Entrepreneurship and What It Takes To Succeed

Man in Red Crew-neck Sweatshirt Photography

NOTHING NEW, BUT NOT OLD HAT

If you think entrepreneurship is a 20th century idea you could be wrong. Sometime in the 1800, a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Baptiste Say coined the term entrepreneur, and defined it as someone who “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.”

In this post I’m going to go into some details about who the entrepreneur is and how he is “different” from the cut-and-dried business owner. If you are an online home business owner it is really a good idea to know how the entrepreneur thinks.

The word entrepreneur has its roots from the French term entreprendre meaning to “undertake.” Back then, the popular understanding of entrepreneur was someone who acts as a contractor between capital and labor. The more modern understanding of an entrepreneur is one who takes great risks in an enterprise in order to achieve high profits.

Risks Scare People

Photo of Baby on Gray Wooden Board

Continue reading “Entrepreneurship and What It Takes To Succeed”

Lessons from Peter F. Drucker

person writing bucket list on book

In his last book on management, before his death in 2005, noted management theorist Peter Drucker lists five questions (The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organizationthat he insists must be answered if you want to succeed in your business, whether it’s the actual brick and mortar, or home-based business. But, before proceeding any further, a few words about who Drucker was.

Drucker was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award bestowed on a civilian in recognition of “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” This award was given in 2002 in recognition of his contribution to business and management, and the social sciences.

So, when it comes to business and management, Drucker knew whereof he speaks. Though he hated it, Drucker is often referred to as a management guru. His works challenged conventional and traditional management wisdom and shattered many long standing beliefs about how to run a successful business.

In this post I’m going to enumerate these five questions to provide you with a guide in your online business. Consider it a bit of online business training.

So, hereunder is the list. Take a look at it and see if you’ve gone into any of them and find out if you are on track with answering any or all of them..

1. What is your mission?

Continue reading “Lessons from Peter F. Drucker”

Is Mission the Same as Vision?

CONFUSION

These two terms have been a cause of confusion and disagreements among business people for a long time.  The arguments hinge on the issue that while both may result in the same thing – the achievement of goals, the approaches vary very greatly.

In this post I’m going to go into some detail as to the distinction between Mission and Vision. Online home business owners will find the distinction very helpful in their efforts to succeed.

Management experts do not agree . . . . . . . . Continue reading “Is Mission the Same as Vision?”

The Why of It All

WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?

You may have come across Simon Sinek on You Tube talking about the Why of your business.  The idea of coming up with a Why is profound especially if you are setting up a home business. But, it is nothing new.  It’s been around since the 1980’s.

There have been many definitions of the Why.  Some call it business philosophy, others call it core values.  The most popular definition is mission statement.  Some even confuse mission statement with vision statement.  Some simply integrate vision and mission.  The thing is, if you know your purpose, you have your Why.

 

Sinek is right in saying that telling your customers what you believe, and who you are differentiates you from those who simply sell their products without even knowing why they do it.  He insists that you should begin with a Why. And, he is right.

MISSION STATEMENTS EMBODY CORE VALUES

close-up photo of water ripple

Mission statements begin with core values.  Strength emanates from the core.  Your core values, therefore, define who you are; your charism.  Your charism is what makes you unique.  For example, from all the millions of online businesses on the web, what makes you different and why should people buy from you?

Your charism essentially dictates your Why.  In fact, your unique charism should impel you towards your mission.  It’s like, if you have a perfect sense of  symmetry and balance, unconsciously you will have the urge to paint.  Or, if you have a gift of speech, it’s more than likely you will become an inspirational speaker.

I’ve known people who answered the call of mission very late in life.  Doctors who became singers.  Engineers who became priests.  Priests who left the priesthood and raised a family. Why? It’s because you cannot deny who you are.  Charism (popularly known as charisma) is an inherent gift.

man showing photo of him(Who are You, really?)

So, what has it got to do with going into business?  While the transition maybe hard,  what your business is, eventually becomes who you are. Your core values will be infused into and become integrated with how you conduct your business.  Who you are and what you stand for are translated into how you deal with your customers and how you do business with them.

So, the mission answers the – why of your existence, and it also answers the purpose of your business. The Why, is simply the urge to satisfy the need to know who you are, and what you intend to do with who you are.

BE TRUE TO YOUR MISSION

Mission demands loyalty.  The idea is, mission is like the master of  the destiny of your business.  Loyalty to your master, you know.

There’s a story that happened sometime in the early nineties about a sugar producing business. A group of sugar cane producers who owned a sugar central had for many years been producing refined sugar that was exported to other countries.

Their families have owned their sugar plantations for generations and grew up with the sugar cane culture ingrained in their genes. So, what they were doing was absolutely consistent with who they were – sugar cane producers.

Then, sometime in the late 80’s they began diversifying into fish canning. A little bit off the mark but still workable. The corporate planning group simply did a little rework of their corporate philosophy from producing world-class quality refined sugar to world-class quality food. Sugar and fish are both food. The philosophy was now to produce quality food, rather than produce quality refined sugar. Oh, yes, the canned sardines were exported too. World class.

World LED signage

Then, some wise guy in the engineering department came up with the idea of going into construction. They have all the brains. Civil engineers, mechanical engineers – people who work in and ran the the mill. The engineers have clout because it was they who actually run the show in the sugar mill.

So, the top brass decided to go into the construction business, and poured millions into it. They went into construction full blast; roads, bridges, buildings. The company even built the gym of the university from where I graduated.

What happened?  The venture collapsed. Hundreds of millions were lost. Why?

The thing with mission is that you have to be true to it.   As I said before, it demands loyalty. Like a dog to its master. You have to be true to your calling.   Once you have defined your WHY, you just have to be a slave to it.

Let’s have a look at a realistic example. Let’s take a a screw driver. You use it to drive screws, right? That’s what it is made for; it’s purpose. That’s WHY it’s called a screw driver.  But some people used it as a cold chisel. Of course, the screw driver handle won’t be able to withstand the brutal hammering done on it.  It will be damaged severely. It’s not like a cold chisel that is actually built for hard pounding.

Royalty Free Chisel Rock Clip Art picture black and white library

The same thing with mission. It cannot be misused. It will be “brutalized” severely.

So, you will have noticed the disparity between food and construction. Going into the construction business was a misuse of the Why. Even if they had tried to rework the mission it would be a hit or miss because the owners know next to nothing about construction. It was not in their blood, so to speak.

Another thing about mission is that it is virtually permanent.  It will take a great deal of effort to redefine your purpose.  Redefining your WHY would mean changing everything about your enterprise; your line of business, your vision about the new venture, your goals and strategies, and how you would conduct your business considering that you are now engaged in a different venture.

The story above illustrates the need of being true to your purpose.  Think of a desk.  What’s the purpose of a desk?  The desk is that thing we use to write or set our laptops on to type documents.  Yet, sometimes we use it to stand on to reach up to something we can’t even touch on tiptoes. More often than not, it works. But, everything has a purpose.  That’s why ladders were invented.

So, as you can see, a food company  went into building roads and bridges and it just didn’t work out well.  That’s why the construction venture simply lost a lot of money for the business.