Last year I learned about Walker & Company and their Bevel brand of shaving and personal care styling products. What first attracted me to the company was their online magazine BevelCode.com that offers tips on style and personal care products. In September I purchased their shaving system and wrote a review about the product and company which will help you understand the following article better.
I’ve spent the past few months enjoying the best shave in the world, and reading the Bevel Code online magazine. Understandably, the magazine tends to favor the topic of shaving, since that’s what their product line is about. No company selling razors and shaving products ever tells people, “Here’s how to grow a full beard.”
Well… at least not until now.
This week I was checking out the current issue of BevelCode and was surprised to land on their website and find the featured story titled, “The Road to a Fuller Beard.” See the screenshot below.
Seeing that article reminded me of times when I’d made business choices that seemed contrary to common practice: helping out a competitor in need, placing ads on my own website promoting others who offer the same services I do, and teaching people how to be self-sufficient and not need my services at all.
When managing a retail store in California, I would occasionally take my customers next door to my competitor’s store when our own store didn’t have what they needed. I knew their floor plan just as well as my own. It became a kind of stunt that entertained the sales people and customers.
So, the article above is something that resonates with me when it comes to how business should be run. There are times when we need to rise above what might be immediately profitable, and do something ‘just because.’
We all know that life is more than just work. We need time off, to refresh, recharge, and renew. We take time off for vacations and to spend time with family. Balance is important. It’s just as important for a business, as it is for an individual, to not focus 100% of attention on that which produces money. Money isn’t the ultimate bottom line that determines our decision process.
As an advocate of small houses, having helped build a global movement, I’ve always tried to leave room for a discussion about the value of larger homes. I’ve been very vocal about how for some people larger homes may have advantages over small homes. I have friends with huge homes. We don’t stop being friends. Whatever cause we promote, it’s good to understand and be able to articulate the alternate view. To be effective, you really need to take ownership of the entire story.
The same is true for business. If a company sells a shaver, they should also be able to understand and appreciate and value those who choose to go bearded rather than beardless. We’re all one. Bevel is a company that’s known for selling shaving products to African American men. Yet, as a white guy with a beard, who needs to do a little cleanup around the edges, I find their products are exceptional and the company is welcoming to anyone. That’s the perfect example of how business should be.
So, this is what I learned about Bevel through their latest featured story.
Below are the values that the Walker & Co. business is founded on. It’s a list we could benefit from as individuals.
Walker & Co. Values
The Walker & Co. values are an encouraging departure from business as usual:
COURAGE. Our vision requires the courage and conviction to believe that we will build a great company that changes the world.
INSPIRATION. Inspiration is in the soul of everything we make and sell. A laser focus and attention to craft, to detail, to colors, to ingredients, to experience. Our success requires it.
RESPECT. Our community requires and deserves our respect. They’re the reason we can be inspired and excited to come to work every single day.
JUDGMENT. We are our brands. We are responsible for every single action we take, everything we deliver to consumers’ homes and every single interaction they have with us.
WELLNESS. We eat well, we sleep well, we keep fit and we care to help and support each other and our families.
LOYALTY. We are loyal to a great workplace and team. We are committed to building a great, lasting company for the long term. We’re playing to win and will give it the effort and focus it deserves.