I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my day. Wow, that made me sound (and feel) really old lol! But I have. I’ve worked in a restaurant, at a dance studio, an engineering company, a hospital, a retail store. I’ve owned a restaurant, an online store, a media company, an event planning company, a graphic design business, and have a real estate business. Just to name a few. So it’s fair to say that I’ve had experience in my fair share of different industries. I’ve worked as a solopreneur, in a small business, as well as for large corporations, all of them having different work cultures.
In each job, what kept me there was the people and the mission of the business. When my bosses and coworkers became my friends and individuals I come to respect. I know pay is an obvious factor, but quite honestly, I’d rather get paid a little less and love the people I work with. Not only that but the team’s belief in their work and the company’s mission had a huge effect on my perspective as well. Did I believe in my boss’s commitment to the company’s mission? Did they care? Or was it just a possible bonus that kept them in line with the goals? This leads me to my point – a positive corporate culture is so important! Let me explain.
Entrepreneur.com defines corporate culture as a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals, and myths all companies develop over time. It effects almost every aspect of the business – the business’s goals, strategies, even approaches to labor. As a business owner that has grown a team, implementing a corporate culture is something I’ve had to learn about. In the past, I’ve just been a subject of my job’s corporate culture. But as a business owner my job is to enforce what I believe is the most beneficial corporate culture for my business.
One thing that I emphasize in our corporate culture is leadership. Being someone’s boss is a huge responsibility and a privilege. Not only is it a boss’s job to inspire their employees to do a good job but they also set the tone for the work environment. And I firmly believe that corporate culture starts with management. I believe there as to be a can-do atmosphere that enforces positivity but is also balanced with goal oriented milestones. A business is still a job, and though you want your team to enjoy where they work there also has to be structure and expectation. Once the leadership knows how to balance these 2 things I believe that’s when your management, team, and company thrives!
I don’t know if you remember, but I had lunch with a few fellow Filipino entrepreneurs that I met from the CSUN Restauranteur Panel. It was awesome to be able to sit and talk shop with people that got me. You feel me? This is exactly why community over competition is something I live by. Doing this on your own is impossible. But that’s for another day. Anyway our first lunch was a Tatang’s in North Hollywood and there were 4 of us.
Kristine of Creme Caramel LA was gracious enough to organize another lunch and this time there were 9 of us! Some of us had met previously, but some of us hadn’t met yet. But we all “knew of” each other. It’s really great to finally put that Instagram handle to a real name and a face! 😆
We had lunch at the newly opened Paramount Coffee Project at the Row in Downtown LA. It’s owned by a fellow Filipino-American entrepreneur and executive chef Ria Barbosa. It was so great to meet more fellow entrepreneurs, just talk about anything, and not feel in competition with anyone. I’m excited for this community of people that is coming together. Plus, check out that view!
We live in a time where things are constantly changing. With technology so intertwined into our daily lives people have lots of information thrown at them in a short amount of time. So much so that one second we could be thinking about one thing and completely forget what we were talking about the next. Our thoughts are moving faster than our brains can comprehend.
The same goes for businesses. Because of the way we now absorb information, businesses have to fight to stay relevant. What used to be effective marketing 5, 3, even 1 year ago is completely different to what works now. What could be effective now could be old news in 6 months – who knows? But you’re not really surprised by that statement right?
My point is that we should never stop adapting. Don’t stop learning. It’s easy to just say that you don’t want to change and stick to what you know but remember that your customers won’t. Our society is making historical changes right before our eyes, not just on a city or statewide level. Our nation and our world is changing! The way word of mouth works now has changed completely from when I was growing up. Wow, that statement made me feel so old lol 😝 But it’s true! Someone that lives half way across the world could possibly see me, follow me on Instagram, even purchase something from me without even meeting me or hearing my voice.
Truthfully, when I started my first business in 2004 social media was barely a thing. So as an entrepreneur it wasn’t quite something that we utilized to communicate with our customer base. You had to think of ways to get in front of your audience, to interact with them in person. Since then I’ve been able to adapt and change in the last 14 years of owning various businesses. I firmly believe that my ability to adapt has helped me continue to be an entrepreneur today.
We should always continue to improve – improve product, marketing, strategy, customer experience, everything. We shouldn’t be afraid to make strategic changes to stay relevant with our audience. It’s the thing that will keep our businesses thriving for years to come.