Q: How do you build the world’s greatest company?
A: By doing BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL!
Of all activities known to humanity, engaging in something for the mere sake of merely surviving is the most hazardous to our journey here on earth as human beings. I have never been comfortable with the thought of merely doing things. It really doesn’t make much sense having to spend time, effort and resources doing things just like every other person does it.
In my opinion, the joy of any activity be it in business or in life, is in its outcome or the result it produces. No one cares nor will ever care about whatever you are doing unless it’s creatively being done in such a way that it is significantly different (unique) and significantly affects the life of others (useful).
This statement is true both in life and in business. Your ability to stand out from the crowd (being different) is what will determine whether you will be spotted or not and your ability to consistently add value (making a difference) is what will determine whether you will be rewarded or not.
It is one thing to be spotted as a result of one’s uniqueness and it is another thing to be rewarded as a result of one’s usefulness. Being spotted is good, but being rewarded is better. Greatness in life or in business is a function of these two factors; uniqueness (being different) and usefulness (making a difference). Therefore, the mathematical equation for greatness whether in business or in life is this;
Greatness = uniqueness (being different) + usefulness (making a difference)
Making this equation a reality in your business is what this article is all about. As an entrepreneur, if your idea of a great company is to own a business that makes you loads of money, then I suggest you find another career path for yourself, because being an entrepreneur might not be your thing.
Why? Because true entrepreneurs seek to make a difference by creating something new and exciting; money is never their primary objective. Their sole objective for going into business is to build a significant company. That is; a company that is different (uniqueness) and making a difference (usefulness).
To bring this significant company into existence and nurture it into greatness is the passion of a true entrepreneur. Money is never their main reason for existing, to them, money is only a reward or the result of their commitment and passion to building a great company. As a result, true entrepreneurs don’t do business as usual – they go about business in an unusual manner.
In other words, true entrepreneurs are not motivated by money rather they are motivated by a cause. They go into business to make a vision, idea or dream a reality both for themselves and for others. Their passion is building a significant company and nurturing it into greatness.
In essence, true entrepreneurs see themselves as an artist whose work of art or painting is a great company. This is why their approach to business is so unlike the general norm. This is because they have a picture in their mind of what their company should look like when it is done and it is this picture or imagination that dictates how they go about their business. That’s why they seldom go by the rules of traditional businesses. They play only by their own set of rules. Their approach to business is internally inspired rather than externally inspired.
The making of a great company
As we’ve always emphasized on naijapreneur, a business that doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything. The first step to greatness is to decide to be different. There’s no way you can be great by trying to be like others. As it’s the case with we humans, so it is with businesses too; no two businesses are the same. Greatness is a function of finding your own uniqueness as an entrepreneur and building a company that expresses that uniqueness. It involves being true to yourself and sticking to what you do better than any other person.
In the context of business, greatness is about finding a reason for being other than just making profit. Until you can look beyond the money and discover a bigger picture (purpose) for your business, greatness will remain a dream. So here is the challenge for you as an entrepreneur whose desire is to build a great company; “what’s so special about your company?” “What contributions is your company making in the world?” “What will your company be remembered for?” “What cause is your business fighting?”
Dell Computer Corporation has been fighting the cause of providing customized personal computers at affordable prices to customers for the past 26 years.
The Walt Disney Company has been fighting the cause of bringing happiness to many through their films for the past 87 years.
Google Inc has been fighting the cause of organizing the world’s information for the past 12 years.
Wal-Mart has been fighting the cause of providing the average man on the street everyday low prices for the same stuff the rich buy from other stores at higher prices.
If you haven’t discovered answers to those questions yet, now is the time to decide what you want your company to stand for and what you don’t want your company to stand for. In other words, decide what your company is going to be about and what it is not going to be about. For only companies that stand for something can truly become great.
Tthe second step to greatness in business as well as in life is to consistently add value to people; for service to many leads to greatness. Having decided on what your company is going to stand for in the first step now is the time for you to deliver on all that your company stands for. Defining your uniqueness is about making a brand promise to the world, stating clearly what your company is about. Delivering your usefulness is about fulfilling that brand promise every single day to every single customer that comes in contact with your company.
It’s one thing to be unique, but it’s another to be useful. Unless your uniqueness delivers some usefulness to the world, no one will give a damn about how special you are. The very essence of defining your uniqueness (being different) in the first place is to enable you to better deliver your usefulness (make a difference).
Your uniqueness tells the world there is something special about you and what to expect from you. Delivering your usefulness is a confirmation of what your uniqueness has previously suggested to them. Your uniqueness makes them seek you out from the rest of the pack, but your usefulness is what will guarantee if they will stick with you or not after the first contact with your company.
The goal is to ensure that your uniqueness delivers some usefulness. In other words, let your being different make a difference. That is; build a company that is specially known for adding specific value(s) to the world!
So here’s the big challenge;
“What does the world benefit from your uniqueness?”
“Is your being special impacting others?”
Until there is a perfect blend between these two elements of greatness in your company, there’s no way you can build a great company no matter how much you desire it.
Over to you my dear reader; how have you been able to separate your business from the rest of the pack in your industry? In what way is your business making a difference? Kindly share your thoughts and comments below.