Having listened to President Obama’s inauguration speech – I pondered if parts of it could just as easily apply to business. Any business – whether it be a start-up or an established mature business. This is a bit of what he said:
- “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of the shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over work or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labour — who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.”
Let me reword it for business purposes:
- To be a great business – it does not come easily. It has to be worked at. There is no easy way or cutting corners. It takes people who will ‘give it a go’ and who work hard to make a difference to others over personal wealth. It is the people who make things happen, whether we know about them or not who create great things – these people build great companies and everyone benefits.
Often people have asked me “tell me the one thing that has made RedBalloon successful.” My answer is not what people want to hear. They ‘hope’ for a quick fix, easy riches. But if building a successful business was easy – everybody would do it.
The answer is simple “It takes a lot of hard work – by a lot of people. People all committed to one thing and all pulling in the same direction and are prepared to take a risk”.