“What in the Sam Hill are the Minuses & Equals Doing in Your Business?”


That was the line delivered by a petite woman with big Texas hair and a matching southern drawl that brought down the house. She was right! We become like those we are surrounded by — and it could be hurting the growth of our business.

It’s impossible to “do it all” in business. That’s why we engage others to help with everything from administration to bookkeeping to marketing. It frees us to work “on” our business, rather than “in” our business.

Surrounding yourself with experts is good — as long as they aren’t equals or minuses for your business.

How Do Others Add-Up For Your Business

Based on the notion that we become who — or what — we hang around, the abrasive, yet effective, “southern belle” (term used loosely) proved a very valid point from which business owners can learn. Here was her tutorial:

  1.   Make a list of everyone with whom you spend time.
  2. Ask if yourself if you feel better, the same, or worse after being with them.
  3. Place a plus (+) sign next to those with whom you feel better about yourself when around them, an equal (=) sign after the names of those with whom you feel the same, and a minus (-) sign next to the individuals with whom you feel worse after spending time with.
  4. Based on the pluses, equals, and minuses, ask, “What in the Sam Hill am I doing hanging out with the equals and minuses?”

Point taken — with or without the southern drawl! Why would we want to spend time with those who don’t add, or even worse, subtract from our lives?!

Although her presentation was an essay for one’s life, there’s a lot of wisdom in what she shared that’s applicable to our business.

Consider those you engage to advance your business goals? Are they adding to or enhancing your goals? Do they produce little or no benefit to the progress of your goals? Or, are they slowing down your success, frustrating your efforts, and bottlenecking your growth? Are they a plus, equal, or a minus to your business growth?

Wait for it….


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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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