Growing up, it was always my dream to visit the North Pole. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized my reasoning was a little bit different than that of my friends. Forget the toys. I wanted to go to the North Pole to apply for a job.
It sounded perfect.
“A creative work environment. Hot chocolate served year round in the employee lounge. A nice boss. Cool uniforms. And we were going to make things!”
Even at the mall, I was always more interested in what Santa’s helpers were doing than the big guy himself. After all, they had my dream job.
Although I never got my internship at the North Pole, I have realized that he still managed to teach me a lot. So, I bring to you the ever kelly top 8: Small Business Rules I Learned from Santa.
#1 Have a compelling mission statement that others will rally behind.
Santa’s sleigh breaks down. The reindeer are out of pixie dust. One toy gets left behind. It’s the central plot of nearly every Santa story ever told.
And no matter what the problem, Santa never has to convince anyone that he has a noble cause. Just think of those poor little girls and boys who will wake up with an empty stocking!
The same can be true in business. If you have a mission that others naturally want to support, you can feel good about spreading the word knowing you’re doing something you (and others) can believe in.
#2 Keep a “naughty” and “nice” list. Work with the “nice.”
You can’t always choose, but when you can, it really does make all the difference.
#3 Take regular vacations.
You know Santa took this job just so he could have summers off, right?
Everyone needs elves. Even Santa. And he’s magic.
#5 Have a sense of humor.
When you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, or unsure, it may be time for a laugh. I once read that while it’s good to be serious about your work, you should not be too serious about yourself. Laughter breaks down walls and helps you get moving again.
Why do you think Santa laughs so much?
#6 Cultivate supportive relationships.
We all need a Mrs. Claus in our lives — someone to bake us cookies and cheer us on. Matching outfits totally optional.
#7 Listen to your customers.
Is there anyone better at this than Santa? Reading all of those letters. Getting out into the public. Asking those children one-on-one what they’d like for Christmas. He could teach our social media gurus a thing or two about listening.
#8 Tell a story with your brand.
Seth Godin says it best, “If what you’re doing matters, really matters, then I hope you’ll take the time to tell a story. A story that resonates and a story that can become true.”
You’re never too old to believe. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
What about you? Any rules you’d like to add to this list?