June 3, 2008

Success Distinction

Filed under: Ideas, Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 3:04 pm

Almost everyone wants to be successful. We are taught from very young ages to reach for the stars and attempt to be “successful.” And that is a good thing.

The problem is that almost everyone has different distinctions of what “successful” is. We all establish certain criteria for what we deem to be valuable in terms of career success, family success, friendship success, spiritual success, etc. My feeling is that the majority of these levels of success are came to subconsciously, while a select few are decided upon with intent. Career aspirations/wealth, I believe, are one of those decided upon consciously.

There’s a big issue here. Those things aren’t garnered simply by wanting them. They are side effects.

You get a long way in your career by caring about what you do and working hard at it for that reason. You make a lot of money because you are great at what you do and add value to someone, somewhere; regardless of what business you are in. You develop loving relationships with people because you care about them deeply, not because you want to have loving relationships. This is difficult for me to describe, but the idea is that the extra perks in life, the successful things, are free prizes. They come along because we truly cared about what we do and why we are doing it.

This same ideology works in business. Businesses exist to make a profit (though they often focus only on their shareholders instead of their stakeholders, and I need to examine business philosophy in terms of private and public.) Yet, I hold the belief that the best businesses aren’t forged in order to make money.

They are built to build the best products and change the world. Even if the world only consists of the two blocks on either side of your brick and mortar. The best search engine in the world, the best women’s purses in New York, the best cup of coffee in Tuscaloosa, the best dog collars for affluent, the best running shoe for mountain joggers, the best shoe repair in East Boise, the best computer chips for gamers, the best airline for low income families, the best shoes for humanitarians, the best muffins in Minneapolis, the best non toxic cleaners and the best automobiles for environmentally conscious people.

It’s a focus on developing a product worth talking about. A product that rises above the fold. That’s the kind of business that you want to build.

So if you want to be a rich entrepreneur, stop trying to be a rich entrepreneur.


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