Does your business have a soul?
I’ve always felt that our businesses have souls and, to a degree, a life and business journey of their own. Does this sound extreme or do you agree?
I think this is particularly true of successful businesses, including a shop I worked at in the 1990’s. The owners had identified a niche they loved, gone out on a limb to set things up and hired a team that shared their passion. From there, pretty much all they had to do was get out of the way and watch the thing take flight in front of their eyes.
Of course they still steered the ship and put the hard yards and long hours in, but once it was up and running, it seemed to me that the business was really determined to grow into a form of its own choosing. As if it had a life of its own.
Visionary as they were, I doubt there was any way the owners realised that their brand would end up transformed into one that now has a national presence, yet still retains many of the core values they originally invested in it.
When Robert and Sam sat down to write the first edition of their book, I’m betting they didn’t appreciate they were actually creating a community that’s now hurtling towards 40,000 members.
"I can formulate all the strategies I like, but the opportunities that plonk into my lap indicate that much of the time, my business has its own ideas about what it should be."
That soul, that sense of contributing to something bigger than the sum of its parts, is what made me jump at the chance to be part of the FS crew.
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On a smaller scale, I see similar factors at play in my own business. I can formulate all the strategies I like, but the opportunities that plonk into my lap indicate that much of the time, my business has its own ideas about what it should be. And quite often they’re completely different to (and much better than) the ones I come up with myself.
Cynics may believe I’m simply responding to market forces, and changing my strategy and offering to suit the climate. I disagree. My business has its own business journey, and is taking me along for the ride.
Is it just me, or do you have the same sense about your own business? Please share your theories, dear Soul-o-ists.