Being an entrepreneur is one of the greatest tests of the human spirit, and every entrepreneur must have resources beyond investment capital. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs spend more time and money trying to drive the economic engine of their business, while overlooking the fact that every economic engine must be optimized for a greater purpose. When a business idea is not optimized for purpose, the economic engine will run a high risk of breaking down under the rigors of growing a business.
Insight beyond metrics
The traditional business plan is a great tool for getting entrepreneurs started in business, but it does not secure their future as a business owner. Many times the executive summary of a business plan highlight the capabilities of its owners, but in many cases, it does not reveal if the owners have a Sustainable Purpose™ to execute their strategies in the face of:
- Limited capital
- Personal challenges
- Lack of brand recognition
- Market rejection
- Small business burnout
- Power that comes from success
This is a process that requires insight beyond the metrics of a business plan. In today’s competitive business climate, entrepreneurs must be savvy in building synergy between business metrics, and their willingness to convert their business ideas into a contribution to impact the world in new ways. This is the driving force behind many giants who are making, or have made an impact in the world around them.
- Walt Disney: fired by a newspaper editor for not having good ideas and no imagination.
- Thomas Edison: tried over 10,000 times to invent the light bulb.
- Fred Smith: told by college professor that his Federal Express concept was interesting but not feasible.
- Oprah Winfrey: fired as a news reporter in Baltimore
- Tim Ferris: turned down by 25 publishers before being picked up for his best selling “4 Hour Workweek”.
This is a small list of thousands of individuals who saw their work as a contribution to make a difference. They came from diverse backgrounds, but they had one thing in common – a purpose that sustained their idea beyond failure and rejection.
Purpose is the primary source of achievement. – Nikos Mourkogiannis, Harvard Business Expert & Consultant
Investing in the purpose of your business
As a small business owner, you cannot forget that you can have the best business plan that money can buy, but the opportunity for failure will emerge. Your business idea can look good on paper, but at the end of the day, it’s what’s in your heart that will determine the success of your business. You must remember that lenders and investors will invest in your idea, but you must invest in optimizing your business idea with purpose. By doing so, you will discover a resource that will allow you to be productive when capital is lean, and the market is mean.
In closing, you must remember that you have too much at stake to put all you eggs in the business plan basket. You must formulate a purpose to be in business, so you can overcome the rigors of being an entrepreneur. In future blogs, I will cover some of the dynamics of a Purpose Plan vs. a traditional business plan. It doesn’t replace your business plan, but it’s the missing component to building a Sustainable Purpose™ to optimize your business goals for success.