You'd think that at my age there would be very little that would shock me about the world of business.
Well, think again.
I am continually shocked at how little most small business owners seem to understand what it truly takes to invent, build, and grow a thriving company.
Most, in fact, miss the point by a wide margin.
Entrepreneurship is not about facts and information. It's about perspective.
And it's up to everyone who truly wishes to be an entrepreneur to develop a truly entrepreneurial perspective.
How? I would suggest this somewhat radical approach:
Think of your business as though you were about to write a book.
Yes, I'm saying that no matter how long you've been in business, whether you're just starting out or whether you've been in business for years, it's important that you take on the perspective that you're starting it anew today.
As though you were an author about to write a book.
What would that book of yours say?
Would it be something compelling that people would want to buy and read?
Would it be something new and revolutionary that would stir people's souls?
Would it be a bestseller?
Or would it be a grand flop?
Now, you may think that what I'm suggesting is just an exercise or an amusing parlor game.
But I couldn't be more serious.
Think of it this way: What would you, as the author of your book, wish to tell your readers that would transform the way they think about their lives, their success, their future?
Because, that's the point of your business, isn't it?
Let's use Starbucks as an example.
Starbucks is an exemplar of an entrepreneurially designed company. Why?
Because the book about Starbucks is not a book about selling lattes and croissants! Of course not.
The book about Starbucks is about how Howard Schultz, its founder, embraced a transformative mission--to expand the economic viability of small family growers throughout the world--and created the systems to make sure this mission is a part of everything Starbucks does.
But that's not the whole of the Starbucks "book."
The really juicy part of the book is where all those tiny growers in countries far and wide connect with millions upon millions of consumers in countries none of them have ever been to, could never reach on their own.
The book about your business says that you and your business rise above the stuff of doing it, doing it, doing it.
It says that you ask meaningful questions about your role in the world and in your community.
And your book holds you accountable for making sure your singular purpose comes to life, in every action your company takes, by creating the turnkey systems that produce predictable results your customers can count on.
It all comes down to this: Every single entrepreneur on the face of this earth, in the creation of his or her company, is actually writing a book.
And the nature of that book must begin right now. Where you are.
With the question: What do I wish to say?
And, most important: Why do I wish to say it?