Business Shape – Gain The World But Lose Your Soul?

Business Shape – Look At The Main Reasons Why Your Company Failed

If the reason for your company failure is a lack of skill, ability, mistake that was made or a set of external circumstances affecting the organisation, then it is easily fixed next time. But what if part of the cause for your failure may be a world view challenge, which isn’t so easily resolved, and subsequently is likely to repeat itself? You need to establish a solution or at least a different approach, or simply move on to something that resonates with the way your heart beats.

What good is it for a man to gain the world, but lose his soul.

I wrote a blog titled ‘Should you really put other people first?’ It asked whether you should put other people first when it came to decisions that would further your own career. There were some interesting stimulating comments made (and yours need to be added to those there).

Some referenced the importance of friendships, and how that should come ahead of ones own career decisions. Others challenged this position. There was a comment left by Roger Mitchell saying:

“Without wishing to be too simplistic, I think that there is an underlying assumption here about the relative importance of jobs and success. It’s important to attend to the bigger picture. For some of us, some things matter much more than a job. We need to get to grips with this. If friendship, love or faith is more important than job satisfaction then this is the worldview by which we guide our behaviour whatever it costs in terms of outcomes. Personally I believe that living this way carries its own promise and blessing, so any short term loss is worth it. No-one is obligated to live this way, but I think it helps to arrive at a mature decision on this pretty early on in life and not to make any secret of it. I think it means that thrusting, go-getting entrepreneurism is out of the question for those for whom friendship and love are the real priority. This is emphatically not to say that there aren’t what I would call kenarchic forms of entrepreneurship, and hopefully the kind of helpful conversation starter that this blog post represents will investigate and promote it. So big thanks Caleb!”

He’d hit the nail on the head with his comment. And it was something I’d been wrestling with for some time. I want to be an entrepreneur; I feel I have the talents to be an entrepreneur; I have the drive, enthusiasm, passion, determination and commitment to succeed within this space. I have the ability to see an idea and want to bring it into fruition. I’m not after personal money, but I want to bring about change. I want to be a go-getter, to grow something from stand-still upwards, but the problem is I’m not prepared to get there at the expense of loving people.

I value friendship far more than monetary success, and if I have to choose between ‘good’ business and friendship, I’ll struggle. If I’ve not got space, time and capacity to love people, I wont feel alive.

Unless I was working as part of a very close team where the companionship was strong, where the ethos of the organisation was serving and giving back into society, where people weren’t violated to get there, I’m going to struggle. I’m sure, as I mature, I will grow in my understanding, but I can’t see a way round that at the moment. I’m not talking about a healthy SME, but I’ve had grand dreams to build, build, build. Zuckerberg, couldn’t get to 500m friends without making a few enemies. I’d prefer just the friends. I’ll always have some that find me a bit over the top, I’m marmite, but having not had major fall-outs till my business failed, I’d prefer to get back to that way of existence.

I remember cynical friends of mine once saying there’s no big business that has become big without breaking some laws, crushing some people and taking advantage or exploiting others. My response to that was to say: ‘I’ll make one that becomes big without having to go down that route.’

Idealism sometimes needs to be challenged.

However strong the desires, however much the heart yearns to grow a business on those foundations, the reality is that here in the UK, the cultures are so far apart that they can’t survive. Different people function with different motivations. To stay alive you have to become more flexible in your ideals, and before you know it some of the intrinsic qualities that you value most in life have to make room for cut-throat business decisions in order to survive.

So if your problem and the reason why you failed is a fundamental world view, I suggest writing down the ways you want  to do life. Write down what your previous business expected and demanded of you to survive and succeed, and seeing if there is a difference between the two. That doesn’t mean you still couldn’t function within business, but it just might mean that it has to be a different shape than that with which you initially started out.

So I’ve decided as of today, to stop referring to myself in the third person as an entrepreneur in online bios. As well as being an egotistical description which has bothered me for a while, I don’t know what entrepreneurism in my shape would look like for me yet.

And from someone who’s had to learn through the pain, not having the right fit of entrepreneurism for your personality isn’t worth it.

Sure wise up, grow, mature and find heart- but don’t lose what makes you gorgeous on the way there.

And with that note, I want to end this post to send you some love into your day. Are you growing and succeeding or feeling defeated. I’d love to help. Have you found the balance that works for you? Do get in touch.