- Dale Carnegie -
Two weeks ago, I asked you to think again about your business values. I asked you to think about your business values as a physical object. I remembered Charlie asking me “Liz, if your business values were to transform to a physical object, what physical object would it be? If you could take all your business values and represent them as physical objects, what object would it be?”.
I know you worked very hard on this, right? Of course you did, it is a very important question to answer. As your business grows, you will have more people who will be involved with your business. You will have more people who will represent your business to the outside world. Your clients will have many more interactions with other people in your business. How can you ensure your business members represent your business values?
After many discussions with Charlie, Athena and Jenny, I realized that sometimes it is much easier to explain my business values as a physical object, it is easier for people to relate to an item they can visualize. This physical object is the guiding light to me and to any person involved with my venture of what we are about, what we are trying to accomplish, who we are and what our business values are.
Jenny sits next to me as I write this post, she reads my writings behind my shoulder and whispers “don’t tell them, let them guess, it’s much more fun”. “Ok Jenny”, so here is my unbelievable deal of the day :-), I am going to raffle two of my favorite books to the people who will guess right the physical object which represents my business, all you need to do is to send me an email) with your answer and either a mailing address (for a physical book) or email address if you wish to have an e-book. Two of you will win a book and I’m sure many of you will make me very happy!
Jenny continues to whisper in my ear “but tell them about your friends, they have a great physical object representing their business”. “Jenny, don’t you have anything else to do today?”. Jenny laughs and continues to pretend as if she really reads her book.
You know, Jenny is right. Let me tell you about my friends from Lemonade Stand Animation.
My friends at Lemonade Stand Animation have a big mission, they believe in small business ownership, they believe in the dream of creation, they believe in the dream of a small business with big impact. I spoke with the founder the other day and he quoted to me one of his favorite quotes by Aristotle “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determine your destiny”.
I remember he smiled at me and said, “At Lemonade Stand Animation, we know the dream and the struggles of small business owners, you see Liz, we are one as well”. He continued and said “We exist to inspire, educate, and advice on making the right and intelligent choices, choices which will be made out of knowledge and will determine the destiny of every business owner. We exist to motivate and stir to action the decision to bring your destiny alive”.
Wow, I looked at him. He was beaming with happiness and excitement. It’s a great feeling to work on things you believe in, it’s a great feeling to know you are making a significant impact. At that moment, he reminded me the image of Walt Disney when he just opened his Disneyland and said proudly “”To all that come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world”.
He continued and said “you know Liz, we were thinking a lot about the physical object which can represent what we aspire to achieve. At the start we really did not think that one object can represent it all, but then one of us said how about a Lemonade Stand?”.
I smiled as he continued “you see Liz, a lemonade stand represents it all for us, it represent our key values of venture as it’s usually your first business venture, wisdom as it represent the first few key business lessons you learn about running a business, inspiration - your first venture, inspires you to define your own future. Curiosity,your lemonade stand represents your unspoiled curiosity, what will happen if? What can I do more? What drive my clients to drink? Impact – just think how one refreshing cup of lemonade can change your mood on a very hot summer day and what can one achieve when she feels refreshed.
He could not stop himself now and said, “The lemonade stand represents our clients and the knowledge, wisdom and inspiration which we deliver. Knowledge which enable making the right decisions”. He shyly smiled and said “it also represents our key value of hard work and fun, why do it if you don’t enjoy it?”.
My friend from the Lemonade Stand Animation is one of my perfect clients, as he finished his chocolate croissant and was about to go…
“Liz tell them about the animation part” Jenny whispered again, “I’m getting to it Jenny!”.
As he was leaving and was already at the door, I remembered something and said “but what about the “animation” why is it called Lemonade Stand Animation?
He turned, his smile was so big now, like a kid in a candy store…and said “Animation comes from the word An-i-mate which means make alive but also to move or stir to action”, he smiled again said “thank you for the amazing chat” and walked out.
As he left, I remember thinking, getting the knowledge, understanding it, making the right choices and move to take action. I understand now, this is why they chose Lemonade Stand as their object!
Jenny smiles at me, you like him right? I nodded. There is something special when everyone can really see your business values. It all clicks.
Remember to send your emails! I would love to see which object you think represents my business.