By Jeff Klein
When I think of Spring, before sunny days and wearing shorts again, I think of Passover. Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is my favorite Holiday. It is the defining holiday of the Jewish people because it is a story of five Major Concepts.
The beauty of Major Concepts is they can be applied to many things. I thought it would be enlightening to apply these to our businesses.
The Major Concepts of the Passover Story contribute to the tradition of Jews living successful and productive lives. They can contribute to your life and business, too.
In the Passover Seder, the dinner service, we tell the story in these specific words, “Once we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.” We put ourselves into the story so that it happens to us, not them.
There are many lessons we can learn from history. When we put ourselves into the story, we can appreciate the lessons at a higher level.
We’ve all heard:
“Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it,” ~ George Santayana.
But you might not have heard:
“Our moms and dads told us to learn from our mistakes. It’s a lot less painful to learn from someone else’s mistakes,” ~ Jeff Klein.
We are going to make mistakes, in business as in life. But, we can minimize those mistakes by studying what those who have gone before us have done.
This is where business coaching and outsourcing come into your business. You should only be doing what you are best at, and what drives profits to your operation. You should outsource everything else. And your business coach can help you figure out the difference. The most important thing a business coach does is to get you working ON your business instead of IN it.
The hardest thing Moses had to do was not to free the slaves. It was to make them forget their slavery. The Rabbis teach that is one of the reasons it took 40 years to make such a short journey. The generation of slaves had to die out so their children could truly live as free people.
Without optimism, without hope for the future, this would not have been possible. But that’s not quite enough.
In your business, you can have all the hope and optimism you want, but without a plan and goals, they won’t mean a thing. Planning strategically is vital to your success. Deciding where you want to be in one year, two years, five years, even 10 years can make the difference between a business that fails and one that is still thriving way down the road.
Do you have an advisory board? Or an informal group of trusted advisors? These are people who have already been there and are willing to mentor you. If you don’t have these kinds of people in your life, ask around. If you don’t see any connections for you, check out your local SCORE and/or SBDC group.
In Judaism, we have a very personal relationship with our Creator. That contributes to our faith in ourselves. My Rabbi taught me that, “G-d doesn’t make mistakes.”
We may question our value from time to time, but remembering that we cannot be a mistake helps us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.
You can, in your business and life, change someone’s world for the better.
As a businessperson, it’s your JOB to solve problems. Do you have a clear vision of the problems you solve and for whom? Have you listed those problems and prospects? DO IT!
This will lead you to a clear picture of your value propositions, or reasons people will pay you.
The better you are at efficiently solving someone’s problems, the more someone will pay you to do it, and the more they will pay.
Passover teaches us the way to perfect the world is to start with our own families. I’ll add the word community here, too. Because families aren’t just those people we’re related to by birth and by choice.
Family is also the people you hire to work for you and with you. Treating them like family, in the good ways, will contribute to your having a company culture that fosters the best in people.
Surrounding yourself with people you can learn from and people who can learn from you is key. It’s been said,
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
By starting in your family, your chosen community, to make things better, you can make the whole world a better place.
From the worst can come some the best. The tragedy of centuries of slavery prepared the Jewish people to speak for the weakest among us. There was purpose in that suffering. It created a people committed to righting the wrongs of the world.
This is a core principal of Judaism. It’s called Tikun Olam, Healing the World.
Your tragedies can become your triumphs. Many of us are fortunate we haven’t experienced any personal tragedies. And tough times are not tragic. They’re just tough.
Yet, we can see what thriving looks like; what it means to be truly triumphant. We can see it every day though people in the news. If we’re fortunate, we may know people who have achieved this. Either way, we, as human beings, have a clear responsibility to help each other, friends, family, clients, employees, and vendors alike. By recognizing that in making our little corner of the world a better place, we contribute to healing the world.
What will you do this week to make the world a better place?
Thanks to Rabbi Benjamin Blech at www.benjaminblech.com for inspiring this article.
Jeff Klein teaches Business Networking inside companies, to sales teams, at meetings, and at National and International Conferences of Salespeople and Business Owners. As the Founder of Speaker Co-op, Jeff also teaches the Art of Speaking to Market Your Business. Speaker Co-op holds Lunch & Learns monthly in DFW & Houston. Jeff@SpeakerCoop.com