Are you paying attention to the other bottom line?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

Revenue, expenses and profit are all critical factors that demand attention when running a business. They require monitoring, decisiveness and allocation of resources if the company is to remain viable. Given the importance of a company’s financial reality, the “bottom line” can, and in many instances does, become the primary or even sole focus of ownership and management. Unfortunately, that narrow focus can be detrimental to the other bottom line.

There are a number of important people and factors that contributed to the very creation of your business and others that now keep it viable, profitable and even growing. It’s imperative these components of your business receive their due focus as well lest they become neglected.

As you close out 2013 and move boldly into the new year, the more effective your focus — the more it takes into account all that makes your business possible — the greater your likelihood of staying active in the marketplace and becoming increasingly profitable. As you come to truly realize the multitude of amazing gifts that allowed you to create, own and operate your business, you’ll become more profoundly grateful. As your gratitude grows, you’ll take better care of these gifts. In return, they’ll continue to grow and give back to you.

The mere fact you’re alive is the greatest gift of all. It is your very existence that breathed life into your business. In addition, it’s the lives of your team members, customers, vendors, business partners, community and business networks that continue to infuse your company with life.

On the personal side, your parents gifted you to this world. Other family members loved and nurtured you into adulthood. Teachers educated you. And life supplied you with the experiences and support that made you who you are. Most likely, you now have a significant other and children who love you, support your vision and share you with the world so you can run your business.

Owning a business is a collective and collaborative situation, the waves of which started long before you were born and will continue to touch the lives of others long after you’re gone.

You have your health and the gift of sight. Your limbs work. You can talk. You’ll eat tonight. And if your good fortune continues, you’ll wake to live another day. Oh, the gifts you have!

With greater awareness of what has allowed your business to be and all that continues to contribute to your ongoing success, you’re less likely to take any of it for granted. When you don’t take the gifts in your life for granted, you have greater respect for them and treat them better. As you share your genuine appreciation with everyone involved in your life and business, they’ll have a tendency to give the same to you in return. This creates a wonderful circle of giving that makes business — and life— a more rewarding and pleasurable experience.

There are so many ways to express your gratitude this time of year — a hand-written card with a little something special inside selected just for that person, a party for your team members where each is recognized for their efforts with a plaque or certificate, monetary bonuses, charitable giving, discounts or gift certificates to customers or any other sincere expression of appreciation and thanks. The secret is to make your gesture personal, heartfelt and filled with authentic gratitude for what they do that makes your business all that it is.

With loved ones, one of the most powerful ways to show your appreciation is to give of yourself by spending quality time with them. Express your sincere appreciation for all they’ve done with and for you throughout your life. Let them know the special place they hold in your heart and mind and allow them to share the same with you. Take time away from business to fully engage in fun activities that everyone enjoys doing together. Give them your undivided attention and love.

Take stock of all you have in your life. Really count your blessings and let your mind and heart overflow with joy. Then, share your joy by giving back what you can to those around you who make your life wonderful and your business possible. Give for the sheer joy of giving and let the very best within you rise up and touch in profound ways the very best that is within others.

I wish you all a happy and successful new year.