Structure and Straight Talk

Today as we continue our discussion of the PFSbrands Core Values, I will cover a Core Value that can lead to a happy life, whatever that might look like to you. I’m a strong proponent of the fact that everyone should find the right structure and balance when it comes to God, family, work, and everything else. It makes a huge difference and you will see why.

Likewise, if you’ve read my recent post on entitlements, I’m sure you can see that we believe in Straight Talk at PFSbrands. What’s the point of beating around the bush when you can just tell it like it is, in a tactful, respectful manner? It simplifies business, your relationships and your life. But before we dive deeper, let’s review the entire set of PFSbrands Core Values:

PFSbrands Core Values 

  1. Have fun
  2. Always treat others as you want to be treated
  3. Practice ‘ownership thinking’
  4. Positive ATTITUDE always
  5. I – There’s no I in TEAM
  6. No complaining
  7. Entitlements do not exist
  8. Structure & balance – God, family, work, and everything else
  9. Straight talk and Simple is better
  10. Remember that the customer is why we are here
  11. U never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression
  12. Learn to communicate openly through all channels
  13. Everyone has the opportunity to excel

If you follow the first letters down, you will notice that our Core Values spell out HAPPINESS RULE.  As we all live and work by these Core Values I guarantee you that our work will be more fun and more rewarding.  I’ve already broken down Core Values 1 through 7 and below you will see Core Values 8 through 9.

1. Have Fun

2. Always Treat Others as You Want to be Treated

3. Practice Ownership Thinking

4. Positive Attitude Always

5. I – There’s No I In Team

6. No Complaining

7. Entitlements Do Not Exist

8. Structure & Balance – God, Family, Work, & Everything Else

There aren’t a lot of employers out there that truly believe work should be third on employees’ priority list.  However, reality can never be hidden forever.  I realize everyone has a life outside of work.  I also realize that people who manage their personal lives successfully are more productive when they are at work.  This is why I encourage everyone to focus on their personal life and be sure to spend time with your family.

After starting the company out of my garage nearly 20 years ago, my personal work/life balance has been challenging. I’m sure the other business owners and company leaders out there can relate. However, I’ve continuously worked to improve in this area. Today, the awesome group of people at PFSbrands that think and act like owners help to make my work/life balance much better than it was in past years. Leading a business, especially a high-growth business, involves a unique level of dedication. I don’t have a lot of hobbies in my personal life because I’ve chosen to spend those non-working hours with my family.

As a dedicated business owner, I put a lot of pressure on myself to ensure I make the right business decisions for my immediate family and for my corporate family.  However, I’ve managed to always make time for family vacations, individual vacations with Julie, I’ve coached all three of my daughters in at least one sport, and I’ve made it a priority to be at every possible family event.

To Julie and my three daughters I can only say ‘thanks’ for all of the support and understanding.  These four individuals are a big part of what motivates me. They also realize how much I enjoy my work and helping others become more successful. I always tell my daughters to “dream big and always know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard”.

One tip to help you schedule personal time is to use your automated calendar (I use Outlook) and other technology to your advantage.  Schedule all of your personal events on this calendar.  Over the years I’ve gotten far better at “blocking time” to ensure that I am able to attend those events that are most important.

Structure and balance is different for everyone and it shifts throughout your life. It’s fair to say that most highly successful people work harder than people who are not as successful. However, regardless of your drive for success, remember to make time for those things in life that are most important to you.  Find your balance.

9. Straight Talk & Simple is Better

You’ve probably seen a theme with our Core Values.  While we treat each other with respect, don’t complain, and have fun, there comes a time when ‘straight talk’ is a necessity.  By this I mean EVERYONE has the right to tell anyone whatever is on their mind as long as they do it in a constructive and nondestructive manner.  This straight talk approach even means confronting me if there is something that you do not agree with. Those who embrace this approach capture my respect quickly.

The second part of this Core Value mentions that ‘simple is better’.  We all need to stay focused on keeping everything as simple as possible.  Far too often people and companies want to overcomplicate things. Keep it simple (KIS).


At PFSbrands, we strive to do things as efficiently as possible with as much clarity as possible. This relates to our personal lives as well. We ask our employee owners to find their personal clarity when it comes to their work/life balance. When people are happy outside of work, they will be more effective while at work and they will be better coworkers. When you combine this personal clarity with straight talk, you create an efficient, productive organization.

In our next Core Values installment we will discuss three more pivotal PFSbrands Core Values.