Learning and Growing in Business
Last year, while working from home, KTM Solutions celebrated our 15th anniversary. Over the next few months, Paul Kumler, PE, president and co-founder of KTM, reflected on the life lessons he’s learned as KTM has continued to grow.
As a team that always wants to keep improving, we’re still reflecting on these principles.
Always tell yourself the truth.
The first lesson is a reminder first off to be honest. But it’s also a reminder to be as realistic as you can be, not being too optimistic or too pessimistic but taking a moment to account for your own biases and personality bents and consider the real state of things. What can you realistically handle on your own, and where do you need outside help?
Take care of everyone.
If you’re being honest with yourself and others, lesson two should follow. We all need other people, and the business world is no exception. Think about all the people involved in making your business successful: employees, customers, suppliers. Suppliers are often ignored in this situation.
In a healthy business ecosystem, employees need to be satisfied with their workplace atmosphere and compensation, customers need to be happy with what they receive for what they’ve paid, and suppliers need to know that their contribution is valued and that they’ll be fairly compensated for what they supply.
Stare down the dragon.
Starting a business takes guts. Gumption. Tenacity. The excitement of a new venture can soon become clouded by doubt, fear, and uncertainty. This three-headed dragon is daunting, for sure. When facing it, it’s important to remain steady and to remember lessons 1 and 2—recognize what you can control and what you can’t, and look for how you can do right by the people affected by your business. So lesson three is to stare it down and keep your calm.
Fill your business (and your life) with good people.
This final lesson is essential for a healthy work environment. Every employer wants to hire the best people. But what makes any given group of employees “the best”? First, of course, they’ll have the technical skills necessary to perform the tasks of their job.
But on top of technical proficiency, excellent people demonstrate four traits: humility with a teachable attitude, integrity, service to others, and passion. A humble employee who’s honest, eager to help others, and excited about their work (and, by extension, your business!) will add tremendous value to your organization and help you build a strong community.
Learning Is Ongoing
We’re never done learning. At KTM, we recognize that, and we’re eager to help other businesses in the ways that we can. If you’re looking for help with engineering or analysis services, just contact us and let our engineers develop a custom solution.