When you think about business gurus some people will instantly come to mind. You might think of someone like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, or Seth Godin to name a few. Sometimes it is not always the gurus who offer the advice that you need to hear.
Enter Bill Burr. One of the kinds of stand up comedy and a personal favorite of mine. If you follow Bill beyond his stand-up you might know he has a podcast called the Monday Morning Podcast. It is an entertaining and off-the-cuff podcast where Bill explores any topic you could imagine.
In one of Bill’s Monday Morning Podcasts, he answered some questions written in by guests. One listener wrote in asking for career advice. The listener was debating going for his dream of being a writer even though it was a difficult time in his life financially. The guy knew that it would be a huge financial risk for his family to take. Bill’s advice was simple “There is no way you lose when you go after a dream. It always leads to something better. ALWAYS.” He continues to say “Be a starving artist. I slept on a futon until I was 36. I don’t regret any of it.”
The lesson boiled down to a simple expression, shoot for the moon and you will land amongst the stars. It is worth it to make sacrifices now that will pay off later. It is worth it to go after your dream even if the plan changes along the way. It is worth it to seek meaning and purpose in life and not be drained by a safe job.
Whenever I feel burnt out or wishing I was making the money some of my friends are, I remind myself of this simple lesson. Every day I need to remind myself how lucky I am to have pursued a dream. I am stronger and wiser from it in ways I never imagined. Everyone wants to have instant success with their business, but that does not always happen. Sometimes growth is more linear but from the start, we knew we had a service that people wanted and needed. Pushing through the difficult days and reminding myself that it has been worth it to go all in on my dream, makes it all worth it. Like Bill, I don’t regret any of it.
Now I know that when you think of business gurus, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not a name that came to mind. Dale is a very simple guy who believes in some basic principles that can help any business owner. He is a big proponent of getting to know your employees and building trust. He says, “Make great friendships. Just like the sponsors I work with, the people who work for me are more than a contract and a sheet of paper. I make it convenient and easy and enjoyable to build relationships with them that will last well beyond working together.”
As we have grown, our internal team has grown. It can be easy to forget about the relationships you have with your employees and just try and squeeze all the work you can out of them. However, the lesson from Dale is a valuable one for long-term employees who you want to be happy and successful. As we have grown we have made an increased effort to check in with our developers and make sure they are happy, healthy, and have all the resources they need. Creating a strong team creates a much stronger business. Together we can equal more than the sum of our parts, and building strong relationships of trust with your employees is a way to excel as a business owner.
Make sure that you remember the people who work for you need breaks and time off in the same way you do. Mental health is important for longevity. Creating relationships with your employees that are based upon respect and empathy is vital.
It may be easy to get all your business advice from the big people, but it can be rewarding to find great advice in unassuming places. Everyone in your life can offer some helpful advice or insight. Be on the lookout and you might learn some great things from someone like Bill Burr or Dale Earnhardt Jr.