It seems obvious, right? If you’re planning to be an entrepreneur, you should make a plan. In fact, Forbes Magazine talked about the story of Eric and Patrick and their very different reasons for starting an insurance company. What can the story of Eric and Patrick teach you about your business startup?
Eric had no absence of drive and determination. He knew what he wanted and he knew how he was going to get there. What he wanted was money and all of the niceties that come along with it. He had already decided that he would retire early with his riches and live out his many remaining years sipping martinis at only the nicest restaurants. He wasn’t so much concerned about the the business as he was using the business as a vehicle to get what he wanted.
Patrick was different. Patrick always had a dream of being an entrepreneur. He wanted the freedom to build a business and serve the customer in a way that made them feel valued as a person. Hearing his thoughts on a business it almost sounded like he had worked for somebody who had attitudes similar to Erics in the past. Patrick clearly a customer-centered person.
The first rule of starting a business is to know what you believe. Eric is driven and will surely work hard to achieve his goals but he may never get there. Because his pursuit is money, Eric is far more likely to sell his customers products that pay a higher commission instead of products that fit their needs and will keep them coming back to his business. To get ahead fast, he may break the rules and end up in trouble with state regulators and in the end, his dream of retiring rich may not be realized.
Patrick wants to use the business as a vehicle to help people and that will surely be evident as he talks to his customers and makes decisions in their best interest instead of trying to make fast money. His customers will like and trust him and not only come back but also tell their friends about him.
Before you become an entrepreneur make sure that you’re doing it because you have a heart for serving people. Those who do the right thing may not get rich tomorrow but they’ll get rich over time and build a business where people like Patrick will meet Eric’s goals although that may have never been his goal in the first place.
Your mission statement doesn’t have to be sappy and heartfelt but if your entrepreneurial heart isn’t in the right place, you may be doomed for failure.