I have been reading Steve Job's biography (on a Kindle strangely enough) and see in his story what I see in a lot of entrepreneurs I work with - a huge love for what they do. They care. A lot.
They care about their customers. They care about their products and they care about what they do. In fact, they care so much they will put themselves in harms way to keep doing what they love. They risk their money, security and even relationships in their relentless pursuit of helping others. And Damn do I respect that. I respect them so much I often work with them for free just to help them on their way.
The question I have is why? Why do they put others ahead of themselves? Why would Steve Jobs put himself in an early grave to make our computers, music players and phones more beautiful? Why do entrepreneurs quit their high paying, relatively safe jobs for the shark infested waters of small business? The only answer I have is that the heart is more powerful than the head. The love for the mission these people are on, outweighs the common sense of financial safety and regular work hours. That's why when encountering yet another challenge in business, instead of giving up, most entrepreneurs double down and give it some more. It's tough but worth it, I have heard them say. And you know what, now I understand.
I have been in my own business, Social Star, for over a year now and I am not afraid to tell you at times, it has been tough. There have been times that I have wanted to give up. I am not too man enough to admit that I have shed a few tears. I remember one particular Saturday a few months after leaving my job and before the business really took off. I was with my kids and Huddy suggested we go for breakfast. We were outside our favourite cafe, we had been many times, but this time I was so broke that I couldn't afford it. Things were so tight. I was so ashamed and it broke my heart to admit it to them. I so wanted to escape to the easy and stable world of corporate employment. But I didn't. I couldn't. What example and legacy would that provide my children? You can't give up on your dream and passion just because it gets a little tough.
Every time I consider doing that, I think about why I started the business in the first place and find a bit more to give. You see the real reason I started this business was to help fellow entrepreneurs live their dream. Help them escape the trap of the corporate consumption lifestyle and dig deeper into the meaning of what work is all about. There is the secret fulfillment in life that money just can't buy and it's called helping others. My new Audi I gave up didn't give me an ounce of satisfaction compared to the feeling when I helped one of my wonderful customers live her business dream at the amazing age of 60!
There is no better reward for me in my work than a client whose life I have changed for the better. Even with the small ways that we impact their lives with a shiny new Personal Brand or an easy to use website. It feels good. The rest is just gravy. That's why I can't and won’t give up. Even when it hard and I feel like it's not coming together. You have to push on and go back to the basics - how do I help people more today. What can I do to better serve my clients?
No one is perfect. Companies are not always going to get it all right. But I do believe, if you care, genuinely care for your clients, than they will love you back. And that my friend is why we are all here in the first place.
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