“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” Maya Angelou
Women’s History Month is a great time to look at the words of Maya Angelou and the lessons they have for entrepreneurs. This quote listed above has 3 lessons for entrepreneurs. These lessons are:
- First you must survive
- You need a reason to live
- Seek to thrive
First you must survive
No matter what else an entrepreneur does, she must make sure her business survives. All the great ideas, net profits and community outreach a business does mean nothing, if the business is not able to survive. It is important to take care of your business so that your business survives. This means a business should keep good records, pay obligations in a timely manner, treat employees with dignity and show respect to customers. This is how a company survives.
You need a reason to live
Every thing needs a reason to live. This includes your business. Your business needs a purpose, a reason to exist. Look at your business. In five seconds or less can you define its purpose? Is there a reason why your business is alive? If you know your business’ purpose – excellent. If you do not know the reason why your business is alive, stop. Literally stop right now and find it. There is no right answer. Some businesses are alive to create jobs. Others exist to make money for their founders. Others exist to prepare people for other jobs. Your business must have a reason to exist.
Seek to thrive
Once survival is secure, the next thing to do is thrive. When a person thrives, they prosper and flourish. That is what we want for our businesses. This is a good thing and a wonderful goal to have for our businesses. When a business is in survival mode, it is operating day-to-day and doesn’t have time, energy or ability to think about what is going on in the future. Survival makes it hard to plan, organize and grow. Look for ways to develop your business. Seek out partnerships that enable you to make best use of resources. Look for ways to thrive.
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Entrepreneurs who want to succeed should ABL aka Always be Learning. I firmly believe that you can learn something new every day if you try. Poetry, affirmations and inspiring quotes from others are a great source of lessons for entrepreneurs.
So, the question for you this thrilling day is, is your business in survive mode or thrive mode?