Being an entrepreneur or manager in this day and age is not easy. Many business leaders are expected to work over 80 hours a week to see important projects through; other business leaders are expected to sacrifice their sense of self to make sure that their company increases its profits.
As you might expect, however, these kinds of beliefs can be extremely destructive to everyone involved. Here are just a few of the biggest myths in the business world and how to avoid falling prey to them.
The Bottom Line is All-Important
In the short term, treating the bottom line of a company as the be-all and end-all of your existence will temporarily boost your company’s profits. By definition, laying off a third of your staff will free up corporate funds for a few months. Hiking up prices on important products when selling them to your customer base will probably generate a certain amount of extra profits for a time.
Are these kinds of behaviors sustainable in the long-term however? Certainly, you will find companies who compromise their values to drive up short-term profits at the expense of long-term employees and customers. Other companies seem to get by when they treat employees as little more than unnecessary expenditures and customers as suckers waiting to be had.
Place Profits Over Employee and Customer Welfare
As a famous saying has it, however, what good is it to gain the world if it means losing your soul? Everyone wants to make a healthy profit in business: But how many of us are comfortable with the idea of selling our sense of right and wrong down the river to make a quick buck?
The truth is also that the reputations of companies that treat employees and customers badly sustain serious damage in the long-term. Mitt Romney’s record with Bain Capital may have even cost him the Presidency in 2012. Regardless of the profitability of vulture capitalism, the truth is that entrepreneurship without a sense of morality can be extremely destructive. In your own career, strive to be the leader that people look up to; don’t be the leader that people have no trust in.
Work Yourself to Exhaustion
As a business leader, holding a great work ethic is something to be commended for. But working yourself to the point of collapse isn’t in your best interests. At the end of the day, finding a sense of work-life balance is a necessary part of an entrepreneur’s long-term plan for success. Burning yourself out by 40 or 50 or 60 might help your company; however, you won’t be much good to anyone if you are a mere shell of yourself by the time you should be hitting your best years. Learn how to say no to your higher-ups. You’ll thank yourself when you really need your health.