Secrets of Savvy Business Owners

Finney Law Firm Business Manager Jane Schulte


Finney Law Firm’s new Business Manager is not an attorney, but an experienced and gifted executive for small businesses, a manager of people and capital resources.  She is the author of four published books, including Work Smart, Not Hard! and BOLD Leadership.  She will from time to time share her leadership and management insights in this blog.


It looks like most small businesses are going to have to hit the reset button.  While we are busy “re-opening” and assessing our next steps, it is important not to lose sight of the vision and the dreams that brought us to starting our businesses in the first place.  So, let’s get back on track and begin with renewed energy and focus!

When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.

– Robert Kiyosaki, founder Cashflow Technologies Inc.

When searching for ways to grow and attract more clients and customers to our businesses, we are sometimes puzzled by those who have mastered the art of success in a seemingly effortless way. What are their secrets?  They have figured out that success is the direct effect of working from the inside out.  In other words, getting the best out of the people on their team. They know that:

  1. Emotional and Creative Intelligent people are invaluable.

Hire employees with a high EQ and high CQ.  Individuals with high EQ (emotional quotient) soft skills are good at critical observation, problem solving, conflict resolution, project management, teamwork, and adaptability.  Individuals with a high CQ (creative quotient) are curious.  They have keen intuition, improvisation and see problems as opportunities.

The things we fear the most in organizations- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.

– Margaret Wheatley

  1. All problems and all solutions boil down to one thing – communication.

Effective and ongoing communication is at the foundation of all successful businesses.  Business owners must practice listening empathetically without formulating a reply, understand others’ unique perspectives, and seek a win/win in every communication, to the extent possible.

  1. Change is good.

If you keep doing the same things and expect a different result, you will go insane.  Be open to new ideas and ways of conducting business.  Be flexible, curious and humble.  Attract disruptors – those individuals who can objectively see the company’s blind spots and help pave the way to innovative solutions to nagging, ongoing problems.

  1. Servant leadership works.

Show your employees that you care more about them as human beings than about how they can make money for your business.  If you have an issue with someone, confront it, as it will not go away on its own by sheer avoidance.  If you are clear, concise and kind in your delivery, most people will appreciate honest conversation and the ability to clarify a misunderstanding or the opportunity to perform at a higher level.  Be a mentor rather than a director.

  1. Not everyone is an entrepreneur.

Many business owners want to believe that their employees think like they do.  They do not.  If they wanted to be a business owner, they would be.  Put them in positions that play to their strengths so they can work to optimal capacity and allow them to perform work in their own natural way.

  1. Negative employees cannot remain.

As the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch.  Even employees who perform well can have an extremely negative effect on the business if they are not rowing in the same direction and are causing turmoil in the workplace.

  1. Governing by the dollar does not work.

Money is great – everyone needs it – but making money the primary objective skews thinking.  It can interfere with employee morale and individual self-esteem.  Not all work performed turns into revenue for a company (i.e. sales force versus administrative team).  However, one cannot exist without the other.  Build teams so strong that you cannot tell where one employee leaves off and the other one begins.  Incentivize the net result.

Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.

– Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos


To learn more about how you can recruit the best employees for your team, contact Jane Schulte, 513.797.2855.

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