Running a business is hard. Damn hard!
If you have employees, you must be the one to lead them. You need to train them, establish policies, procedures, and protocols that will be followed. You’ll likely need to cater your operations to suit their needs and preferences. It generally takes a lot of paperwork and patience.
If you have investors, you’ll be asked to show regular and growing progress while you work towards returning the investment plus a worthy return. You’ll likely need to alter your operations to suit their needs, preferences, ideas, and connections. Yes, this too often comes along with its own share of paperwork or reports.
If you opt to not have employees or investors, it is often seems a little easier. The trade off is that you must do everything yourself. You are the one to create and live the brand or persona of the business, communicate it to prospective customers in ways that will generate revenue. You get to be the one who signs each contract, fulfills it, and accounts for the billing. Even here in the age of all this technology; it still seems to take a lot of paperwork.
You need to supply large amounts of passion, persistence, imagination, ingenuity, confidence, vulnerability, character, patience drive, flexibility, understanding, curiosity, and determination. I am certain I have left out a few attributes from the list.
Time and timing is one of the most difficult aspects of a business. Most experts seem to agree that it takes between 5-10 years to build a business to a point it develops any real momentum, stability, and/or consistent cash flow. Most businesses begin with about 6-12 months of funding.
Errors, mistakes, failures, and a multitude of broken things are going to happen when you least expect or want them to happen.
While it might come across as pessimistic or uninspiring; it is only because most owners come at business from a dated perspective. Measuring effort over time to calculate a profit.
Taking a 21st Century approach looks to maximize PURPOSE rather than profit; we see a different relationship begin to emerge. Working towards purpose gives social context needed to engage customers, employees, investors, and even yourself. Ironically, by shifting most of the focus away from profit, we get situations that are better equipped to produce profit than before.
Having a clear and concise purpose supersedes all notions of profit, marketing, operations, product development, and everything else. It actually serves as a resource for unending inspiration that we can draw from like we draw light, warmth, and energy from the sun.
Like focusing the light of even a late autumn sun with a magnifying glass to ignite a dry leaf; our purpose gets more powerful the more we refine and focus it.
What is your purpose?
How do you share it?
How are others inspired by it?
How do they live it?
Help people through these questions and you will find them building stronger connections to you and your purpose.