This is going to be a very passionate post, so I want to pre-warn you early, stay off now if you don’t want to experience a radical paradigm shift in the way you do business.
Last week Monday I wrote a guest post on bloggingbookshelf about trading comments and that article really caused uproar. While this post is not necessarily a follow up on that, the underlying principle remains the same and that is;
“Why should you settle for GOOD when you can have GREAT?”
Two kinds of business: Good or Great?
Management guru, Jim Colins wrote a classical book on this issue titled; “good to great” where he emphatically stated that the enemy of great is good. I couldn’t agree more. You see, there is absolutely no joy in doing anything unless you are prepared to give it your best shot. Being good is never good enough when there’s nothing holding you back from being great. You are only going to end up shortchanging yourself if all you ever want to be and do is ‘good’. Good businesses are the first who gets swallowed up by the great ones.
All businesses are not created equal. Hence, there two kinds of businesses;
1. Good Companies: Business as Usual
These are companies whose customers simply TOLERATE them because they haven’t seen an alternative provider yet. These are the companies who do business as usual. Their customers ENDURE rather than ENJOY their products or services. They are good businesses, but don’t last long. Why? Because there is nothing unusual [extraordinary] about them other than that they are in business and make profits.
2. Great Companies: Business NOT as Usual
These are companies who don’t have customers but have fans that CELEBRATE rather than tolerate what the company does. They are companies who defy the norms to build unusual businesses that not only become profitable but also make the world a better place for all their stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and so on. They are great businesses; they stand the test of time. Why? Because there is something unusual [extraordinary] about them other than just making profits. That unusual element that completely distinguishes great companies from all others is purpose.
Great companies who do business not as usual surprisingly become more profitable than those who do business as usual. Why? Because the best way to make profit is by touching lives. These companies set out to change the world. They are more profitable than their counterparts because they do the unusual [extraordinary] in order to achieve the unusual [extraordinary]. They are not the average everyday businesses, they are SIGNIFICANT – unique [different] and useful [making a difference].
They are the Procter and Gamble, Virgin Group, Google, Apple Inc., Wal-Mart, Facebook, Sony, Disney, Harpo Inc., Amazon, Nordstrom, HP, Starbucks, McDonalds, Fedex, Grameen Bank, Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, GE, CNN, and so on.
What makes them STAND OUT?
They set out not in pursuit of profits only, but also purpose.
They set out to impact lives positively through the innovative products or services they offer. They pursue purpose then surprisingly, profit follows them. Why? Because purpose is profitable!
Their customers become loyal fans because these companies touch their hearts before asking for what’s in their hands. These customers didn’t become raving fans of these companies because they were profit-driven, certainly not. They became raving fans because these companies were purpose-driven. Profits to them is a function of being SIGNIFICANT [different and making a difference!] Meaning, they make their profits by fulfilling a purpose. In fulfilling that purpose, customers who strongly believe in the mission of the business line up behind them as raving fans. My guess is, this wouldn’t have been possible had these companies put profit first at the expense of their core purpose. Why? Because humans connect and align with meaning [purpose] more than they do with things [profit].
What Kind of business are you building?
Life is too short to give room for mediocrity. You are either in business to survive [get by] or you are in business to thrive [succeed]. Don’t know about you, but I am in business to be SIGNIFICANT. When the first three names are being mentioned of businesses making waves in my industry, I want to be in the first or second place within a given number of years. I don’t see why I should be putting up with all the harsh realities of being an entrepreneur if I am going to end up being just like the rest. My goal is to be the king of my niche and that my dear, calls for a radical approach to business, a commitment to diligence and excellence and a purpose greater than just making profits. These are timeless principles a lot of people, even the so called entrepreneurs tend to shy away from. They chicken out at the thought of building a truly great company just because they are afraid of getting out of their comfort zones. The truth is, to build a truly SIGNIFICANT [great] business, will require a rare breed of entrepreneurs with an unusual mindset towards business.
From the get go, I have made it very clear to anyone who visits this site that I am only interested in those rare entrepreneurs who really want to change the world through their businesses. Meaning, unless you are set to build a SIGNIFICANT business, one that will be different [unique] and be making a difference [useful] don’t hang around here or near anything I’m involved in!
I wonder what you are doing in the world of business if you are not prepared to give it your best shot. Why would you want to settle for good when you can go for great? Entrepreneurship is not for the lazy bones, it is for those with a diehard spirit. My fellow blogger JK Allen would call them ‘hustlers’. I refer to them as ‘unusual’ and AJ Leon calls them ‘misfits’. If you asked Seth Godin, he would say they are ‘Linchpins’. Whatever title that basically suggests an inclination and mindset of challenging the status quo is absolutely suitable for people like us.
Are you ONE of US?
Emerging all over the blogosphere and even in the world of traditional businesses are a new breed of entrepreneurs. An unusual set of people who are altering the way business is being done. These are the creative entrepreneurs. They are unusual in their approach to business because of their passion to make a difference by unleashing their creativity. To these rare breeds, business is an expression of their creativity and not just a means of livelihood. To these rare breeds, business is about following their calling [purpose] much more than just making money [profits].
The average entrepreneur goes into business with one underlying mindset; to make money. The average entrepreneur is profit-driven. The opposite is however the case with an unusual entrepreneur. The unusual entrepreneur goes into business with one underlying mindset; to create change. The unusual entrepreneur is purpose-driven.
They are the entrepreneurs who see business not as another avenue for amassing wealth only, but also as an avenue for making a difference. They will not make profit at the expense of purpose. Their approach to business is different as they focus more on making their profits by making a difference. Profit to them is a by-product of making a difference. Their products/services are instruments for making a difference. Their employees are agents of change. Entrepreneurship to them is about utilizing their creativity in providing solutions in the form of products or services to the problems plaguing humanity.
They see no difference between business and life; rather they see business as an extension of life. As a result, they weave their passion for living [purpose] into their business. Putting it differently, they build a business around their purpose. Implying that a business to the unusual entrepreneur is an instrument for fulfilling purpose.
For the unusual entrepreneur, purpose comes first before profits. Their main obsession is how far they can go in fulfilling their purpose. By so doing, they focus more on the development and deployment of their strengths (talents, gifts and passion) with the sole aim of using their creativity to enrich humanity.
This is the irony of being an unusual entrepreneur, when you put purpose first, profits follow. Why?
Because purpose is profitable.
Meaning, profit [making money] is the reward gotten for fulfilling purpose [making a difference]. In essence, it pays you more to focus on achieving purpose rather than merely pursuing profits since you cannot get profit [make money] until you fulfill purpose [make a difference].
Summing it up, I would say it’s all about; MAKING A PROFIT BY MAKING A DIFFERENCE. That is, fulfilling purpose [making a difference] is the ONLY way to be profitable [make money] in business. This is the unusual twist of nature; to get [make profits], you must first give [fulfill purpose]. There is no other way. Nature is no respecter of persons; you either comply or live with the consequences.
Stay Away if you are not ONE of US!
Unless you want to build the kind of business that positively affects the lives of many as a result of not conforming to the status quo but rather challenging it, naijapreneur! and anything from my company MADphilips is not meant for you. Seriously, they will only purge you rather than help you. Unless you want to create something really SIGNIFICANT, don’t come near us. The principles and practices taught on this site are paradigm shifting and can make you question popular believes. But if you are courageous enough and willing to take your business to unprecedented heights, then they are precisely what you need. We are not normal; we are highly contagious because we are purpose-driven. Our business and passion is doing the unusual [extraordinary] in order to achieve the unusual [extraordinary!]
Over to you, what kind of a business are you building? Is your business doing something really, really SIGNIFICANT – different [unique] and making a difference? [Useful] In other words, what purpose is your business really fulfilling?
If after reading this, you so feel like becoming ONE of us, fill the form below to receive weekly updates of unusual business development tips that will keep on empowering you to build SIGNIFICANT [extra-ordinary] businesses.