After yesterday’s article, some people messaged me…some agreed, some disagreed.
But the consensus was that it sounds good in theory, but how does one go about it?
My answer is very simple. Rewind to 20-30 years back. Think of the businesses that you knew in your neighborhood. From the grocer, to the chemist, the repair shops, cable tv…all were run by a small team, most successful, but no concept of valuations and lofty ambitions. They still are, the only difference is that they are being swallowed up by big tech and 10-minute hyper delivery startups.
All those neighborhood businesses – they knew you personally. Not just as someone who answers a doorbell, they knew your family, a very personalized interaction. Sometimes a bit of credit was also an option. In fact, the neighbourhood grocer still runs a book where he notes down the pending amounts and collects it once it gets a bit high. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) existed years back as well!
Not everyone can be a unicorn. I think it isn’t that great an aspiration anyway. Instead, if you can weave business into the fabric of a person’s life, where a client doesn’t see you as a trader but as a friend, where it’s not always about the money, but there is a genuineness associated with the relationship. The scale of the business is not important, the impact you create is.
Start by solving a problem, not by calculating how much money comes off it. And keep that thought firmly in your head throughout the journey. Push for returns in quality, in the difference you make for your stakeholders and clients, not for quarterly income calls. We are the 99%, the non-unicorns, and there are many of us out there. Help each other, rather than try to trample on one another. Co-exist, rather than takeover.
Remember, however high you fly, however big the company gets, and how much ever you earn…one day, you got to leave it all behind and go to the next level. Might as well enjoy time while it lasts:)
See you tomorrow!