Businesses that work with me know that my business and I have the privilege of working with companies both small and large. There is an ocean of difference between the “Start-up” and Corporate ends of the business spectrum. The issue that most commonly shows up though concerns us as human beings, and of course all businesses are just human beings gathered together to achieve a common purpose (and led by Wonder Woman or Superman right?)
I constantly meet people in business who are unhappy with their current lot. It doesn’t seem to matter what situation they’re in, most particularly whether they’re “successful” or not as judged by society’s current yardstick. Sometimes it seems that everyone is discontented and looking for the next big answer.
The reality is that we’re actually wired as humans to always want more. Whether that’s due to us needing to compete for limited natural resources to secure our own well-being (the Darwinian theory) or our inner discontent keeping us on the lookout for ways of improving our chances of survival, the fact is we all know what the forces feel like that keep us pushing towards the next mountain peak.
So what’s the answer to life, the universe and everything else you might ask?
Sadly I can’t tell you your answer, however I can assure you the answer lies within you, or more specifically with your “Why”. Your “Why” provides the context for your business – the strategy you adopt and everything else that’s done to make your business strategy happen. Figuring out how you want to measure your business – and your life for that matter - means making a stand for something and then moving forward in alignment with it. Making a stand for something – just like an effective strategy - means making choices about what NOT to do as well as what you will be doing.
Here’s my Top Three tips for finding your business “Why”:
- Ask yourself: Why does your business exist – what difference does it make?
- Figure out what success looks like for you. And don’t let yourself off the hook by just defining a monetary value…..recognise that sacrifices need to be made and don’t be seduced by the “you can have it all” cult
- Write down your “Why” and share it!
Enjoy your business journey – let me know if you’re not enjoying the trip and need some help with that – and rest assured that when you run out of things to do you’ll experience a little of what philosophers’ call “the melancholy of all things completed”.
And don’t forget to pause occasionally to celebrate your success – you’ve earnt it!