Living in South Louisiana, we all know the importance of family. And I'm not just talking about immediate family such as your Mama, Daddy, brothers, and sisters.
I'm talking about everyone.
Mawmaws, pawpaws, parrains, nannies, aunts, uncles, first cousins, second cousins, cousins who aren't even really our cousins (we all have a few at least). The list goes on and on.
And we all know, especially here in the South, it takes an entire parish to raise a child.
The lessons we have learned from them rival the number of stars in the sky.
So, here are a few ways, those people we love, have taught us how to not only survive, but to thrive, in business in the upcoming years.
A little encouragement can go a long way, and that is exactly what Mama will always be there for.
With so much negativity in the world trying to crush our dreams, hopes, and aspirations, sometimes we simply need to hear that everything is going to work out the way it should.
And, she would know! Considering the amount of life experience she possesses, not much surprises her anymore.
If you're going through some changes and times seem tough, it may be time to stop by Mama's house, have some rest, take in a little of her sweet encouragement, and perhaps a bit of home cooking.
The truth hurts. It hurts a lot less when you're prepared for it.
Our dads have always been there to prepare us for when things don't go as planned.
His tough love has helped us crawl back onto our feet in those times when the cold world has knocked us down.
Falling off your bike sucks. Leading a failing company into the dirt sucks even worse.
But guess what?
Daddy taught you how to brush off your jeans, wipe off the blood, and get back on to ride another day.
Although they seem to come across harsh, that is never his true intention.
Fathers have often been through many of the trials and tribulations you are facing and want to make sure you are prepared for all the possible consequences.
Mawmaw and Pawpaw
We have all heard the maxim: It isn't what you know, it's who you know. While a bit simplistic and not entirely true, the power of networking cannot be denied.
Here, in South Louisiana, there are only two people who know everyone south of Alexandria.
Whether on your Mama's side or your Daddy's side, Mawmaw and Pawpaw can always put you in contact with someone they know that has a solution to your problem.
That's, of course, if they can't fix it themselves!
Keeping your network and relationships humming is a vital part of a growing business.
You never know who or what you will need when the time calls for it. So, be prepared to help other business owners out in their time of need and they will be more than happy to return the favor during your desperate times.
Parrain and Nanny
Parrains and Nannies have been there for us since birth. And, ironically enough, the French word Parrain means "sponsor" in English... fitting, right?
Outside of our parents, they are our primary investors and greatest caretakers.
They look out for us, teach us to be well-rounded individuals... they give the best gifts during holidays and birthdays... wait... what?
But, seriously, they support our goals and help us make decisions with desirable outcomes.
Because let's be honest: sometimes you just aren't willing or open-minded about taking advice from your parents, but your godparents have just enough experience and just the right perspective to offer you the light at the end of the tunnel that you need to see.
They are not only our mentors during the tough adolescent years, but for life. They always have our backs to help give us that little push when needed.
Continue to surround yourself with these types of caring leaders.
Aunts and Uncles
Although our Parrains and Nannies will always be there to provide us counsel, sometimes you need a bit more specific advice.
Maybe you could use some help upgrading your wardrobe or you need someone to help tighten up your resume. Chances are, one of your aunts or uncles has the skill set to help you solve these particular problems.
They also provide a bit of a hidden gem if you are willing to listen for it. As children, we only know our parents as they were in their adult years, but we could never know what they were like through adolescence without our Aunts and Uncles spilling beans about our parents' mistakes and childhood quirks.
This insight can be extremely valuable for your role as leader. These stories of character and role changes that your parents have walked through should offer you a glimpse of hope regarding the possibility of changing your own behaviors and character as the business or your people call for it.
Your parents weren't always the mature, confident, and successful people they are today. This should not only help your evolution as a human, but should also empower you with enough empathy to build better people in your organization as well.
When you are looking for workers with specific services such as a carpenter, a mechanic, or an electrician, most of the country will go to Angie's List or Craigslist.
Not us. Here, in South Louisiana, the only thing we use when we need to know someone is our list of cousins... and duct tape (that fixes everything).
These handy connections, we call family, know an unusually wide variety of people and are willing and able to make introductions to the right person we need for the job.
They will also talk you up or belittle anyone who tries to talk you down... which is always a great thing for your reputation in the marketplace!
Cousins play a dual, yet unique, role in our lives as we grow up. They are technically family, but they were some of our first "best friends" in our childhood and make up some of the strongest bookends of our network.
Cousins are sort of like a good marketing company. They technically aren't "employees", but they can be the most vital piece of some business relationships and open the door to other clients under their umbrella that can utilize your organization's services.
Also, like cousins, the marketing company doesn't always need to be there in order to be effective. The most effective marketing strategists show you how to have your business constantly present in front of your customers, and consistently allow the right customers to find you.
If your business could use a better cousin or Parrain (sponsor), click below and ask how we can get you more leads, tomorrow.