My first post in the “Owners Blog” section of www.PetWorldLawrence.com.
Recently we’ve been discussing how the link between dedication, loyalty, and success is genuinely reciprocal in thriving companies. The harder employees work, the more employers invest in them, and the more they improve. The better employees get, the happier they become, & the more success they achieve. And when employees succeed, companies succeed, and then find themselves in a position to invest even more back into employees.
And so it goes. Reciprocity at its core.
But it doesn’t stop there. Reciprocity includes customers. In fact, it can’t work without customers. Because successful companies don’t worry about the short-sighted quick sale and take time to improve customers’ lives long term, customers support them. Our company focuses on improving our customers’ lives by improving the lives of their children and their pets. To support our mission, our customers keep their business local. That investment extends to our community outreach which makes a positive difference in Lawrence. This strong, Kansas, community supports us so we can then invest in our employees who then invest in our customers who are the very community that supports us. Everyone wins.
Over the course of the last year, after realizing Tim and I were answering more questions than asking, we’ve had to consider that perhaps it’s time to accept our roles as mentors in the spirit of reciprocity. We’ve been asked to mass market our staff training program, sell our store, expand Pet World, franchise, hit the public speaking circuit, offer seminars…you name it. Tim coaches, I teach, we both manage, so that all makes sense. But here’s the thing. For us, it’s not about money or popularity or rapid, financial growth. It’s about responsible stewardship. “From he whom much is given, much is expected.” Luke 12:48. Perhaps it’s financially unsound to offer up a quarter century of free entrepreneurial wisdom to anyone with an internet connection. But frankly, we’re not too concerned about the risk. Since 1988 we’ve been trying to do what is right regardless of cost and this philosophy hasn’t failed us yet. I don’t think it will now.
We’ve learned that life isn’t just about money and getting ahead at all cost. It’s about growth, hard work, and active participation. It’s about being part of a team, something bigger than yourself. I’m not sure our society is consistently reinforcing the importance of good work ethic & I’m as concerned as the next guy about young adults subscribing to the fallacy that life is fair & easy. A false sense of entitlement concerns me as much as it concerns you. Bad influence surrounds us. Our young employees see some of their friends under achieving, taking shortcuts to get ahead, trading principles & life skills for short sighted advancement. Plenty of businesses lack ethics and fail to understand the essence and importance of hard work and reciprocity. Shortcuts and scams seem to be the norm now. I get all that. Which is why we’ve decided to choose the high road of reciprocity and even add mentorship into the mix. Our hope is for young people to shape their life paths with big picture focus, understanding that life is as much about the process as it is the end goal. If we help you win, you help someone else win, and they help more people win, and in the end, all who participated win.
Reciprocity is about the trust, loyalty, hard work, & dedication of each person involved. It’s about truly caring enough to improve each other’s lives and our existence as a unit. Improve the parts; improve the whole. That’s how life works. It’s reciprocal. So maybe to some people our blog seems like us giving away the farm. That’s okay. We know reading our free advice and actually implementing our philosophies are two very different things. As for us, we’re just being responsible stewards. We will continue to grow and foster our reciprocal relationships for as long as our customers will let us and offer nothing but support in return. That’s been the Pet World way since day one. And we’re not about to change now.