Jay Steinfeld, the founder and CEO of blinds.com, spoke with Ramon Ray, founder of SmartHustle.com on the power of diversity and how he led Blinds.com to be so successful. He started his billion-dollar brand working with his wife and selling blinds out of the back of a trunk! Check out the podcast and Check out the video
Key points discussed
- Jay was early in using technology, like having a website, to grow Blinds.com. In the early 1990’s selling products via a website was not popular. It was catalogs, phone banks and etc.
- The power of building a minimal viable product and then iterating and building from that.
And I’ll tell you that one more thing, my definition of success is not about achieving something or is something extrinsic like that. It’s about being in the process of getting better.
Mr. Steinfeld is passionate about creating a workplace that humanizes employees and fosters creativity. He encourages them to come up with new ideas and speak openly with him and other managers when they think that something can be improved. This is vital in forming an inclusive workplace culture where people’s voices are heard and deeply respected.
He was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year, and he has a lot of wisdom regarding managing companies and growing a business.
The Four E’s
In Mr. Steinfeld’s book, 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity, he introduced the “four E’s” concept, which reminds leaders to use specific strategies to improve the way they manage their companies and organizations.
The First “E” – Evolve
To continuously evolve as a leader is to be in a position where you are constantly learning new ways to improve yourself personally and professionally. Your evolution is instrumental to your success because each year brings new challenges, and you shouldn’t be handling things as poorly as you did when you first started. Leaders must evolve as much as possible to increase their long-term prosperity.
The Second “E” – Experiment
A good business leader needs to be experimental by nature. You shouldn’t be bogged down by doubts and fears of failure that cause you to do things the same way they’ve always been done because this gets you nowhere. Being experimental will be useful for entrepreneurs who aspire to lead innovative companies that offer timely solutions to issues in the market. Be experimental, be innovative, and be willing to change.
The Third “E” – Express Yourself
This is an important one! You need to express yourself effectively as a leader and create an environment where others can express themselves freely with you. This will welcome diverse opinions that will drive your company forward. By creating an environment where people are safe and respected, they’re more likely to share their diverse opinions with you, which will help you experiment with their ideas and eventually help you evolve.
The Fourth “E” – Enjoy the Ride
This means that you should still do things that excite you. If you embark on a journey that many people don’t take, and you’re constantly trying out new things, then you’re bound to have some fun along the way. One of the ways that Mr. Steinfeld lets himself enjoy the ride is by surrounding himself with like-minded people who genuinely enjoy chartering new waters and breaking barriers.
With these “four Es,” you will succeed in business, and Mr. Steinfeld looks at it as a matter of when not if. He encourages people to question whether they have created enough time to improve at the pace of their business growing incrementally.
Diversity of Opinion
The Third E focuses on expression and the importance of creating an environment where even the people you work with are free to share differing opinions with you. Mr. Steinfeld looks at this as a vital part of your evolution as a leader and your company’s growth.
He emphasizes that having a diversity of opinion in the workplace is a great way to share new innovative ideas and for your team to show you new ways of looking at things. There are bound to be instances where you have disagreements, but how you react to those differences in opinion is incredibly important.
Mr. Steinfeld encourages people to use their voices and share their differing opinions because it’s essential to feel heard and respected in the workplace. Even if he doesn’t take their suggestions into action, he still clarifies that their contributions are valuable and considers them an important part of running his organization.
When a leader creates an open and inclusive workplace, it encourages deep thought and innovation. If people feel scared to express differing opinions, there is less experimentation and fewer chances for evolution. It’s essential that other leaders are able to take this advice into consideration because it has helped Mr. Steinfeld become an impactful business leader.
Smart Hustle Resources
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