How does what we believe affects how we do business?

I’m sure that I am not unlike other entrepreneurs in the sense that we dream big but have perfectionist tendencies. This is challenging because we want to run ahead and do more and bigger, but we just can’t do it well if we don’t keep our feet on the ground. One of the tools I am using to keep my feet on the ground is to seek out why people even go through the challenge and struggle to create an organization. In the United States we often look at work and business as a way to win the game of life. The score card is our net worth and we need to be hard driving to this end. We have many reasons for doing what we do, but are some of these cultural presumptions really what we want to base our life on?

Tim Ferriss in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek challenges our notion of working for retirement. In essence he is saying, “Do you really want to put off having a life and learning how to enjoy yourself until you’re sixty.”  Not that you don’t work hard, but rather what are you doing with your life.? He is touching on the same kind of idea that I am trying to raise here. What is our work for? I don’t want to give you an answer, but set you on your own journey. Let’s question our assumptions about work and business. If I take the time to think about it, most of my life I have worked because that’s what I was supposed to do and I needed to survive. As I applied myself, I enjoyed what I did but I didn’t have any understanding of why I was working. It’s just what I was supposed to do so I did it.

If we just absorb the common ideas or presumptions we risk giving our life for something we don’t really want to. A negative example of presumptions at work would be the leadership of Enron. Did they really challenge their idea of what their roles really were all about? If they did, would you agree with it? Of course I can’t get into their heads but what they did is consistent with that rush to “get rich at any cost”. It’s easy to see the negative but what could this tell us about how important this question is to think critically about? If I know I don’t want to be another Enron, then I begin to get the picture of where I do want to go. I am far from arriving but at least I am learning where I don’t want to go. Leader and an entrepreneurs have to deal with big questions even if we don’t always have all the answers. Embrace the journey…

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2 responses to “How does what we believe affects how we do business?

  1. I like the questions that you’re provoking – and I think they’re just as important for “rank and file” employees as for entrepreneurs.

  2. Pingback: Bookmarks about Entrepreneur

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