We all urge to belong to a cause, to feel a purpose, to make a difference.
Sure, making money is great, but it’s a byproduct of purpose. When all is said and done is there more to what we’re doing?
Following a recommendation from Ryan O’Carroll over at Yo! Telecom, I recently read Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh of Zappos, which really delves into creating a company culture that focuses on happiness as the foundation, with results following suit.
It’s something we strongly believe in within the businesses we create and we’ve taken the time to lay out some core values for how we work at pagesource.
I’m not talking your run of the mill, cheesy statements that no one ever looks at.
I’m talking real, tangible values that fit into the way we work and the way we grow.
We have an underlying purpose for building our business, so with that in mind a mission statement and core values were hugely important to both Oliver and I when we founded pagesource.
For us the product we are building and the value we are trying to add is so much bigger than just providing a service and pulling in revenue.
We have a genuine desire to help those around us and to share what we know in the hope that it’ll help others.
Whilst we are still a small, agile team, we’ve been sure to bake these values in to our philosophy from the start.
Why? Might you ask… because having them written down will help to grow the company and community that we envisage, in the way we envisage.
It will allow us to live by them and will guide the decisions we make across the board, whether that be based on a feature, a partnership, a hire or anything else, they will be our guiding force.
So what are these core values?
Have fun with what you do
There are 2 times when I feel many of us work at our best capacity, when we’re on the edge of fear and adrenaline has kicked in and/or when we’re having fun.
This principle guides us in many ways as we expand and scale. Influencing our internal processes, hiring, environment and also the way we portray ourselves on the front of things.
It keeps us humble
It keeps us grounded
It helps shape the caring focus
Execute, move fast and make mistakes
No-one is perfect, nothing is perfect, so we don’t chase the ideology that pagesource will EVER be perfect, as everyone has their own definition of what perfect is.
We’ve spent a lot of time using SaaS softwares and there are always faults (whether it’s our opinion or a black and white error), we therefore embrace it and learn from it.
Be honest, transparent, hold your hands up when things go wrong. It’s in how you act.
The upside to being transparent makes it a no brainer in everything we do.
It adds value to what we’re trying to achieve
It provides a personal connect
It helps to spread the journey
It provides an air of trust
Yes, it’ll probably lose us clients or in certain instances generate backlash if we’re saying something people don’t want to hear, but have you ever tried to be angry at someone who admits a mistake and handles the situation calmly? You find yourself in a dead end, feeling like an idiot because they aren’t fuelling the fire to retaliate.
Perform acts of kindness
I included this as a way to breed the correct culture across the board. Whether it be in a personal or business environment. Some of the times I’ve felt greatest recently are when helping others through small acts of kindness, whether it be as simple as carrying someone’s suitcase or buying their drinks out of the blue.
We are more than just revenue, so these small acts of kindness help to engrain that vision within everything we do.
Don’t fear anything, it’s the only way to learn
This covers many things, but couldn’t be more fitting for entrepreneurs and start ups.
I’ve been in the situation many times where I’ve made mistakes, and been fearful of the situation prior to making the mistake but there are 2 things takeaways here:
1) The fear could have affected the situation and potentially caused the mistake
2) I learned valuable lessons and takeaways
Again (as with all of these points), instilling this early on is helping to shape our decision making process as we move forward.
Don’t be afraid what people think
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks
Don’t be afraid to break things, it can be fixed
Don’t be afraid to break the boundaries, be different
Whether it’s helping us to make decisions internally, such as hiring, firing, scaling etc or when we expand, telling our staff to explore, be themselves, share etc.
In the words of (if I remember correctly), Young Jeezy:
“Scared money don’t make money”
Be calm, kind, empathetic and stand in others shoes
Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I’m being too philosophical but this is something I’ve been realising and trying to improve at a personal level.
It’s not always easy (I’ve been dubbed ‘angry Andy’ a few times in my life), but whenever you get the opportunity to consider situations from all angles, or you realise just what is going on from a different view point it’s pretty enlightening and helps to bridge gaps and help more people.
We all travel different paths, we all have different stories to tell and it’s appreciating the good with the bad from any perspective that really provides clarity in many types of situation.
It’s as simple as that IMO.
When speaking to our users, we care about their story, their journey, their desired destination.
Listen to what people around us have to say and be their to support them.
Share the journey and add value to those around you
Whilst there is a selfish side to this point, i.e. the exposure, the underlying theory links back to being honest, transparent, moving fast, making mistakes, holding our hands up, not fearing anything, having fun and of course helping others through inspiration or tangible/executable value.
Things like this blog post aim to provide perspective and vision to help others sculpt the way they work in this fast paced world.