Inspiring people in the 21st century

Never has there been a better time for business owners to inspire great people to join them, Julie Perkins, business coach and...

Written by Wyseminds · 3 min read >

Never has there been a better time for business owners to inspire great people to join them, Julie Perkins, business coach and founder of Wyseminds, tells Troy Trewin on the How to Grow A Small Business podcast.

The turmoil and chaos the world has experienced in the last few years have changed what motivates people. If a company’s values and purpose are in line with what an individual believes, they can be fundamental deciding factors in steering them towards a particular job.

“One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is getting the right people on board and knowing when to take them on,” Julie tells the podcast. “During Covid we all questioned a lot about ourselves, why we were doing what we were doing and working in our jobs.” 

Values and purpose keep people grounded and rooted to all that’s important to them. Job adverts now dedicate huge amounts of their description to a company’s mission, what it stands for, the difference it aims to make and how it will change things for the better.

In a digital world, people matter

In her work helping female founders grow successful companies with her team of fellow coaches at Wyseminds, Julie returns to a simple premise: the importance of people. 

It may seem a dichotomy in the digital world of computers and robots, but it’s people who form the backbone of flourishing businesses. They are the teams who run and manage organisations, the customers who make the purchases and the suppliers who provide the goods and services.

The difference now is that so many more people are aware of their role as a company’s primary asset. They know their worth and the value of their work and this, combined with a change in the principles that matter to them, is altering the way businesses need to approach HR and recruitment.

 “One of the biggest effects of the pandemic has been to illuminate the utter lack of voice and influence most people have on their workplace,” Anna Stansbury from Harvard University says in a Chartered Institute of Marketing article. 

The wise entrepreneur is the one who pays heed to this, says Julie, and encourages an environment where everyone feels as if they’re actively contributing towards one vision that matters to them. That environment is one built on trust; where people get on and are given the space to do the best job they can do while you, the founder, step back and focus on creating further growth. 

Business growth through purpose

Too good to be true? It really isn’t rocket science but does involve awareness and a willingness to learn a new way of relating to the people you bring into your business. Learning to trust and let go – that’s the hard bit.

“Keeping vision and purpose alive for a small business is essential otherwise you get caught up very quickly in the day-to-day running and the stress of to-do lists,” says Julie.

While daily operations are important, if you’ve hired the right people, your team should be able to do these jobs without you needing to be a helicopter boss hovering over them all the time. Overwhelm for business founders is a strong indicator that something’s going wrong somewhere else in the company. An excellent tool to restore equilibrium is The Powerball, a Wyseminds method of identifying where the blocks to growth are. It can help create the space you need to look more widely at your business when problems arise instead of being swamped by the daily grind.

“Keeping vision and purpose alive for a small business is essential otherwise you start missing what you’re doing it for and will stop attracting the right people. Or your people will get bored and you’ll be back in the cave of the founder again. 

The future is yesterday’s today: how are you planning yours?

Values shift throughout our lives and it’s the same in business. To keep everyone aligned and on track, Julie advises regularly asking yourself: who am I, what am I, who do I want to be?

“Even if it’s just ‘I’ve been brilliant these last six months’, that’s an answer as well. It means you’re asking yourself the right questions. The challenge is to keep your people curious and interested, give them exposure and make them feel useful and challenged.

“There are very small teams and very big teams. If you’re gathering people together, connection to values becomes incredibly important. It’s about where you unite. It doesn’t matter what your eco-system is – the label doesn’t matter. As individuals, we’ve all got our own personal values and when you share those, they become a unifying force.” 

Small businesses have an opportunity to seize. If you can get your values and purpose heard by the right people, your journey to success will be so much smoother. When it comes to growing businesses, we’ve been there, done that and amassed several T-shirts along the way. If you’re a female founder in need of guidance, check out our Business Growth Programme here.