Friday, August 17, 2007

Why do you want to go into business for yourself?

One business coaching book I’ve been reading states that this question should be posed before going into any business. I’m not completely convinced. I’ve seen people plunge into projects and do okay with very little self-reflection. (I’ve also seen the opposite, lots of work, no results, so maybe this author has a point... but I’m still dubious.)

In high school I had a teacher who liked to separate out the cynics on the first day of class, so he’d ask “What’s the first priority of every politician?” He’d sneer at the beauty-queen answers “world peace”, “save the environment”, “lower taxes” (well, the last may be more of a Republican beauty queen, God love ‘em) etc. And then the warm sunshine of his snaggle-toothed smile would fall upon the Chosen One, which for that year was me. My answer? “To get elected.” Because unelected politicians just aren’t worth very much.

It seems to me the number one goal of every business is to make money. More importantly make a profit. Other goals are just gravy, secondary trail markers that tell you if you’re on track or not.

The important thing is that at some point you have to give up the navel-gazing and just plunge in. Go make money.

I’d love your comments and/or your stories.