Today we’re fortunate to have a guest post by Paul Letendre. Paul has spent most of his life in the food service business working in small family restaurants and large broadline distributors in the U.S. and Canada. He has worked as a dish washer in a small family restaurant and as an executive vice president for a $400 million broadliner. He currently writes regularly for a number of New England publications. He also writes his own blog for independent restaurant owners at http://www.la10duh.com.
Geoffrey James, a columnist for Inc. Magazine, posted an article recently titled, “How to be Happy at Work.”It’s a short, simple, no b.s. story with three simple steps to staying happy on the job. I strongly suggest that you check it out.
I recently woke on the grumpy side, -well, more ornery than usual. My favorite football team had lost the Super Bowl for the second time in four years, – both losses came during the final minute of the game. If that’s not a good reason to be grumpy, -then what is?
Then I thought about James’ article. He suggests that we write down “What has to happen for me to be happy?” Do I have to wait for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl to be happy? That might not happen during my lifetime. Does that mean I’ll have to be grumpy forever?
When we get caught up with many of the peripheral things that affect our lives, businesses and moods, we sometimes forget what we are really trying to do. Whether it’s run the restaurant or help the kid with math homework, we are often sidetracked into making simple matters complicated (not that the math homework is a simple matter).
We need a foundation to fall back on. These simple 3 rules will help you shore up your foundation. Your big business dreams will be no stronger than the foundation that they are built on.
- Get better at doing our job (running your business) every day. When we get better at something, whether it is playing golf or more efficiently washing the dishes, we enjoy doing it more. When we improve at something, we feel a satisfaction that creates a little positive energy. That’s a good thing… positive energy attracts others.
- Do the right thing, -the right thing for the customers, for the employees and for the business. No, it’s not easy. There will always be customers who say the prices are too high and employees who say the pay is too low. Somewhere in the hollows, between your gut and your brain, you know what is right. Stick to it and demand that your employees stick to it. In the long-term, it will pay off. Besides, when we are doing what we think is right, or working for someone who demands that we do right, we feel pretty good about doing what we do. We get this satisfaction that creates a little contagious positive energy. That’s a good thing.
- Enjoy doing what you do. You own and run a business, not vice-versa, and if you are miserable doing it… then it ain’t worth it. Sure, there will be tough moments and tough times, -that’s always part of the equation. Nobody said it would be easy. But there is really no reason to have a bad day. Deal with the bad, deal with the tough and get on to enjoying the good. If you can’t see the good then you are in the wrong place. Life is too frigg’n short to spend all those crazy hours doing something that we don’t enjoy. Besides, when we enjoy doing what we are doing, then that enjoyment lends a satisfaction that creates a little positive energy. That can be contagious. That’s always a good thing and if we keep all three rules in place, we can create a virtuous circle that fuels itself in creating positive energy. That’s a good thing.
Morale of story: I shouldn’t be so ornery just because the Patriots lost the frigg’n Super Bowl. Okay? Okay.
You know this stuff. Sometimes you just get wrapped up in the crazy business with too much help scheduled and too many bills in the office to get paid and all of that stuff. So solidify that foundation, put a smile on your face and get back in the kitchen and cook some more frigg’n peas.
Energy will do anything that can be done in the world; and no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities will make a two-legged animal a man without it. — Goethe