“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

We live in a world where change is fast and we can not control it. Life is stressful and sometimes we feel powerless. Families that were once around the corner, are often either fractured or distant. Even marriage isn’t the reliable safety net that it once was. We are richer than ever before and we buy more goods than any other generation, and yet statistics keep showing that we are unhappier than ever.

As a small business owner you will be working on average 63% more than other workers. Nobody ever became a business owner so they could avoid working hard.

Running your own business stretches anybody’s work-life balance to the absolute limit. And it has emerged that micro-business owners are working an average of 52 hours a week, 63 per cent longer than the average worker.

Many micro business owners are both time and cash-strapped, they need to make the most of every day because the amount of time being squeezed into the working week is enormous.‚ π

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb

When you started up in business and thought about the perfect workplace, what came to mind? For some it may be an office that is full of chitter chatter, smiles and high levels of productivity. Others may see it as employee’s sitting around on beanbags brainstorming ideas in an open office environment. There are some that see a perfect workplace as quiet order with work being done. For me it was everything that I didn’t like in places I had already worked. I wanted my work place to be fun, challenging, encouraging, developmental and with abundance of respect and loyalty. “I don’t go to work to be miserable so why should others”

As a small business owner you can be at the mercy of your employees. You cannot after all control how your employee’s get up each day or choose their attitude or how their day will pan out. This unknown can cause difficulties in a workplace as the different personality types, outside experiences, and choices a person makes can ultimately effect others.

What we can do however is nurture a workplace that many often dream about. From my experience of workplace’s and as a small business owner myself, I have put together 8 tips to build that mythic, dreamed about, idealized workplace from the ground up.

Essentially however, in my opinion, as a business owner the best way to get a dream work place is – treat others as you would have them treat you‚ π

Bet the Leadr that you wanted as an employee

Tip number Seven

Be the leader that you wanted as an employee.

Research consistently suggests that an employees every day experience and perception of where they work is most directly correlated with their relationship and experience with his or her direct supervisor (see my point about treating others as you like to be treated)

In a small company, that’s probably you. An employees attitude is a direct reflection of leadership.” Leading others is not easy.” Reach out to mentors and identify training opportunities to help you develop your skills as a leader.

When I was in my early days of being a Human Resource Professional I had the pleasure of having what I can only describe as the worst Manager ever. She belittled, discouraged me, set out to ensure I failed by setting tasks above my skills and would actively ignore me daily as well as refuse to help when I had questions on the work. I was also going through a divorce and had very young kids with no family support so it was an incredibly tough time emotionally.

I filed a grievance against her and the business offered a huge payout to make it go away BUT I decline it as as far as I was concerned if I had taken it I would be saying treating someone like that was OK and it is not. I ended up leaving the business 6 months later to another role, a far better role and have vowed and declared that I will NEVER treat anyone like that. This has had a huge impact on my values, beliefs, morals and is part of why I am so passionate about creating happier workplaces. Hence my motto

I Don’t go to work to be miserable so why should others‚ π

There are more than 50 qualities that research has identified as important to be a good leader. There are seven leadership qualities that stand out as being more important than others.

These are:

  • Vision ‚ÄöGreat leaders have vision, they can see into the future
  • Courage ‚ÄöCourage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.‚ π ‚ ¨ Winston Churchhill
  • Integrity ‚Äö Integrity requires that you always tell the truth, to all people, in every situation. Truthfulness is the foundation quality of the trust that is necessary for the success of any business
  • Humility – Great leaders are those who are strong and decisive but also humble
  • Strategic Planning – the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy where the industry and the markets are going.
  • Focus – Leaders always focus on the needs of the company and the situation. Leaders focus on results, on what must be achieved by themselves, by others, and by the company. Great leaders focus on strengths, in themselves and in others.
  • Cooperation – Your ability to get everyone working and pulling together is essential to your success. Leadership is the ability to get people to work for you because they want to.


8 Tips to build your dream workplace for small business owners