Business, like everything else, is an exchange of energy. Not money, not products or services, not agreements – but energy. More specifically, business is the communication of energy and its perceived interpretation. Say what…..?
Perhaps it sounds complicated, but it’s actually extremely simple. Almost everything we do is an exchange of energy between ourselves and another human being. A communication of some type, be it positive or negative. And being open for business requires that you have the right energy to start off with.
Over the next number of weeks, we’re going to have a look at each step of The 5-Step Process to Building a Powerhouse Team – which is the solid foundation you need for growth. The first step is Communication, so we’ll be addressing that in more depth soon.
For now, let’s look at what I mean by energy.
My Energy, Your Energy, and The Exchange Thereof
Each of us has an energy that is inherent to us. A baseline characteristic that forms part of how the people around us would describe us. We all know people who are upbeat, positive and “full of life”, and we all know people who are pensive, deep and “more serious”. Those are just two different types of energy and the perception of them. It doesn’t mean that upbeat people are never pensive or deep – or that pensive people aren’t positive – it just means we tend to read people a certain way and interpret what we think that is.
Understanding how we exchange our energy is simple – if it didn’t happen before you left the house in the morning, it probably happened to you on the way to work. You wake up with a certain vibe which is a mix of your baseline energy, how you slept and how life is going for you right now. And then you exchange it with the people around you.
Let’s look at a few examples of how that happens:
- Perhaps you wake up with a renewed energy for the day, thankful that the night’s sleep has eclipsed the feelings you went to bed with, and ready to start again. If you can guard your energy, today is likely to be a more productive day!
- Perhaps instead, your neighbour partied loudly until 3 am; you slept funny and now have a crick in your neck. They didn’t even realise they were exchanging their energy with you, and yet you’re likely to carry that energy throughout your day.
- How many of us have woken up, glared at our spouse with eyes filled with genuine hurt and anger and said “You’ll never guess what you did to me in my dream last night!!”? You’ll need extra loving today if your relationship is to survive.
- You successfully navigate waking up and getting ready for work – only to exchange energy with the other (deficient) drivers on the way to work.
- You stride into work on a Monday morning, still buzzing from the hole-in-one you scored on Saturday and the celebrations that ensued. The first person you meet at the coffee machine has had no electricity for a week and their girlfriend left them for their best mate. If you’re not guarded, you’re likely to leave the coffee machine feeling a little less like a hero!
All of these are examples of exchanges of energy, and all of them are before 0900 in the morning. Just imagine what the rest of the day can hold!
Our mission, as we mature, is to learn to guard our own energy and to choose how and with whom we exchange it. We learn to evaluate better what types of energy we like to receive, how to influence and recharge our own energy, and which people and situations to avoid if we want to retain our best energy.
So Let’s Bring it Back to Business
Business is an exchange of energy and, like everything else, is predicated on two very simple, very human rules:
- It’s all about me.
- I’d like more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.
Doing successful business with someone, whether it’s doing the grocery shopping or securing international investment, is about negotiating a positive exchange of energy based on the above two rules. At the end of the day, people what to go away feeling something positive, and feeling that is attached to their own very personal assessment of the situation and the outcomes.
If the grocery store provides everything you need under one roof in spacious, well-laid-out aisles, with reasonable prices, cleanliness, fast-moving tills, good customer service and a clearly defined exit strategy – you’re likely to leave feeling accomplished and come back for more at some stage. (Securing international investment is similar).
However, if parking is a nightmare, they only have half of what you need, are more expensive on a few essentials, are congested, rude…..and you think you saw a rat…., there’s not likely to be a repeat performance. (The same goes for international investment, or whatever your business happens to be).
Each point in the above experiences influences us in some way. We interpret each to mean something positive or negative, we evaluate whether they fulfilled our needs and whether we’ll go back for more. Kinda like dating.
The bottom line when answering the question “Are YOU open for business” is to first take stock of what your current energy is and whether it is something your ideal customer wants to feel.
We can ensure we have an attractive product, present it well, and coach our Customer Service team in the basics of human interaction. But if our energy doesn’t line up with what we’re promising, if we aren’t intentional about how we communicate that energy, and worse yet, if someone even thinks they saw a rat (proverbial or otherwise)…. the experience isn’t likely to leave people wanting more.
So, as we return from a long weekend in Southern Africa, give some thought to what energy you’d like to exchange and whether you currently have it. Renewing that energy comes from remembering why you’re doing what you’re doing, where you’d like to take it and what the foundational principles you guide yourself with are. You cannot be open for business without the right energy to start off with, and trying to maintain energy that is anything less than genuine is the fast route to a heart attack. Energy is what inspires. It’s what motivates. It’s what sells.
Gather yourself. Next week we’ll cover the first of the aforementioned 5 Steps – Communication. We’ll look at what to DO with that energy.
by Christen Killick
August 13th, 2018