Monday, November 21, 2005

Dreams and the Daily Grind

Many times myself, my friends, and members of my family have contemplated starting up a business venture. The vast majority of these went nowhere. Why is that? I think one of the reasons is that we mistook business goals for the goals of the business.

It's natural to pour passion and energy into life goals, spiritual goals, personal development goals and so on. What's hard is to pour passion into tasks that are disconnected from these goals. Everyone I know who's succeeded at providing a service or creating a product has had business goals that are intertwined with their life goals-yes, even life goals as mundane as "pay the rent and have something left over to eat."

In the past I've fallen into the trap of dreaming up business ventures that go nowhere. These dreams stay dreams because their not tied to anything real. Dreams of wealth and fame are great, but I have a hard time getting motivated to balance my checkbook, let alone deal with the daily finances of a business.

The successful people I know started their business because of something they cared about more than business. Look at some of the most successful businessmen today. Steve Jobs doesn't make software because it's the easiest way to make a buck. He does it because he has an idea that he can really raise people's expectations about software. That's why Apple has such phenomenal customer loyalty.

How does this apply day-to-day? I'm still struggling with that in my own daily work, but it seems to me that if you take this attitude to your work, it becomes impossible to do shoddy work, so my starting point is to improve the quality of my service incrementally every day.


Anonymous Howard Mann said...

Great post Tony! You are definitely speaking my language. ;)

My experiences have led me to realize that working for a real purpose (no matter what it is) is the lasting fuel source that makes it worth taking real risks and grinding out the day after day of any business.

If the business does not serve a personal purpose that can continually drive/sustain you there is no reason you would stick with it.

Sadly, it takes time to dig down and connect to that purpose as it is never is the obvious "Hey...I could make us a lot of money!" Not enough people take the time to uncover it.

3:18 PM  

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