Remember that I wrote in my last post that following your dreams is like a roller coaster? Well, this last week has been constantly up. Yesterday was my first day as a full time entrepreneur. It’s like all these small pieces of my business strategy that have been laying around unsorted have come together, one by one, to form a beautiful puzzle. And now I can see the bigger picture. My puzzle is sure still missing a few pieces but it’s definitely getting there.
Celebrating things have not been a strength of mine, but have decided to get better. I now live by the belief that life is supposed to be celebrated. I have realized that if you don’t celebrate the small victories – the road gets so boring. There is also a slight risk that you might actually miss when you cross the finish line, because you are so set on the future. And you know what? If I never reach that great goal of mine, but made sure I celebrated all the steps on the road. Well at least I enjoyed the ride!
We celebrated by inviting friends over for dinner and champagne. On a wednesday. Do you know how much better champagne tastes on a wednesday? I didn’t because I had never tried. Now I know. And it was so good! I’ve also been overwhelmed with flowers and people wishing me good luck. I think part of why it feels so good is because for me, starting a business isn’t only about achieving something for myself, which is also of course a goal. It’s about helping others. Being a good amongst bad and contributing to our society in more dimensions than I can ever do as an employee.
To me, money will never be more important than people.
No business is more important than people. People always come first. In my experience, this world that we live in tend to focus more and more on business and money. Good and committed people get run down, only for the rich to get richer. People who don’t get treated with respect and offered a descent chance of doing their job, are more likely to get ill, physically and mentally. Everyday, the light that is their commitment fades, until eventually their light is completely extinguished. And then I haven’t even begun to talk about all the people who have no other wish than actually getting a chance to live their lives . People in poverty, war, with chronical illnesses and those who, in other ways, have been delt a less fortunate hand.
That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I have been told that I am too kind. Because I care so much about people. Because I don’t like the way many companies treat their employees, suppliers, customers or other human beings that pass their way. Throwing people away, not caring about the human being behind the title, just to move the business along faster and lighter. I’ve been told that ‘business is business’ and you can’t get too emotional. I have been told that I am too kind. To me, there is no such thing.
I am totally aware that businesses might face hard times where you have to let people go. And that’s fine. And you might have suppliers who doesn’t have what it takes and you’ll have to change. That’s fine too. What I don’t like is when you don’t treat people with respect. When you see people as numbers and money and nothing more. Too me, a company with successful and happy employees will eventually make results. All the positive feedback I have gotten these last few days is proof to me that there is another way of doing it. That my way might actually work.
Without people – money is nothing.
My business now is small – but I have much larger visions and goals. And the most important guideline for me as my business grows, is that people always come first. Wether I like it or not, money is power. I want to make money because if I don’t, someone else will. And they might not use it to do good. I want to have a successful business, not to get rich. But to be able to give more people a good job, better opportunities and a happy life.
From the first day and until the last (hopefully this will last a long time) I have promised to always donate 5% of my company’s profits to charity. Right now it might be only small amounts of money, but who knows in the future? I have the privilege to make my dreams come true and I want to give back so more people get a chance. If you want to read more about the event that led up to my business strategy, you find that blog post here (all in swedish).
Money doesn’t make us happier. But money used in the right way can make this world a better place. And that is my goal.
What really makes me happy.
Do you have other ideas on how to give back?