Today I met a prospect who has all the money he could ever need And after a short chat, I quickly realised that we could never work together and he had no idea where I was coming from!
The reason being, was that we were coming at the world from different places. He wanted more money. I wanted more purpose. I want to make a difference to the world whereas he wants to show off his new Lamborghini. As I said, very different places.
When I got back to the office, I did some research and discovered all the businesses who had started from nothing, out of a garage; Disney, Facebook, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Amazon. There doesn’t get much bigger. Most of us know the stories but it’s important that we remember that the founders of these businesses started with a purpose and a desire to change people’s lives - not because they wanted to be rich. I’m sure they wanted money too (who doesn’t?) but they are rich because they cared about something, they had a point of view and they wanted to make a difference for the better. Subsequently, they had a brand - a mantra that others followed and bought into. It was these people who became customers, employees and advocates and therefore the driving force behind the founder’s vision. Each of them were brave enough to think big and the rest is history.
When I compared this man’s agency business to brands like Apple, he got offended. It annoyed him as he drew no parallels to the global behemoth whatsoever and it was at that point I knew exactly how this meeting and his business was going to end. It was clear, he was scared and/or unambitious. He had a desire to earn lots of money and live a fancy lifestyle but only if that meant falling in line and not bucking the trend. “Do as your told, keep your head down and work hard” echoed in my head as I remembered Mr Houston in my first year of Secondary School. Sure you might get rich, you might even grow a successful business (and that’s great) but you won’t change the world and you won’t build a brand. Brands will always be more valuable and last longer than businesses, it just depends how ambitious you are to create one. And to create one, you need to give a shit about something other than yourself and money.
I admire businesses but most of the time, I feel like they are missing something and that they could go so much further. They’re lacking a distinct edge, something that differentiates them and I realise now, that what they’re missing, is a brand.
If you don’t feel like you have an opinion or if you are struggling to find your opinion or how to position it, please get in touch as we help people in similar situations, every day. In doing so, your work life and your personal life could be so much more aligned and you will find so much more satisfaction and fulfilment in both.