By: Eli Crane
TUCSON, Ariz. – As an entrepreneur you constantly hear from advisers, investors and other business experts, the bullet proof rule that, “cash is king.” For those of us who have taken the road less traveled and started our own business with visions of creating something magnificent, building wealth, providing for others, or all of the above, we have learned how important this one rule is. Let’s face it, hugs and good intentions are not going to keep the lights on or keep our staff employed. In addition, I am learning how important it is to also have a mission outside of making money, maintaining a healthy bottom line and being able to report large growth and profits to my partners as my business is quickly growing and transitioning from a start-up into an adolescent small business.
When I say mission, I mean using your resources and platform to do good and bless others. This might mean supporting veterans, sheltering the homeless or planting trees. Your mission is up to you. Like most entrepreneurs in the earlier stages of building a business, you find yourself wearing hats that you don’t have any business wearing. You try to build a better team on peanuts and should be awarded an honorary position at the local fire house for the daily fires you are putting out back at the office. It can be exhausting and very stressful.
Many of us have found ourselves looking into the mirror asking ourselves “what are you doing?” reminiscing about the good old days when we would clock in at 9 a.m. and roll out a hair before 5 p.m., leaving work and all of our professional worries behind. I have found one of the best therapies, and ways I combat this, is trying to focus less on my worries, responsibilities and burdens and focus more on how many people we are able to come along side and help out. It really has given me the extra motivation and passion to take on this next phase of business and deal with the new fires and complications. As strong as our desires are to take care of our families, get featured in Forbes magazine, or live in that mansion on the hill, sometimes these desires and business goals aren’t enough to keep us battling day-after-day with extremely poor odds of “making it.”
You might be thinking, “We don’t have a mission, how do we start?” The vehicle you use to get there isn’t as important as making up your mind that you’re going to start the journey. You just have to be creative and think outside of the box. A business owner may say, “We can barely make ends meet now, how can we possible give anything away, or help anyone else out.” Call it Karma, or what comes around goes around. You’ll be surprised to see with your own two eyes how this works.
Our friends at Wicked Good Cupcakes take their product and send their world famous jars of cupcakes overseas to deployed service members during the holidays. Additionally, our friends at Grace and Lace take a portion of every sale and use it to build orphanages for children in India.
You would be surprised at how much additional pride your team will take in their work when they know they are directly involved in something bigger than themselves. Their job is no longer only about making a pay check, but also about making a positive impact for others. Having a solid mission may also bring you so much positive exposure that it might be that one thing to differentiate you from your competitors and land you more sustaining business.
With all the benefits there are to giving back and having a mission dedicated to something much bigger than making cash, sometimes I don’t know how businesses survive without one. If you are doing it now, thank you. If you are not, it is never too late, and remember, we only go around once. Life is too short to be wasted on pursuits, which won’t bring you any real fulfillment. In the world of business, cash will always be king, but take it from me, you will be blown away and extremely blessed if you make a good mission your queen.