Take one look at the entrepreneurial culture and one thing seems to be missing from it.
An important lesson to care about the business you are building.
“Oh that’s so obvious.” “Of course I care about my business.” “My staff is like family to me, why would I abandon them?”
Sure a lot of people can say that about their business. But I’m willing to bet that not everyone is like that. After all, entrepreneurship culture encourages people to wake up at 4:30 am like the rest of the high-class CEOs, work 70 hours (or more) per week, amongst a whole host of other things.
But one thing that is lacking is the ability to care about the business you are building. Yes, there are plenty of articles out there to care for your employees or for your employees to care about your business. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about you. The owner. The boss.
I’ve said plenty of times before that your business is an extension of yourself. What I mean is your own values, ideals, goals and dreams are all poured into the business that you create and how you steer it.
Many people like to think that they care about their business. But time and time again, there are many challenges that can question our very own morality. And its in those instances where we can lose ourselves and forget about everything we’ve done to get up to that point.
So as a reminder, here are some of my arguments for caring about what you are building in this culture.
It Gives You Empathy
Whether you are a small landscaping Toronto based company, a medium sized accounting firm, or growing business branching off into franchises, caring about what you business will generate empathy.
It’s a pretty obvious reason I know, but empathy stretches to many different aspects of your business and for yourself. And it’s in certain circumstances where empathy can help you out the most in life.
Empathy will make you invested and interested in your employees, clients, and those around you. Being able to convey, understand, and sympathize on an emotional level is key. It’s a strong quality of a great friend.
But as I said, empathy stretches into things beyond that. It helps you to relate with those who you disagree with or disagree with you. Empathy allows you the ability to get into their shoes and understand more about their perspective.
Its why people who are empathetic are great with customer services.
It can also help you when facing dilemmas.
Empathy to me means understanding emotions on a general level. While we often use that to understand other people, it can also help you to understand yourself on a deeper level. Empathetic problem solving is a real thing and stands to reason you can use it to solve your own problems.
You’re Less Likely To Sell Off Your Business
One part of the business world is being bought out by someone larger. Turn on the TV on a Monday morning and you’ll hear all the business channels talking about this crazy phenonmenon:
It’s a morning show dedicated to all of the massive merges that are happening in big business. As more businesses rise up, more of them are getting bought out by larger companies. And according to data, most of these deals are signed and agreed upon on Mondays.
While many would say this is all just part of business – which it is – the degree of these merges is frightening due to the implications.
Wherever you look for most goods and services, your options are limited. Most companies these days have oligopolies on a number of industries. And in some cases, there are monopolies for public goods and services (like power or water).
Your only options are those big companies or a few small/medium-sized local businesses if you know where to look.
While many can dismiss this as again part of the business world, its that kind of behaviour of merges and dismissiveness that are problematic. We brush this off, only to suffer consequences later because a CEO thought it best to sell their business to someone larger.
Even if you don’t plan to get bought out, many startups have the mentality of building a fantastic product or service with the intention for it to get bought out.
Heck, some people have written articles suggesting to their readers that in order to make money all you need to do is sell a record breaking album.
Yeah sure. Let me get right on that. Let me go make a viral video on TikTok to advertise my upcoming single. That’ll definitely work.
This sort of mentality of building something up for it to get bought out is something I can understand a little. You get a nice boost of cash and you may find yourself with another job to work on. But you’re also losing a part of yourself.
When you sell your business to someone else, there is no guarantee that they’re going to run things the same way that you would or make the same decisions that you would make in those situations. All you can do at that point is be a point of contact and guidance, but have no influence in how anything is done anymore.
Even if your aim is to thrive in the community you are around, caring about your business can allow you to have more of a level head about the bigger decisions that you might be facing.
You may be thinking of staying in your community, but what if someone really admires your work and wants to help expand the business? Maybe even make it into a franchise?
What should you do?
One good example to bring this home is the WhatsApp deal with Facebook. Most entrepreneurs who are into this culture only see the fact that Facebook bought the app for $19 billion dollars. They rally around that as a success story. That dreams can come true.
What most entrepreneurs fail to see is the fact that due to that buyout, Facebook has been mired with scandals and other issues due in part to their purchases. The purchase of WhatsApp resulted in the scandal around the 2016 US election. After a while, both the co-founders left Facebook after being hired on due to ethical concerns of that scandal.
One has publicly announced that he regrets the decision of the buyout stating:
“I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”
The owners cared about the company, but I think both of their emotions got to them. If they recalled why they care so much about their business, maybe things would’ve been different? It’s hard to say.
You’ll Find Creative Solutions To Problems
Problems are part of the course in life and in business, but the method and speed of overcoming those problems all comes down to your emotions and attitude.
In business, it’s easy to give up on something and move on. The same can be said about habits and goals too. But if you really want to overcome those, you’ll care about those things and think of solutions.
You’ll have a why with your goals. You’ll build a system for your habits. These types of actions are born from the act of caring about these sorts of things. When you lack any care, you’re going to abandon them.
If You Care, You’ll Be More Honest And Humble
Not all big entrepreneurs are bad. At least that’s what I like to think. One person that comes to mind as a quality human being that most people recognize is Gary Vaynerchuk. Sure he can be vulgar and can be a tough individual, but underneath that is a man that cares and is interested in human behaviour and entrepreneurship.
I don’t go as far as idolizing the guy, in fact I don’t watch much of his content. But there’s a few times I pop in to see what he is up to and how he’s progressing and what he is saying.
And one thing that has stood out to me is how he encourages people to practice emotions. Particularly humbleness and honesty. He might not be telling that all the time, but he certainly portrays that.
From the clothes he wears to the way that he talks these days, there is a level of openness to him and will tell it to you straight.
Even though he is like many other big-name entrepreneurs out there who are buying up companies, there is still plenty of care and consideration and reason behind his actions. He enjoys flipping businesses after he puts them through the VaynerMedia machine that he’s built.
He has a specific goal in mind: buying the New York Jets team.
When you care about your business, these sorts of emotions come out naturally. You won’t try to cover up anything. And when you make a big splash, you’re not going to rub it into peoples faces all the time. You’ll acknowledge it and move on.
Those who build something they’re proud of don’t need to remind people of their relevance. When you care about what it is you are doing in every manner, people will come soon enough.
You’ll Grow If You Care
There are a lot of issues with the entrepreneurial culture. Some of it is still good, but I find some of it to be pushing to extreme ends. But one thing that I hope will come forth is the idea of caring more about businesses.
While I have no idea what’s going on in big CEOs minds or all the details, but I think that putting more care into the work that we do and using that care in other issues that spring up, we can find ourselves sticking to our own morality more.
I mean, if you care about something, it makes sense that you wouldn’t be quick to give up on something at the first opportunity you get an out, right?
You’d tackle problems as they come and spend a lot of time and consideration. You’d contemplate your vision, what agreeing or disagreeing may lead to. I think that’d happen if you cared about your business, your customers, and employees, right?
Don’t you think so?
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon