Finding Success: A Junior Achievement Story

Personal advice from the Vice President of Production of a Top 5 Company in the Junior Achievement Company program 2015/2016

Success comes when you stop trying to succeed. That sounds weird but just think about it. Success happens when you just try to be the best in what you do. The difference between the two boils down to one thing: intentions. Often times, when you let go of the end reward and just focus on the end goal, you will often result in achieving a level of success that you never thought was possible — even without all the trophies and medals given. I learned this through my second year with Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta. During my second year with the program, a group of 25 students, including myself, embarked on a journey to run a business from the ground up. We were called Resona: a company who produces acoustic portable speakers for your cell phone. There were many factors that led to the decisions that we made. These decisions were imperative in keeping our company on the path to success — some of which I will highlight in this guide:

  1. Plan your values

Planning is important — but what’s arguably more important is writing down your ideas. Your company morals and your company values is a crucial part of how your company runs from day to day activities. In these values, you should outline what is the most important to you and each member of your company. Are you environmentally friendly? Do you focus on ethical sourcing? Is individualistic work more important than collaborative work? Is money the end goal? Be honest with yourselves and be truthful with who you are as individuals; make sure to stick to these values as the company executes its plan. Be sure to check back with these values compendiously and make sure you are on track with what you wanted to become. (P.S. it’s okay to change values as time goes on, just make sure everyone is on board with these changes and put them into effect right away — be efficacious!)

  1. Establish a helpline

Helplines are the people, or groups of people, that individuals can go to in times of conflict and confusion. These people can be an elected position (ex. Vice President of Human Resources) or even just a friendly face that everyone knows and can get along with. No matter who it is, it is extremely important that this individual is there whenever conflict arises. If conflict arises, everyone involved becomes less motivated to do their best and as time moves on, this depreciation of team morale can result in major setbacks for the company and for the the overall projection of the company’s growth. Squash all conflict right away — no matter how small it is — because something small for you may be a bigger deal for your co-worker. Tackle these problems with a friendly face; be truthful and diligent, but tackle them head on — don’t wait around!

2. Motivate each other

Motivation is the fuel of your company — it is what will drive your company to become the best it can be in the set time frame you have for yourselves. Encourage each other daily, no matter how hard the day has been. Everyone could use cheering up and the little compliments and positive thoughts add up at the end of the day. Give rewards for good work and encourage your employees to strive for their best daily. Not only will this raise the company dynamic for the better, it will also create a positive atmosphere for success to nurture and foster in.

3. Work hard, Play hard, but give back

This is arguably the most important part of any company. The “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality must be implemented in all activities that the company does. Tackle hard and long days head on and make sure you make these days the most productive; likewise, when it is time to relax, really take your time to unwind and loosen up — go for a coffee, or go play paintball. This will make your workday more efficient as well as more enjoyable. However, with whatever success you have, make sure to give back to the community in which you came from. Your community and support system is what brought you success in the first place and you should always give back to them. This doesn’t mean just give them money, but actually try to make a difference in the community: plant a tree, be involved with the youth, help out at a shelter. No matter what it is, any help you provide will not only give your company positive publicity, but it will also increase your company’s moral to new heights that’s unprecedented.