Words to Live (And Grow Your Business) By

By Bob Nieman, CLA Member posted 04-27-2018 15:53

We live in the age of Twitter. It’s the era of the soundbite. Keep it short, pithy and under 140 characters – or risk being ignored.

Fair enough. I’m up for the challenge.

In fact, I’ve found that short, punchy quotations often spark my thinking, provide motivation and focus, or simply remind me of some undeniable truth in an unforgettable way.

As a result, this month, given the current restraints of our time-crunched, attention-scattered society, here are seven Twitter-worthy snippets that prove brevity can still pack quite a wallop – while teaching and reinforcing some the key foundations of success in life and business:

“Energy comes from enthusiasm.” – Carlos Santana, musician

Carlos_Santana.jpgAs entrepreneurs and laundry owners, you’re enthusiastic and optimistic when your first launch your new venture. However, the day-to-day grind and inevitable setbacks can cause you to lose that initial enthusiasm and find yourself unmotivated. What’s more, you may forget to elicit that needed enthusiasm from your staff. In 2018, try to consciously keep your energy high by focusing on what gives your work purpose and what sparks your enthusiasm.

“Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, 28th First Lady of the United States

Many people will discourage you along your entrepreneurial path. Don’t let those who cannot help you succeed discourage you from doing so. Enough said.

“Build one business at a time.” – Eugene Kleiner, engineer and venture capitalist

Kleiner was the founder of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and one of the pioneers of Silicon Valley. He is known for having summed up key business truths in his “Kleiner’s Rules.” This one clearly emphasizes the importance of staying focused. Don’t get distracted by too many good ideas or opportunities. Vended laundry owners today are faced with several ancillary money-making options – from offering in-store vending and arcade games to servicing commercial accounts and providing pickup and delivery services. Operators can end up devoting much of their attention to developing a scattered array of bells and whistles. Especially in the early years of a company’s life, sustained, precise focus on a singular business mission is crucial, according to Kleiner.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky, National Hockey League Hall of Famer

Wayne_Gretzky.jpgWhen you’re in business, you have to keep moving. The world keeps turning – demographics shift, market needs evolve, customer tastes change, new technology disrupts old ways of operating, and competitors emerge. To survive and succeed, you have to see where “the puck” is going and anticipate its next direction.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou, poet and activist

Yes, today’s laundry business can provide owners with a relatively flexible schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your store and expect it to thrive. The “strategy” of just swinging by the store once a week to collect quarters no longer works – if it ever did. You set the tone for your business. Today’s thriving operators live and breathe their laundry operations.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you will wind up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

No doubt, this list would be incomplete without a good “Yogi-ism.” And, as always, the baseball icon is on the money. As a laundry owner, you absolutely must have a business plan. Yes, aspects of your operation very likely will change over time, but a business plan is your roadmap to your business’ future. Create one and re-visit it often.

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” – Henry Ford, business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company

Above all, do everything with integrity. Treat everyone fairly and honestly, including your employees, your customers, and your vendors. Don’t rationalize bad behavior by saying, “It’s only business.” Be someone – and create something – worthy of respect.