Being in the service industry is hard. You’re not allowed to have bad days; you have to be on all the time and hold a smile when asked not-so-smart questions; and many days pass without so much as a thank you. When you’ve been in the industry for a long time, it’s even easier to forget why you started doing it in the first place, what you love about your job, and just how big of an impact your daily work really has. It’s easy to get burnt out and to lose perspective.
If you’re starting each day with a pessimistic, “why bother?” attitude, here are some tips to help you recharge and refresh.
Stop & Reflect.
First things first, when you’re burnt out and you’ve lost perspective, it’s easy to forget the good times — the moments when you felt truly satisfied in your work. STOP. Take a few moments, or maybe even an afternoon, to reflect on your time of service and remember the moments when you were thanked, when you felt fulfilled, and when you saw just how much your work mattered to your community. Reflecting on these moments can help recharge your service battery and keep you focused on the positive aspects of your job. In fact, to prevent future burn out, we highly recommend making reflection a regular thing. Make it a priority and put it on your calendar, just as you would an important meeting.
Many people in the service industry don’t think much of the little things they do or little ways they go above and beyond, which is why it can be beneficial to ask others. Your friends, family, employees, coworkers, and customers may be able to shed some light on the ways your heart for service really made a difference and you went above and beyond what you were called to do. Plus, hearing others say positive things about you is always good for the spirit.
Perhaps the most fulfilling part of life is the relationships we form. Are you taking the time to connect with your customers and form a bond? On each and every service call, make it a point to find some way to relate to your customer. Empathize with them. Care about them. It will make all the difference in the way your customer perceives you and in the way you perceive the customer and the service you bring. This may be easier to do with some customers than others, but even if it’s a stretch, find a way to do it with each and every one.
Recognize Your Value.
You have a heart for service, and not everyone does. But if you want to take care of others, you have to also take care of yourself. When you’re burnt out, take the time to refuel and reflect, even if you only have a few minutes in the truck on the way to the next job. Remind yourself of your worth and the value you bring to those you serve. Although it’s nice, what matters is not that each and every customer acknowledges the worth and value you bring — what matters is that you do.
Taylor & Carter here. We’ve had several conversations this year about all the things that have come our way and how grateful we are for the opportunities we’ve been given to work with the greatest clients in the world and the best employees a company could ever hope to have, and for the relationships that have been formed or solidified this year. Without a doubt, it has been another great year, personally, and in our business. Looking back, here are some of the ways our company has changed, shifted, and come into its own this year, and what we look forward to going into 2017.
The Vision Summit & Client Tour
One of the things we are most grateful for this year is the people around us who have continually pushed us to get better, be better, and get ready for the next chapter. Early in 2016, we received some very wise encouragement to really look at our business from the inside-out, and started by closing down our business for two and a half days. During this time, we gathered the Spark Marketer staff off-site, in order to hone in on what is most important to us, and define our Core Values, Purpose, and Mission. We called it our “Vision Summit,” and it was amazing what came out of those sessions! We are now very clear and intentional about our company’s Core Values, and what our Purpose is, which is “To build a better world by strengthening Blue Collar Businesses.” If you haven’t done this for your business, I would highly recommend doing it in 2017.
Taylor Hills & Avery Soderman of Wells & Sons
Taking a client tour up the East Coast and through the Heartland this summer was also an eye opener, giving us a glimpse into the challenges that many of our clients face. While a lot of you are in the same industries, it doesn’t mean you all have the same marketing challenges. It was incredibly insightful to be able to spend some time with our clients, one-on-one, and to hear their unique challenges. This tour has made our commitment and resolve to staying in front of any changes in online marketing that much stronger, in order to help our clients at the highest level possible.
What Drives Us Forward
Developing our Core Values, Vision, and Purpose, together with our nationwide “Tour of Clients,” have been the two driving forces behind our plans as we gear up for the future. Getting clearer on who our customers really are, as well as who and what we want to be for them, has been the most important thing we have done to date. It has impacted the focus of the podcast, Guys In Trucks, as well as the future products we would like to create to help blue collar businesses better serve their customers.
But there is something every business owner knows, even if he won’t admit it: Your business cannot grow or change unless you do. This year, Carter and I knew we had some work to do personally in order to lead Spark Marketer and Guys In Trucks into the future. We attended quite a few conferences, seminars, and groups this year to help us become better leaders, planners, and doers , and to get us to the next level. We also hired several coaches to help us stay on track, because we know we can wander around a bit if we’re not careful.
So what exactly are we doing? It’s really simple: We are preparing ourselves for what is next. Working towards the future with great intent. Getting as many ducks in a row as we possibly can, knowing that ducks don’t walk straight. Why? Because we’re going big! That’s right. We have decided to dream big and go after it, just like we talk about on Guys In Trucks. We now have a mission and a purpose that are clear – and they are big. They are much bigger than just the two of us, in fact. And they are powered 100% out of a desire to impact the world, not just grow our personal net worth.
Taylor Hill & Carter Harkins
A Big Purpose Requires A Strong Focus
In fact, the decision to pursue our stated purpose means that there will have to be more changes very soon. In order to better align and focus our ongoing projects and platforms with this purpose, we will be changing the name of our podcast to The Blue Collar Proud Show early in the first quarter of 2017. We are writing a book by the same name (just drop the word “show”), and who knows what other opportunities might emerge. If it helps us fulfill our purpose, then we are open and willing to consider it.
We’ve all got one life to lead, and we decided we want to live ours doing what we love: Serving others. We can’t think of a group of people that deserve that service any more than blue collar business owners. So, we are dreaming big and we want to do big things for this industry. We love you guys and believe it’s time to start a movement. We are Blue Collar Proud and hope you are too!
Happy New Year!
-Taylor & Carter