Tips for Innovative Entrepreneurship

By Joshua Simon, an EO Arizona is the owner and CEO of One Stop Voice and S/I Real Estate.

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” This is the motto I subscribe to in my personal life, and it has since become a part of our corporate culture at One Stop Voice. So … why the need to “hang tough”?

As a 20-something owner and CEO of multiple businesses, I must constantly prove myself in a crowded industry filled with business leaders twice my age. My determination to set goals and work tirelessly to achieve them is just one part of the equation that equals success. The other factor is that I strategically surround myself with likeminded employees who not only “get” my motto, they exemplify it. Here’s how we live this mantra in my company:

  • “In your face” goal setting. I’m a firm believer in goal setting, but jotting goals on Post-it notes or mentally visualizing them isn’t enough of a push for me, so I commit them to paper. Each employee—me included—develops a list of monthly goals, which are then posted in the common area of our office. Year-end goals are posted visibly at each employee’s desk. This is a great way for us to keep our goals top of mind, while encouraging each other to stay on track and hit our targets. The best part is that we can keep one another accountable and push each other to succeed.
  • Stand up for your employees. We take this quite literally. In fact, by eliminating sit-down meetings, we shortened our meeting times by 75 percent! During these “stand up” meetings, we pass around a rubber chicken, which indicates whose turn it is to talk freely versus talking over or interrupting each other. It works for us. My willingness to be unconventional relaxes employees and helps them achieve extraordinary results.
  • Tough times call for fun, inventive measures. Enduring tough times can wear out even the best employees. But today’s employer can’t hand out bonuses and gift cards to each employee who succeeds despite a difficult week, client or deal. What we can do is implement simple, fun tactics designed to blow off steam and boost employee morale. At One Stop Voice, we look forward to our flip-flop Fridays, our … ahem … “beverage” pong tournaments, and other fun diversions that complement our corporate culture.
  • Tough love pays off. Flip-flop Friday may seem like all fun and games, but it is a strategic part of a larger business equation: Happy employees equal motivated employees, and motivated employees equal satisfied clients. And we all know that satisfied clients are the ones willing to spend at least 10 percent more for your services. They are also the ones hyping your business up to friends, neighbors and clients.

Earning respect as a leader has little to do with one’s age or company budget. Strong leaders have confidence in their abilities and the people around them, and they engage people in innovative and inspiring ways. So, when the going gets tough, keep these strategies in mind. I assure you the tough employees will rise to the occasion.


Fun fact: For six years, Joshua has hosted the charity event “Mazelpalooza” every Christmas Eve for 600+ Jewish young adults.


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