Ever thought of starting your own business?
I believe that is the most effective way many of us can contribute to the world.
If you’ve come to a point in your life where you really know who you are and what you believe in – then there is no better way out there for you to make your mark than to install those values into your own personal business model.
As Sir Richard Branson put it: “If every single business could find their niche in the world where they want to make a difference, then I think we can get on top of most of the problems of the world.”
In the early stages of starting a business there are a few big questions to answer. They are fundamental to getting it right and keeping you passionate and committed. 95% of businesses fail in the first 3 years – mainly because they don’t have the founders true beliefs installed in the model…
WHY do you feel your business will make yours and the lives of others better? What do you want to improve about your world? About the world around you and the challenges to society as a whole?
This is what I call your WHY. WHY would you invest hundreds of hours of your precious life into this? This comes from the heart – and this statement is WHY people will buy from you…
WHY – not what, not how… this will come later!
FYI: If your WHY is “to get rich and retire early” then you will almost certainly join the 95% that had the same objective. Nobody buys that. Nobody.
It is a hard question, I certainly know that myself. If you are not ready for it – then you can come back to it later. But it is a must. Watch this 18 minute TED video and you will see WHY:
HOW will your venture differentiate from the millions of other businesses out there?
The WHY is the fundamental start point. The HOW is your point of difference – this of course will make up a core part of your marketing message. HOW will you install your WHY into the product or service you offer?
Perhaps your HOW has environmental qualities? Perhaps it has cost saving qualities? Perhaps it has community focused benefits? It should describe HOW your business will make a positive change in the field that you are declaring to improve. E.g.
WHAT is your product or service?
Now… after all that work, you get to describe your business in the traditional sense. You see, it is important to acknowledge that the 95% of businesses that fail, do so because they haven’t done this process as above. Typically the WHAT comes first, then the HOW. The WHY, if they are persistent, well supported and passionate, might become obvious to them later on – like it did for me with my first business. I can now see that I knew my WHY and I firmly believed in it, I just didn’t recognize it at the time and therefore couldn’t refer to it in times of doubt and struggle.
You probably already know how to answer this section. This is most likely the WOW moment you had while in the shower, you know, that moment you had the realisation that you had an idea that could work. Can you see that the ‘idea’ was actually a solution to the WHY right from the beginning? Dig deep into your memory and see what was the problem you were intending to solve… This is the why.
It’s big huh? I hope with all my heart that you understand this process. I passionately believe that developing small businesses built on good values is one of the biggest ways for us to change the world for the better. Protesting in the rainforests doesn’t really work in the big picture – the corporate greed machine will always work around you and win in the end.
Creating a profitable business with the preservation of the rainforests at its core that earns a passionate following – now that is what can make a difference.
Can you make a difference? Will you pass away and risk being forgotten by the turn of two generations? Or will your life be one that counts?
What is your WHY??!!
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