A book of illustrated business lessons. It focuses on the challenges of business growth and the business life of the entrepreneur. It is a follow up to the highly successful Minding your Business.
Run, don’t faint
Life is a treadmill. Nobody can survive living on a treadmill. We must get off the treadmill once in a many whiles, to think, and take a look at life. Without this, our lives become mechanical chores. We become lab rats going round and round in a round cage, with no beginning and no ending. The man who lives on the treadmill of life will ultimately die from exhaustion.
The business world is a treadmill going faster than the speed of life. And we never pause to consider. We never pause to ponder. And we no longer talk of wisdom. We talk of “strategy”, as if we are machines running machines. We utilise our brains but fail to utilise our hearts.
Businesses are not machines. They are made of people selling to people. Without contemplation, we cannot meet human needs at a visceral level. Without contemplation, we can hardly see the fit of great ideas. Indeed, many ideas will not come without contemplation.
I have written and lectured a great deal on business. I am also a business practitioner and consult for businesses great and small. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “business unusual” things, like values, relationships and an understanding of self, to a very large degree determine business success. I have been amazed, over and over again, at how the so-called “soft issues” determine the large numbers, and even business sustainability. “Soft issues” determine business mortality. It was the soft issues that killed Enron. It was soft issues that killed Worldcom. It was soft issues that killed Arthur Anderson. And “soft issues” will kill many more. If so, we have a serial killer in our midst. “Soft issues” are not soft issues. They are hard issues wearing velvet gloves. And they’ve been throwing sucker punches at us for ages.
Perhaps what I’m proposing is a Business Inside Out (BIO) approach. All the strategy in the world will not save you from the stress produced by business; neither will all the strategising give you unique insight. Insight comes when we are alone with ourselves, by ourselves, beside ourselves.
There is strategy, and there is wisdom. An entrepreneur needs both! And then there are values and there is vision. An entrepreneur needs both too. And many more!