This is the paradox of business; to do or to build?
To help you master this paradox of business is what this unusual article is about, read on!
What Is The Paradox Of Business?
If you’ve been in business for some time now, you will begin to notice some certain re-occurring trends; while pursuing more business you sometimes stray from your primary/core business. You find yourself doing some other business that is not your core business so long as they rake in some cash.
While trying to get your business off the ground, you neglect some key strategic elements that can help your business on the long run. Deep down you know they are important, but just because they aren’t urgent you keep postponing them till it becomes too late.
While being occupied with the day-to-day operations of your business, you realize you’re no longer paying adequate attention to pursuing your vision. You suddenly forget about the change you originally set out to create in the industry. You forget about the very idea that inspired your going into business. You get caught in doing business as usual.
While making enough sales with your current product/service, you forget about product/service innovation. While satisfying existing customers, you fail to pursue new ones. While pursuing new ones, you fail to satisfy existing ones.
On and on, you find yourself and your business falling short in one or more important aspects of your business. All these are the realities of being in business and all these are what I refer to as the paradox of business.
The world of business is filled with so many contradictory roles, expectations and functions. It wouldn’t be out of place to say that business is very complex consisting of several aspects that are so contradictory in nature.
At one end is the pressure [need] to do whatever you can to keep the business going; this I refer to as hustlepreneurship –doing business. At the other end is the desire [want] to build your business into something great; this I refer to as entrepreneurship –building business.
And therein lies the paradox of business –the contradictory roles, expectation and functions of hustlepreneurship and entrepreneurship; the pressure of survival and the desire for significance; the need to do business and the want of building a business.
HUSTLEpreneurship: The NEED To Do Business
Dreams, desires or aspirations are important, but none of them comes true without action, work, execution or hustle. The entrepreneurial journey in most cases begins with a dream, a desire or aspiration to create something significant that will positively alter the lives of many. This is a noble cause and as with all noble cause, there’s need for action, work, execution or hustle.
Show me a successful entrepreneur and I will show you a man/woman who hustles. In the heart of entrepreneurship lies hustlepreneurship. You cannot have one without the other!
Hustlepreneurship is the inevitable art of doing business. It is inevitable because you simply cannot succeed in business if you are not prepared to do business. But what does it mean to do business? What does it mean to hustle?
Doing Business Means….
- Selling/closing a sale
- Freelancing/doing contracts
- Managing your Inventory/stock
- Accepting any and every deal
- Doing paper/administrative work
- Making contacts/networking
- Pursuing more business/revenue
- Servicing existing clients/customers
- Day-to-day operations
Here’s the bottom-line when it comes to hustlepreneurship; it’s all about focusing on the NOW, TODAY, SHORT TERM and forgetting or neglecting the future, tomorrow and long term. If you only focus on today as an entrepreneur, your business will not live to see tomorrow. This is what I call the most deadly trap of business; being caught up in doing business –hustlepreneurship.
Many entrepreneurs are not aware of this fact and that’s why their businesses suffer. Ironically, many are aware of this fact and yet their businesses still suffer. Why?
Because hustlepreneurship alone is not all that it takes to succeed in business. It is a necessary element of business success, but certainly not the ONLY element. I have met so many entrepreneurs who hustle their hearts out in business and yet they still struggle with their business. It is true you need to take action, work, execute and hustle to do business; but equally true is the fact that you should dream, plan, strategize and create structures to build your business.
Entrepreneurship: The DESIRE To Build A Business
Entrepreneurship is about starting, growing and building a business that matters. It is the deliberate use of one’s life to create a significant company that helps to solve one or more problems plaguing humanity.
As I have come to learn in business and also in life, it’s not just action, work, execution or hustle alone that amounts to success, no. What amount to success is strategic action, smart work, organized execution and deliberate hustle. This is what entrepreneurship entails.
Entrepreneurs don’t just do business, they build businesses!
The secret is this; let your hustle bring you closer to the fulfillment of your purpose, dream or goal of building a business that matters. This is what it means to succeed; this is what it means to make progress. Without a definite or desired end in mind, without the pursuit of something great or significant, all you do in your business is nothing but expended efforts. This is what I refer to as activity –anything that keeps you engaged, busy or occupied but doesn’t take you in the direction you want to go.
So, you need to balance your hustling with entrepreneurship. You need to NOT only do business but must begin to build a business. What does it mean to build a business?
Building A Business Means….
- Strategic Planning
- Strategic Execution
- Strategic Marketing
- Creating a powerful brand
- Creating a corporate culture/business DNA
- Creating operational processes/structures
- Developing competitive strategy
- Developing innovative products/services
- Developing your people/employees
- Delivering excellent customer services
- Forming strategic partnerships/alliance
- Improving existing products/services
- Launching new products/services
- Research and development
The bottom-line when it comes to building a business is to focus on tomorrow, the future and the long term. This is how great companies are built, they don’t only focus on being relevant today, they create the future.
They dream dreams, nurture ideas, create environments where creativity thrives, they form strategic alliances with others and they constantly seek out great talents to hire. They actively allocate their time into activities that helps them to continually remain relevant today, tomorrow and always.
The key to overcoming the paradox of business is to create a healthy balance between doing business [hustlepreneurship] and building business [entrepreneurship]. And the answer is simple; make sure all that you are doing in your business is aligned with and contributes to your corporate purpose.
In other words, don’t just do business [hustle], do ONLY what helps your business to go and grow in the right direction –entrepreneurship. And eliminate all other things that you do that doesn’t align with your corporate purpose.
Over to you
Where are you caught up in the paradox of business? Hustlepreneurship or entrepreneurship?
At what point in your business did you discover that you’ve been caught up in only one aspect of the paradox of business? What were the particular signs or trends that made you come to this realization?
What did you suddenly realize as a result of reading this unusual article? What new thing did you learn and how do you intend to apply it in your own business?