Am I a unicorn?
Founders: what’s the ‘why’ behind your business?
Knowing the purpose that drives your business helps you focus on what’s important, and makes sure you only stress about things that really matter. How clear are you about the ‘why’ behind your business?
Traditionally businesses were run for profit, but that started to change about 25 years ago.
That’s when the concept of triple bottom line accounting emerged, and since then the idea of broadening goals to include social and environmental outcomes has been embraced worldwide.
These days, purpose is crucial for engaging and motivating teams. Few things are more important for professional services firms than attracting and retaining the talent who provide brilliant service to your clients. Having a compelling purpose that goes beyond profit enables you to do just that.
As a business founder, the concept of bottom line quickly becomes very personal.
Starting a business might be accidental – you leave employment to work independently, find you can generate demand from clients and soon need a team to support you. Maybe it’s a more deliberate vision for more money, the freedom to choose projects, or the passion to create something new and disruptive.
Whatever your reasons, at some point you’ll probably lose focus on them as day-to-day responsibilities build up, and that can be stressful. Add a quick browse on social media and it’s easy to feel like life is all about the #hustle, being at your desk before 5am, filling your day with energy, excitement, and passion because the #grindneverstops. That mindset works for some people. For others, it breeds stress and stifles productivity. Like I said, being a founder quickly feels very personal.
On that note, I have a confession to make.
I’m not all about the hustle. The work does stop. I spend the first hour or two every day with my kids or on my bike, and most evenings lifting weights, hanging out with Mrs H, or seeing friends. My business is always at the back of my mind, but I know that I have a limited number of hours each week to focus on it effectively.
I didn't start Honeycomb PS to be "the next big thing" and I'm not aiming to disrupt entire industries. My kids care a lot more about unicorns than I do.
So why did I start my own business?
This stuff feels quite personal, but here goes. I want to…
1. Build a team and culture that I love.
2. Help talented, interesting, entrepreneurs grow their own businesses.
3. Prove that part-time and flexible workers can bring huge value to the firms they support.
4. Build flexibility into my own working life.
5. Pay the bills in the short-term, and create some equity value over the long-term.
These are my "founder's bottom line".
They help me judge success on my goals, not someone else’s, and they guide me when the to-do list gets overwhelming. If I’m concentrating on profit at the expense of my own flexibility, I’m getting it wrong. Creating an awesome culture is critical to what I’m trying to achieve, so that’s a priority. And so on.
If you’re a founder, next time the priorities start to pile up take a step back and remind yourself of your own personal bottom line. And then use that to focus on the things that are really important to you.
Find out how Honeycomb PS can give you time back to focus on your purpose and on what really matters to you. Get in touch.