Earlier this year, we were contacted by an agency owner who had heard us on a podcast. Little did we know how much that initial phone call would come to mean. There was something very special about this owner and we were intrigued to learn more. The organic growth rates his agency was consistently achieving was literally the stuff of legends. What on earth was he doing?!
The answer became abundantly clear after he signed with us for our Agency CFO as well as the addition of his first ever strategic plan. When we conducted and reviewed the surveys, the employee engagement numbers were sky high. Ok – he treats his employees well. Great! Was that all?
When we went onsite for the strategy sessions the recipe for his secret sauce was fully revealed. From the minute we walked in one of his offices, we could feel the love. No, really LOVE! Love for the customers, the team, the community, the purpose – all of it was there on full display. He openly and proudly shares his faith, family and love.
Even more importantly, all of his team have that same love and dedication to him in return. We have never, ever walked into a business like that – the connection was immediate, and we are completely bought in.
They are truly family to us already. It’s the amazing backstory that inspired this blog post. You see, that incredible owner focuses on a “why” that goes beyond the very aggressive targets he sets (and meets). His “human element” is off the charts and more of us should set him as the shining example of “why” we are business owners…
Why are you really in business?
Of course, to make money! After all, that’s the core of why we, as humans, work. Taking that approach, it’s very easy to get caught up with revenue growth rates, profitability percentages, and all sorts of other key performance indicators. These results are certainly important to the health and well-being of every organization. There is, however, something missing from the standard answer. Something that is so fundamental to our lives, yet too often overlooked in business.
The Human Element
As an owner you may want to grow your agency’s revenue at 10% per year with an EBITDA of 20%. That’s a goal, a target to meet. It shouldn’t be your whole purpose.
If it is, think about the consequences. Do you really want to be remembered most as the person who achieved their growth and profit targets at any cost? Or, is your legacy a broader picture of accomplishments?
In the focus on numbers, where do those who support you fit in?
Occasionally we next to take a step back and assess our bigger WHY. Beyond the operational mission, why are we in business and why do we want to grow revenue and profitability?
This speaks to an owner’s personal mission, their true WHY.
WHY they get up and drive to the agency in the morning;
WHY they work crazy hours;
WHY they put up with the stresses and demands of this competitive industry!
It’s something a lot bigger than revenue growth and profit percentages. With the pace and demands on most agency owners’ time, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
The time to reconsider and reaffirm your WHY might be now. What else is more important?
Creating clarity around your WHY, allows you to enjoy the benefits of that clarity;
Now one last important question.
Who else would benefit from knowing your WHY? Does your significant other have clarity? How about your kids; strategic partners; and lastly, your employees? They wonder why you do it too. They wonder why its so important to “hit the numbers”. Don’t keep them guessing. Share your WHY. Let those around you help you achieve it! After all, we’re all human…