I’ve been extremely lucky this year to have met and become friends with other creative entrepreneurs living and working to make Knoxville a better city. In all of my conversations, I’m most impressed by those who have a clear intention with not only what they’re doing, but why. They all have a strong sense of who they are, what they offer, and why they’re doing what they’re doing.
The question remains: can you run a successful business while not being a jackass? We read constantly about CEOs who are powerhouses in their field, mostly because they can make difficult decisions, but also because they are aggressive, intimidating, and a bit scary. Does this image of the feared CEO really make for the best business practices? And who declared that in order to be a CEO you must yield a scrotum of steel?
While it’s crucial to be able to make tough decisions, my intention has always and will continue to be very simple: to leave the world a better place than I found it, to empower others to reach their goals, and to live a life that is simple yet impactful. At the core is the ethical principle I live by: do no harm.
How do you go about setting your intention in a world filled with noise and clutter? I think it starts by asking yourself why you’ve chosen to pursue entrepreneurship. What about starting your own business got you fired up? Were you solving a problem? Fixing a broken system? Sometimes finding our intention is as easy as answering that question.
Others that might help include:
1. How do I want to be remembered? What impact do I want to have on the world/my community/my field of work?
2. What is most important to me? How can I use my work to create more of that in my life?
3. Why do I want to be doing what I’m doing for 8 hours a day?
I find that having a firm intention helps me to decide what jobs to take, what boundaries to set, what marketing tactics to use, and how best to serve my customers. Everything else falls into place once you’ve determined for yourself, why you’re doing what you’re doing.
What is your intention as an entrepreneur or business owner?