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Living the Dream Business Life

January 17, 2011

Reading the Newsfeed on Facebook this morning led me to a quote posted on the Life Is Good page.  In honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  today the folks at Life is Good selected these words:

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

We know this to be true, yet I am still struck by the number of people who are focused on life at the office, looking ahead at the retirement account planning and dreaming of ‘someday’.  I understand the importance of all these things: planning for the future is an important part of creating it, but not at the risk of running out of time to enjoy today.

As many pithy posters on social networks have said, ‘someday’ is not a day of the week.  Nor does it need to be part of your business vocabulary.  We helping professionals are the first to understand that life is indeed short, that nothing beats the value of a moment spent with someone we care about and that when all is said and done, those moments will magically add up to a ‘great life’ that gets reported in our own obituaries.

The Life Is Good story actually began with two brothers, Bert and John Jacobs, who hawked t-shirts on the streets of Boston, even selling door-to-door in college dorms up and down the East coast and out of a small van until things got, well, good for them.

Today the company is approaching $100 million in business, expanding its number of distributors and shipping product to more and more countries, spreading their message of optimism to a planet that needs it now more than ever. Now that is good.

Think about it. What if we explored each area of life and started with a premise that my finances are good, my relationships are good, my health is good, my career is good and so forth?  What would need to happen in order for each of those statements to be true for you?  Your answers can become the foundation for a New Year of prosperity, peace and positive choices.

Can it be good even if it is bad? Let’s face it, not every day will be peachy.  Deadlines will still loom, clients and customers will demand more and more from you and cash flow pressures will still be there.  But how we respond can be good.  And that response can model for others that we continue to learn from our mistakes, and grow from them.

I decided to learn more about the quirky company.  Here is some business advice I took away from my research:

Optimism does work.   These two brothers began their business out of a perceived need.   They needed cash and people needed clothes plus a dash of hope.  Their tireless efforts have paid off.

Good things take time.  It took a few years for it to happen and that’s what we need to remember, too.  Profits will not roll in within the first week of opening your doors.  They will if you have a solid plan, show the marketplace what you’ve got and persist. You are willing to do whatever it takes to make your business successful, right?

Live your message. The Jacobs brothers embody the philosophy their products promote.  Do you?  What does your business stand for and how do you show it? Rectifying the two creates stronger branding and trust with your customers.

Giving back is good.  I was struck by the variety of philanthropic offerings the Life Is Good company embraces.  What causes do you want to support this year?

Counting money is good too.  The quirky drawings have inspired solid profits for the Jacobs brothers.  Obviously we’re all in business to make money, but what the Life Is Good story shows me is that when your desires and intentions match your actions and your share the blessings with others, then success comes.

And then, truly, life is good.

 

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