You want to contribute. You want to make people’s lives better. You want to get rich. All perfectly good starting points in the entrepreneurial journey. But what’s the roadmap to creating a successful business?
Every trip may be different, but all the ones that get anywhere have a few stops in common. Business is more science than art – meaning that a lot of what makes it work is both predictable and repeatable. There may not be a recipe, but there are some common ingredients.
A lot of people go into business for reasons that have nothing to do with business: they’re good at cooking (or they think they are); they want to hang out in a coffee shop all day; maybe they’d like to be surrounded by their favorite things. Sad to say, this isn’t the right approach. You’re not working for you: you’re working for them. Pragmatism is the bedrock of good business. Strip away your ego and see the world as it is.
Happily for us all, the fact that business is fundamentally practical doesn’t make it boring. In fact, a well-run company gets people excited in a way few other human enterprises do. This is where the element of performance comes in – the spin, the flourish, the sizzle to the steak. It’s pragmatism that gets you started, but it’s ingenuity that sets you apart from your competitors and allows you to truly succeed in the marketplace. Provide for a need, yes: but do it your own ingenious way.
Successful business owners are like weather vanes: they always know which way the wind is blowing. They’re steeped in their environment, and they respond with the easy inevitability of a beast in the wild – and they do this because they pay attention. They never let the world leave them behind. Whether you’re at the beginning of your own journey or well along the path, if you’re going create something lasting, you need to see the forest for the trees.
And don’t forget to try Ideator to jump start your business!