Stand for something
I’m sure you have heard the saying “if you don't stand for something you’ll fall for anything”.
I’m giving this a lot of thought because I’m trying to figure out what kind of business I want to run. I know it’s still early days but I feel if I have a core set of values and ideals, making day to day decisions in my business will be a lot easier.
David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried, the founders of the software product Basecamp have been really big inspirations for me when it comes to having a point of view and sticking to it. Whether it’s within your business or personal life. They always put their money where their mouths are and never compromise. They’re very public about what they stand for. I would like to be the same.
But in order to get clear, I really need to decide upfront what Tiny studio stands for. Because it's just me, I need to be aligned with my personal philosophy. Tiny Studio is essentially an extension of me. So I feel like I have to get it right so I don't end up compromising my personal values just for a quick buck. If you ever hear me say “its nothing personal, its just business”, you know I’ve lost the plot.
So I’ve decided to write down a few core values which I think reflects Tiny Studio and me. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good place to start.
What Tiny Studio Stands for:
Quality over quantity always. We make products that are well made and long-lasting.
Respect and understanding my customers will be the top priority. Understanding that although they might not always be right, they are just human and sometimes a bit of empathy can go a long way.
To so our products last as long as possible. The world is filled with cheap mass-produced products everywhere. Made to be disposable and/or replaceable. I want to make sure we use the best materials available. They need to be sustainable or at the very least made to last a lifetime. Less waste is the goal. Fewer, better things is the goal.
I want to use local suppliers as much as I can. This is tough and I have already had to change some materials I was looking at using because the only way to get it was to import them. I’d rather support local where ever I can.
I've always wanted a business that has this thinking baked in upfront. Putting aside a small percentage of the profits to give back to the less fortunate is something that I feel strongly about and will make me happy.
Independent and bootstrapped
It’s tempting to want to raise money from investors, and build a huge company with big budgets, but as I’m sure you have realised it's not what Tiny Studio is about. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Have a look in our about section under Independent. It explains it all there.
This is a big one for me. (I will probably write a post about my feelings on social media in more depth.) I've recently removed myself from Facebook and will never go back. It's a bad company run by a bad guy with only money as the end goal for everything they do. The influence they have over the world at the moment is just plain scary. Now yes, I am on Instagram, which is very conflicting for me. I wish they were an independent company still and if nothing changes in the future, I will have to make some hard decisions. Twitter is the one place I still genuinely love and don't see myself leaving anytime soon. But again, this could change. It comes down to the company and how they conduct themselves.
For me running a lifestyle business means trying to fit the business into my life. I am looking at doing 4 day weeks. Half-day Mondays and Fridays, so I can really enjoy the weekends with my family. I also want to really enjoy my work and the moment that’s no longer the case, I will need to do something else. Family and friends come first and I will need to work hard to make sure they stay that way.
I think it covers almost everything. Maybe I will do a yearly recap and see where I have fallen short each year and update these as I go.
What are your values personally and professionally? Let me know, I'd love to know.
Remember to be thoughtful and kind.