Ever since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to be a company’s boss. I had no clue about the products or services I should offer, but I dreamed of becoming a boss anyway. Whenever my friends and I would play, there would rarely be a time when I would not ask if we could role-play an office scenario next.
I hope my dream did not turn you off right away. I did not aspire to become one because I loved getting people’s attention or egotistical belief that I was better than anyone. It just happened that I grew up watching my mother take care of me and her nail salon business at the same time.
My mother used to get up at 5 A.M. on weekdays to prepare my breakfast and drive me to school. After that, she would do a business inventory and open the establishment. Mom would only leave the nail salon at 2:45 P.M. to pick me up, but she would eventually return with me and stay there until 7 P.M.
How Did Success Come?
I very much wanted to say that Mom managed to achieve everything independently, but we all know that could not be true. No matter how impressive your ideas or leadership skills were, they would not amount to anything if you got lazy employees.
Since my mother was nice and fair to her nail technicians, their high level of respect shone through their work. They treated the clients kindly; they were always gentle during the process. Why? That’s because the employees wanted to represent Mom and her nail salon well.
Watching all this happen every day during my childhood solidified my dream of owning a business one day.
Gaining A First-Hand Experience (And Failing)
For one of my electives in college, I had the opportunity to lead a mockup company for three weeks. I was over the moon when the professor appointed me as the boss (leader), considering it suited my life-long dream. More importantly, I did not need to spend any money to build it.
The thing was, my mockup company was met with challenges from the start, primarily due to my “employees” not wanting to do anything I asked of them. I would express myself nicely, but one would be like, “You’re not the boss of me, missy.” It got so bad that we all got a C in that class.
A-C! As a straight-A student, I found that as a low blow. That’s especially true because it’s the #1 class that I should have topped. But since my so-called employees refused to give me at least an inch, I almost failed it.
Talking To A Therapist
I am not proud to admit this, but I went home crying that day. I felt like what happened was so unfair – I should have gotten a better grade. Though my mother tried to talk me out of it, I could barely listen to her. So, she thought of inviting her friend/therapist over to our home.
IT WAS PRETTY INFORMAL when I chatted with the therapist because I was technically not signing up for therapy. But since she was like an aunt to me, I told her about my dilemma without a filter. I also mentioned how upset I was with my classmates for not cooperating with me.
After my lengthy speech, the therapist said, “I understand how you may have felt cheated due to how your so-called employees did not help you in any way. However, because you want to own a company in the future, you should know that many people typically act as your classmates did. The key is to look for signs of maturity in a person during the hiring process.”
“What are those signs of maturity at work?” I asked.
Professional people would always keep conversations professional, even if you asked something as simple as, “How are you doing?” or “What went wrong?” It would be easy to detect an unprofessional individual if they start talking about coming to work after a night-long party or being more focused after a night of drinking.
Professionalism is also evident when you attend a meeting or work when you previously said you would. Unless there is a real emergency, nothing should keep people from being punctual, especially if they have set the time and date themselves.
Asking Many Questions
Individuals who ask too many questions are more matured than those who claim to know everything from the beginning. According to the therapist, “The know-it-alls typically make the gravest mistakes. Then, when you call them out, you’d be lucky to receive an apology because many of them merely come up with excuses.”
I took the therapist’s words to heart and applied them when I started looking for employees for my first restaurant.
Did I manage to filter out the immature people? Not 100%, no. Some managed to get in because they were excellent at posing. However, thanks to what I learned about maturity years ago, I got to see them for who they were at once.