August 2019 - Nand Kishore Chaudhary

The one emotion that will take your business to new heights

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NK Chaudhary's One Emotion

People often ask me what is the secret to success. These people are usually looking for some business formula or method that will translate into overnight success. Not only do these folks realize that there is no such thing as quick success but they are often unable or unwilling to understand what is the basis of true success.

When I give my answer, many think I am joking. That is because I believe that any organization that wants to succeed in this day and age must include love as the foundation of its culture. In my opinion, nothing worthwhile happens without love – and that includes developing a good business plan.

After graduating from college, I had to make a very important decision. Choosing the safe path would have given me a steady job and financial security. This would be the dream of any young person. Yet, I was not convinced that this was the path that I was meant to follow.

I struggled with my choice but eventually decided that I could not be happy in a standard 9 to 5 type of job. After much reflection and thought I realize that my dreams lay in the rural artisans who create carpets.

Having observed these artists since I was young, I was very familiar with their work and lifestyle. It became my passion to make sure that these the skills that these people possess were nurtured and preserved.

This all came from a place of love. Of course, I needed to support myself and my growing family, but that need was secondary to the work of promoting rural craftspeople and their art.

Traditional business people laughed at me when they discovered how I was running my business. But these people did not understand because they operated not with their hearts but with their egos. I can’t blame them because that is how business has always been traditionally run.

Even after all this time and success to back up my experiment, some people still do not understand this concept of having love as a basis of everything you do in business. Fortunately, many people are waking up to conscious capitalism and are realizing that profits can no longer reign supreme over people.

With love comes trust. Placing trust in someone or something is one of the hardest things that we can do in life. When we trust someone fully, then we become vulnerable. If things go as planned, then it is good. But if we are cheated, then we are heartbroken.

During my years, I have trusted people and I have been cheated. But one thing I did not do is to lose sight of the love in everything. I trust and love my workers. As a result, I receive the same back. When employees feel they are trusted, they will give you loyalty and work hard to complete your mission. There are times when the trust is broken but you cannot let that bring you down because the rewards of infusing love in everything you do is well worth it.

Family businesses can maximize goodness.

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JRC Family

Businesses have always been a family affair. Family-run businesses account for the vast majority of organizations across the globe. In the U.S. alone, these types of companies make up 64% of the country’s gross domestic product. An astounding 78% of new jobs emanate from family organizations, according to the Conway Center for Family Business.

For me, my business is my life just as my family is. I see no difference between the two because there is a deep connection between my family and our organization. My organization is simply an extension of my family. I am very proud and lucky to have my children involved in significant ways in our company.

Even before my children were born, I had made a deep connection with rural weavers. I wanted to make a meaningful impact in the world and knew I could do this by working with these talented artisans and helping them nurture their art. In this sense, a lifelong relationship was born between the artisans and me.

This was the beginning of my pursuit of a purpose-driven company. I was – and am – more interested in the overall well-being of people than in profits. We do not view the artisans as mere makers of a product. Our goal is to nurture their talent so that they flourish. Instead of mechanically churning out rugs, the weavers’ natural creativity is enhanced, and their wisdom is used in the business process.

From this, our Manchaha (Artisan Originals) collection was born. This was an experiment that metamorphosed into a movement for exploration, professional growth, and empowerment. Rather than relying on a designer’s work to make a rug, artisans are given full artistic freedom to create a unique piece.

By doing this, we hope to demonstrate to the weavers how valuable they are to our organization while at the same time tapping into their ingenuity. When a person is given the freedom to do what he or she wants, the sky is the limit. We want the artisans to feel trusted. Trusting employees is one of the simplest things an organization can do to build confidence and loyalty. Happy and fulfilled workers stay with a company and outperform others.

This is especially important with a family company, who after a few generations, can decline into a sense of well-being and eventually lose that founder’s mentality that made them a success in the first place. The key to regaining that passion and drive is to make sure that anything you do in an organization is done with “we” in mind and not just “I.”

When you conduct business with the primary purpose of enriching just yourself, that comes from an egocentric place and has few benefits. But when you look at the whole picture and become as inclusive as possible, you can make real social change. These are companies that enjoy sustainable and long-term success. Better yet, they make an organization with meaning and purpose.