I’ve been pondering this over the last few weeks and thinking about the difference I’d like to make in the world and why I left my corporate gig nearly a year ago now.
When I left my job I was bright eyed and in awe of the the possibilities of living a life on my terms, having the freedom to do what I wanted and when I wanted.
I had hope for a more fulfilling life outside the politics of the corporate world, I had the energy to back myself - I’d prepared financially for the journey, and as much as I could, I prepared mentally and emotionally. I took the necessary actions to make the leap and had my resilience reserves ready to draw on when I needed - i.e. the support of family and dear friends. I had trust in my decision, and whilst it’s been far from easy (not that I expected it to be easy) I’ve seen the power of that faith in holding my vision especially at times when everything seemed a little scary.
What I’ve understood over this last year is there are two powerful questions that need to be answered in running a business. Actually these questions also apply if you are in a job too - in fact universally if you are seeking to make a difference.
The first question is - Who is it for?
Do you know the person/people that you are seeking to serve?
Having an understanding of who you are seeking to serve is imperative - whether it’s determining the appropriate niche for your business or whether it’s having clarity on your stakeholder group at work. Knowing who you are serving informs the actions and work necessary.
Keeping this at the forefront of your mind keeps the intentions of your work clear. It’s easy to fall into the habits of doing things you like and enjoy but it’s important to ask - is this relevant to the person I seek to serve?
The second question is - What is it for?
What is the change you seek to make? When you know who you are trying to serve you become clearer on what their needs are and therefore the change/difference you seek to make in their world. Too often we start with the product/service we are offering without asking ourselves - what is this really for? and does this serve who it’s for? How will will it improve their world?
When I first started out on my own I left my corporate gig with a whole lot of naivety. It’s probably a good thing because I may not have made the leap if I wasn’t so naive as to what it would take to build a business!
The thing is I’m not fully living a life with the freedom to do what I want and when I want, that’s where my naivety was!
The truth is when you are seeking to serve others it’s not about you at all! It’s about the impact you seek to make in their world.
The funny thing is I’m more alive now when I’m serving others and helping them that ‘my freedom’ doesn’t really appear to be a thing to be concerned about!
That’s not to say running my own business is easy but it’s certainly more meaningful when I know who it’s for and what it’s for.