Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in organizational development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Paul White, President of Appreciation at Work, located in Wichita, KS, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Appreciation at Work, we provide practical resources to help people across the world build positive workplace cultures and healthy work relationships. Organizational leaders, supervisors, and HR professionals in over 60 countries use our materials with their team members. Our clients range from small family businesses, schools, nonprofits, and medical facilities to large multinational corporations.
Tell us about yourself
I am a psychologist by training. I grew up in the context of a family-owned business and started consulting with family businesses, dealing with the family issues intertwined with business. That led to focusing on building healthy relationships at work and creating resources for others to use. The need for creating positive workplaces is huge, and I'm thankful I am able to help hundreds of thousands of employees around the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm proud of being able to create resources that are used around the world to help improve workplace culture at a low financial cost while at the same time building a healthy, positive team who enjoys working together.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, I find it difficult to balance the demands of the various roles I fill — leader of the business, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and overseeing my team members. It is easy to get over-focused on one area for a while, leading to not enough attention to other areas. (which can lead to problems creeping up - like not regularly weeding part of your garden!)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't quit your full-time job to start a business. Start while still working — it takes longer than you think to get things up and running.
- Make sure there is a compelling (and long-term) need you are meeting. Talk to others in your field across the country to get a clear picture of the need and the challenges they are facing.
- Hire with an emphasis on character as much as skill set. A cheerful, easy-to-get-along-with team member with B+ level skills is far better than a prickly, complaining colleague with "A" level skills!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Get input and counsel from other successful business leaders as you make decisions.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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