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  • DBMS Global

Why You Are the Heart of Your Business, and What That (Really) Means

Whether you like it or not, you are the beating heart of your business… are translating your DNA into a walking, talking corporate entity. But how does an owner remain consciously and productively engaged in that role — one that advances a personal identity professionally without becoming self-defeatingly egocentric?

It may seem new-age or “woo-woo” to traffic in this term, but to me, the key is in “alignment”. In considering this, I’m reminded of 1980s-era Wall Street types, pin-striped and screaming into grey plastic bricks, with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War poking out of their briefcases. What that (admittedly stereotypical) yuppy type communicates to me is someone trying to force it, who is possibly not in alignment with who they are or their foundational values. They might have thought that Gordon Gecko’s “Greed is good” mantra — backed by an aggressive, pushy attitude and washed down with Johnny Walker Blue — was all that was required, but with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps we can see the fallacies at work. It’s more than likely that these behaviors were coping mechanisms and faux bravado standing in for an actual set of values.

The point is that we can’t force our businesses to be anything that we ourselves are not — that it’s vital to do the work of first understanding who we are and who we’d like to be, then assess how a business will help get us there.

An often-overlooked reason for failure

According to Fundsquire, 20% of companies in the UK fail in their first year, and around 60% will go bust within their first three, with periodic lockdowns and other Covid-19 compliancy regulations only exacerbating the situation. The main reason for failure (42%) Fundsquire cited is “no market need for their services or product”. That cause might seem obvious, but what such a stat says to me is that there was a very good chance these owners were not personally aligned with their business and customers.

Whoever is reading this has probably met or knows somebody like this… who has doggedly pursued an entrepreneurial endeavor long beyond its “sell by” date, convinced that its idea/product is so ingenious and well conceived that a market for it will simply appear. It’s a tale as old as time. If this person had done the work of not only creating a brilliant product but also understanding who that product/business should be helping them to become, however, a different outcome could have been had.


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