November 13, 2017

Business isn’t a game (for your customers)

There are quite a few people in my orbit (e.g., friends, students, colleagues, partners) who approach business like it is a game unto itself. They sometimes change the focus of their business as often as I take out my garbage.

In some cases, they have more than one business going at a time... the exciting new one spinning up, old boring one spinning down. They work hard to attract customers to the new venture, even while abandoning customers of the old one.

This approach to business can lead to financial success. And if you enjoy pivoting once every few months in search of an ever more lucrative business venture, I for one will not stand in judgement.

But it’s definitely not for me.

This approach is like a brute force attack. Try everything until something works.

The good news is:

If you try enough things, something will work!

The bad news is:

If you try enough things, something will work!

To me, pivoting from thing to thing based on the mechanics of a balance sheet is a sure fire way to end up possibly rich and definitely miserable.

Yes, you need to buy food and make rent and so on. But you can do those things by working a traditional job. If you’re going to build your own business, why not make it one that is deeply satisfying?

You might not care about satisfaction right now. Maybe you’re in your 20s or 30s. Maybe you have a young family. At an early age, job satisfaction can look like a luxury.

But what if your business takes off? If it does, there’s a reasonable likelihood that you will be doing it for most of the rest of your natural life.

And I promise you that money ain’t enough once you cross 50.

Why not take some time to step back and figure out what dent you’d like to make in the universe before trying to sell the idea to customers?