Ask yourself why you decided to become an entrepreneur. Really ask yourself (that was not rhetorical). Was it a strong desire for money, riches and fame? Was it that you had distaste for the corporate lifestyle and their rigidly bureaucratic ways? Maybe it was that you wanted to change the world for the better. No matter what the initial reason was that pushed you towards your entrepreneurial leap; to be a truly successful entrepreneur, your end goal must be to help make the world a better place.
Almost anyone could balance a marketing budget and collect a freshly pressed check every other week. What separates authentic entrepreneurs from the rest of pack is not their ability to solve problems or make the big money. Authentic entrepreneurs separate themselves from the status quo by finding innovative ways to make meaning. They are the ones that add value to their customers, client or users by not settling for mediocre. Guy Kawasaki, a role model of mine and a person I hope to meet soon has been known to preach, “If you make meaning, you will probably make money. But, if you set out to make money you probably won’t make meaning and you won’t make money.” Powerful words from an authentic entrepreneur who knows what it takes to make both meaning and money.
If that is not reason enough, here are a few reasons why:
Building Value Builds the Bank
What do Mark Zuckerberg, Pete Cashmore and Jake Nickell have in common? They are young, wealthy and have all added great value to millions of people’s lives. We all know Ivy League Mark whose intention to build an online social directory for college students turned into the social hub for over 350 million people to connect and share. Pete Cashmore’s vision was to give people the latest and greatest in web 2.0 and social media news. He succeeded, and now his site Mashable is the leading source for everything social media and is pulling in millions. Jake Nickell was an artist slash programmer that wanted to give artists an opportunity to showcase their art and gain recognition. That idea turned into Threadless.com. A crowdsourcing website that allows T-shirt designers to have their work voted on and bought by the Threadless community. Jake has changed the lives of thousands of designers while making millions out of his passion. Basically, it pays to build value.
People Power Your Business, Not Money
Many times, entrepreneurs have the misconception that building business is all about efficient lines of distribution, upping margins and sales volume. However, none of that is important without the people that support your business. After all, without people paying for your product or service there would be no microeconomic discussions in the first place. People fuel the economy, people buy your products, and people spread your brand. Nowadays, in a saturated market place, people are demanding excellent products. So to stand out, you must make meaning in people’s lives.
Anyone Can Make a Quick Dollar, Only the Truly Special Can Change the World
Every 10 years or so there is an opportunity for a lot of people to make a whole lot of money. We all remember the house flipping craze, the dot com bubble and even sports cards and comic books being a vehicle for quick money. But why don’t we remember those people who have made it big during those periods of economic upswing? We don’t remember them because those entrepreneurs failed to create meaning. Almost anyone can spot a gigantic wave and find a surf board large enough to ride it. However, not everyone has the creativity, ingenuity and the bravery to make something meaningful for the betterment of the world. With sheer faith in themselves and their purpose, authentic entrepreneurs can change the world for the better.
Forget about the reason you became an entrepreneur. From now on ask yourself, “How can I make meaning?” If you do that, you will be heading in the right direction.
Brenton Gieser is an Internet based entrepreneur focused on developing businesses that adds value to people’s lives. As the Community Strategist for Unstrapp’d, he is helping build the community of Gen-Y entrepreneurs that will shape the new age of business. Concurrently, he is working on building and advising multiple startups in the social media space. Find out more about Brenton on his blog, A Life With No Walls(http://brentongieser.com).