The Art of Business

Possibly one of the most important barriers for a would-be entrepreneur to overcome is the fear that she/he can’t really match up to the reigning titans of business. One way to overcome it is to ask: why do I want to set up and run a business?

If you’re already an entrepreneur, you may have been asked, or may have asked yourself at some point in time the reason or reasons for being in business. Even after the business is up, you may find yourself questioning the motivation to continue.

The answers – depending on who is asked, by whom and at what time – may range from gaining (money, fame, power, security, goodwill, etc. etc.), to giving (employment, security, dignity etc. etc.).

However, all of these are on the surface. And they change.

The underlying motivation, to my mind, is: to give expression to yourself. Just as a painting is to an artist, a piece of music to a composer, a book to an author, business is a method of expressing one’s personality. And just as moods change, expressions change – with the changing expression the surface motivations mentioned above may also grow or decline.

And just as we wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) use a cookie-cutter approach to deciding good art, neither should we use the lowest common denominators of financial or scale metrics alone to judge a business as good. (In fact, look where the cookie-cutters got investors!)

So, here’s to finding your expression!

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5 Responses to The Art of Business

  1. Philip Ammerman says:

    One thing that struck me is that as soon as I reached university, I knew quite quickly that I didn’t want to stay in academia, but that I wanted to start a business of my own. This wound up being consulting: could it have been something else? At the time, my career choice was the result of a fortuitous confluence of circumstances. Today, my career is the result of investment, choice, autonomy and security. However, I know that if growing the company is a strategic choice, my career will have to change: from analysis to marketing and customer relationship management; from the intellectual excitement of project implementation, to the different (and from this perspective, boring) skills set of project management.

    I definitely agree with your statement: My career expresses me.

  2. Well said. According to my personal observation…I normally divide entrepreneurs into two basic categories – Those who want to emulate the infosys, tata, birla, ambani (they do so, cost & means best left open) and are happy eventually? AND those who want to own, leave behind a legacy, are not worried about comparisons so on & forth. They are treated foolish at times, but have the most fun & sense of achievement, maybe both at the same time also. Post this there may be a lot of categories etc. that may divide these but for me the first cut is the most useful:)

  3. Philip Ammerman says:

    When I started my company, all I had was an example of negative learning: from the consultancy employer that I worked for, I determined how NOT to do consulting. The alternative is quite difficult, probably much less profitable, but more satisfying. Ultimately, it’s also better for long-term, since most of our work is for repeat clients. (that knock-knock-knock you hear is me knocking on wood!)

  4. Riyaaz Amlani says:

    Amen!

  5. Anita Lobo says:

    So true. Ultimately we aspire to the noble thought, that our lives and work have contributed to making the world a better place – an enduring legacy that lives beyond us.

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