Let’s Clean This Place Up!

“The world is not to be put in order; the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”
—Henry Miller

A few years ago, I was the publisher of a magazine called Creating Excellence. We were nearing an important advertising deadline and were a long way from reaching our sales objectives.

I called a full staff meeting for some green-light thinking on ways we could bring in new business and fill the holes we had in the upcoming issue.

There were several good ideas tossed about with almost everyone contributing—except for Ann. Ann always had something helpful to offer, so it was out of character that she hadn’t said anything.

When there was a lull in the brainstorming, she got everybody’s attention when she said, “Let’s clean this place up!”

Everyone turned to her with puzzlement and asked her to explain. She suggested that we devote an entire day to clean the office from top to bottom.

Now, a magazine production space is a busy place and not always one that appears neat and organized. Ours definitely fit this description. It had been a long while since it had been completely cleaned.

Her suggestion wasn’t met with immediate enthusiasm, but in keeping with our rule of not disparaging any ideas brought up in a brainstorming session, Ann was allowed to outline why she thought it was more than just a good idea.

In spite of the fact we were already behind in our work, she maintained that taking a day to put our “home” in order would enable us to work and sell from a better place.

She added another dimension to something I had said many times about successful sales, “It’s not so much what you say, but the space you say it from.” She convinced us that it was indeed worth it to create a new place to work from—one that provided a new perspective.

The cleanup went beyond the Friday we scheduled and into the weekend. Some even came in to paint. With everyone helping, the entire office looked and felt different.

And so did we.

It worked! We all pulled together to hit our sales goal. Everyone felt the change in attitude. We had more pride, and we felt more organized. We also sold more ads. Our customers could sense it.

We embodied excellence, which was what we were selling.

Take a good look at your workspace. Is it inspiring? Is it enjoyable to spend time there? If not, have at it. Make it some-thing to be proud of. You’ll find yourself being more productive and experience more joy in doing so.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.