Remembering Why We Do What We Do
I recently met a small business owner during his task of giving a potential customer advice and a quote for services he hoped to render. It was in the home of new grandparents. He owned a business that ‘childproofed’ homes. They were engaging him to ensure their grandchild would be safe when visiting. I was intrigued.
His business model fascinated me. As with most new businesses, his came from a necessity. He was out of work and looking for a job. His life situation put him in the center of his pre-schooler’s daily life at home. And as all parents know – with toddlers, there comes a time when everything ‘goes up’ – when your home transforms from a neat, orderly, workable home into a 4 foot tall safety zone with all the necessities of daily living above that line. When baby gates go up and breakables come down.
This young father saw his wife frantically trying to establish small, secure sectors in each room and decided to put his handyman talents to work – making every room a more permanent and secure environment. All while allowing his home to remain ‘workable’ for the adults. This involved custom baby gates, furniture anchors and door locks. His creativity did not go unnoticed by anyone who came into his house.
Everyone with young children wanted this ‘handyman Dad ‘to duplicate this workable, safe environment in their homes. A new company was born…and now, many years later, I was witnessing this business in action. Introducing myself as a small business owner, a conversation ensued. At the end of his visit I said to him, “It must be rewarding, making home after home safe for children”.. however his answer took me aback.
Looking down at the floor his face darkened…”I don’t know (he quietly said).. I often forget about the original purpose I am so caught up in keeping the business going. Taxes, employee issues, compliance issues, customer problems.” He turned to leave with a sad demeanor, I believe himself realizing he had lost his first purpose. I understood. It so easily gets forgotten – the reason why we started it all. It disappears in a swirling abyss of daily stresses. Remembering why we do what we do.
I network with business owners every day. However this one left an unexpected impression. To remember every day – the importance of why you do what you do.
Providing accurate and professional communication for our customers. Allowing people to access health care. Succeed in education and in the workplace. Enjoy public access in all realms of life. (The why we do…what we do).