Dear Entrepreneur,

You are only as successful as the people you hire.

As you assemble your team and grow your business, always keep in mind that the success of your business is directly related to the success of your personnel.  As an employer, your staff is under your watch and care.  Even if your business is struggling and can’t pay top notch wages, you can still help them grow professionally and personally and make them feel like a valuable part of the family.

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Amanda has been an unsung hero of our Little Restaurant That Could.  Starting out as a kitchen prep cook, she has morphed into our Kitchen Manager and now added the title of Purchasing Manager for both restaurants.  Over time and with gentle pressure, we’ve promoted her into new areas of responsibility. And with each new challenge she would come to me with that look in her eyes that betrays a sense of being overwhelmed.  But as usual after a little conversation and consultation, we come back to her overarching mantra inspired by Tim Gunn, “We’ll make it work, people”

As a fellow entrepreneur, the details of our job description are always changing.  What we do on a day-to-day basis might vary drastically, but the core of it must remain.  You and I must be about developing a work environment that people enjoy being a part of.  I’ve really enjoyed taking to heart what Daniel Pink wrote in his important book, Drive.  People need a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose.  Give employees the ability to make some decisions that matter on their own.  Always help them get better at what they do.  Instill a vision that they are doing more than a job.

Your people are your highest asset, even above your customer.  Make sure your employees know that you have their back.  Arm them with respect. In so doing, they will be more than adequately equipped to take care of your customer.

Make It Work