to help people, they’ll leave so why bother?’
Well if you do train people and they leave, at least they’ve helped your business along the way. If you don’t train them, they will make mistakes which costs your business, and they may still leave.
The choice is yours.
Make A Difference with those around you.
Finally, to really Make A Difference, let’s take this concept outside of your small business.
How are you paying things forward within your community?
How are you paying things forward with your clients?
Are you the person who gives away referrals to help the clients within your network?
Do you really know what your clients do? Or do you just know how you serve them, and then move on to the next one?
Remember: It’s not what you know but who you know.
Databases, both ours and our clients, are the most spectacular gold mine which we don’t often tap into, and yet, we can do so much good (and increase profits) if we did.
My challenge to you is to become a M.A.D Small Business owner, Make A Difference, and see how can you pay things forward so not only your business grows; but your community grows, your clients grow, and your staff grow.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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