Nicola Marks, Estate Manager at Socius has a strong track record in delivering and improving services and works collaboratively with the projects team on the management and handover of mixed tenure schemes. In our latest blog, Nicola explores the meaning of ‘business success’.
If someone asked you to define ‘business success’, what would you say? How would you describe it? Is it the size of the profits in your bank account or the smile on your face when Monday morning rolls back around?
We hold success up as the reward for all of our hard work. The successful meeting, the successful team, the successful partnership… the list goes on. The ultimate, surely, is the successful life!
But when we break down what makes something successful what does it actually contain? How do we define it, especially within a business context?
Have you ever celebrated winning a major contract, only to have the initial excitement morphed into stress? You know the scenario, where the profit becomes directly proportionate to the pain. Was the reward worth it? Was it really a reward at all? Will any amount of champagne popping make up for lost nights of sleep, long days of pulling your hair out and missing out on watching your youngest win the egg and spoon race at their first school sports day?
In reverse, have you ever felt crushed having spent hours prepping for a tender? Jumping through the various hoops at each selection stage only to be rejected! Then a week later, while still nursing your wounds, the development opportunity of a lifetime knocks on the door, that would have otherwise been missed. Yep, like you’re living in a Gwyneth Paltrow movie… Sliding Doors!
So, when it comes to defining what success means within a business context, what looks to be the best today, can often be the worst thing tomorrow and what looks the worst thing today, yep you get the gist!
Let’s explore together what it means to have a successful business… go on froth that coffee, turn off that mobile, lean in even! Can we take a fresh perspective on success? Let’s imagine business success is measured by no other gauge than your initial enjoyment. OK, I’ll let you have deferred enjoyment too i.e., the task itself isn’t that great but the financial reward is so high you can drive that Aston Martin DB5 around the Italian Amalfi coast and retire at 35. Can money buy happiness? Or in the iconic words of Spike Milligan ‘Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.’
If we’re honest, isn’t everything in our lives motivated by one thing and one thing only? No, it’s not that! The biggest motivation for everything is... long annoying pause as if we are a about to announce the master chef winner. The winner is… the thing we are all chasing… the crowning emotion… shall I get on with it? Yes, it’s… happiness. The H word. Think about it, everything we do is driven by this emotion. The gambler at the roulette wheel is actually there chasing the elusive high of the win, the hidden law of a probable outcome holds his* attention and ultimately his joy. *Disclaimer - I’m not suggesting in that gender specific example that only men gamble!
The reason why you’re reading this article is because you’re curious and keen to collect information on success. If you increase your knowledge-base you’ll become more effective. If you’re more effective, your business will grow and if that happens guess what, you hold a strong belief, a very firm hope, that this will make you happier.
I joined First Base and onward to Socius on that premise, as I believed my contribution to the business would make me happier. I’ve just recently invested my life savings in a new prototype Eco build project (think Lego) as I believe that will make me happier. I am going to eat this donut 🍩 because the taste, the sugar rush brings a smile to my face. Did I mention some forms of happiness are short lived?
When I joined Socius, if I strip it all back, my motivation was all linked to making improvements in the building management industry. Playing my part makes me feel good. Feeling good about where I was investing my time brought me happiness. Have I made enough yet to retire on? No, but have I felt happier? Absolutely. In summary, what needs to be sustainable in any business is the smile on each team members face.
Let’s STOP (shouty capitals) gauging success purely on material wealth. Let’s bring in a few more headings onto our business accounts. Let’s create upon the excel ledger the feel-good accruals? The great thing is HMRC can’t tax this stuff! It’s the reason why people at the village fate charge £10 for something that’s taken them hours to create. Their pleasure isn’t solely driven by profit, it’s a sense of enjoyment or the knowing that their contribution has made a difference. Where a reward far greater than money is about to be banked, along with a cuppa and a slice of Mrs Muggins home-made chocolate cake.
I’m not saying profit isn’t a major business driver, of course it is, but we need to dial up and account for happiness within our transactions too. I have watched my passion kick in by working as part of the Socius team and a brighter smile on my face, as together we get our new developments over the line. To me, that’s priceless!