Do the Business of Your Life or Make Your Life a Business?
When the fundamental structures that support the economic, social, and financial life of people suffer such important alterations as those that are taken place by the global pandemic of the Coronavirus, it is necessary to ask deep questions. In the case of Entrepreneurs, the dilemma is: do the business of your life or make your life a business? The question raises a structural reflection, of the same proportions that the supervening change presents.
A historical reference helps to understand the character of the subject:
When Napoleon made desperate efforts to form a new army that would allow him to face his enemies in what would later become the Battle of Waterloo, he faced an unprecedented problem: the shortage of horses for battle. The campaign for the invasion of Russia earlier had decimated the French troops and cavalry. There were no suitable and sufficient horses to .
A frantic search for animals began in every corner of France. But the efforts were not yielding the expected results. Most of the horses that still existed were in agricultural and transport jobs. Few conformed to military demands.
Faced with the pressure, the premises had to be changed: instead of looking for the appropriate horses, they began to select riders who could meet the demands of the cavalry with less qualified animals. Ductile and skilled men would perform equally well with the resources that existed. Many of the best officers and men of the traditional cavalry were left out of the selection because they could not achieve the usual performance with lower-class animals.
Something similar can happen with entrepreneurs in the reality that is expected after this global crisis: scarce resources and elusive opportunities to do business. Known standards will change. There will be “few horses and highly valued flexible riders with deep knowledge of their trade.”
It will then be up to you to evaluate a particular choice: to do the Business of your life or to make your life a Business?
Is not the same.
The first case is the same as looking for horses and the second is a rider who can ride on the available animals.
The first thing to understand well is the genuine meaning of Business.
Business is often assumed to be a structure, a physical entity. But the Business is a function, an act, a task that is carried out.
The word Business has an etymological origin in the Latin word “negotium” which means “activity that generates utility, interest or profit for those who put it into practice”. Under this meaning, almost all people’s activities can be classified as a business, because most of them are carried out based on some type of utility, interest, or benefit.
All business organizations begin as a Business. They are based on some activity that generates profit. For this reason, a Business is not the same as a company. The first is a function and the second is a structure developed around it.
However, not all the activities that can be included within the Business concept provide equal utility, interest, or benefit. When they are properly discriminated against, a relevant conclusion is reached: the activities that generate the greatest benefit are those related to the production and sale of something, be it a product, a service, an idea, etc.
Production and sales function perfectly in the Business. Whether it is a business organization or a person. That which is produced and sold provides the fundamental benefit. All the other activities serve to support, consolidate and optimize the former.
On the other hand, there is a logical presumption that nothing will be produced that cannot be sold. And therefore the sales function takes precedence over the production function. This is the simple logic on which business activities are based!
Who does a Business sell something? And the better you do it, the better Business you have.
Entrepreneurs are precisely the agents that create and shape businesses. They identify something that can be sold, produce it and establish the embryo of all business activities. There is no company without a Business, and there is no Business that is not the product of entrepreneurial work.
Now, it is completely true that every crisis is always an opportunity. And it is to be expected that as a result of the unprecedented situation that is causing this pandemic in 2020, many business opportunities will arise that previously would not have been easily visualized.
But on the other hand, the situation will also provide the opportunity for people and professionals to stand out in these new conditions much easier than before. To continue with the example of history, in the situation that emerges after the world crisis, “the riders will be worth as much or more than the horses themselves.” And this will allow people and professionals to develop with advantage the Business that they represent in themselves.
Every professional produces and sells something. The entrepreneur does it with an idea or a project, the employee with the work he performs in an organization, and the independent professional with the product or service he offers. Everyone runs a Business on their own person!
Before being the individual that creates a Business, the Entrepreneur is first a Business in itself. Likewise, the employee who produces and sells knowledge and skills to the employer. Also the lawyer, dentist, or engineer who trades in the market with the trade he has. Everyone produces and sells something. And they have to do it, in addition, better than their competitors.
Crises cause something particular and typical of any evolutionary process: a purification of structures and people. A natural selection of the fittest, strongest, and most competent. Those who best adapt to new situations.
Adversities constitute a quality test for individuals and organizations. The best survive and prevail.
This is not subject to any moral criteria, because ultimately the arguments to determine whether a crisis obeys the criteria of justice are lacking. It happens because it happens and how it happens, generating a selection of the fittest individuals.
To prevail in this scenario and maximize benefits, individuals and professionals must strengthen and qualify their personal skills. They must focus on the development of their own Business, of what they produce and sell! This is the premise of survival in the times to come.
Returning to the historical reference, it is evident that the crisis increases the demand for “horses fit for battle”. That is the opportunities to do business that were not obvious before. But it is even more true that the crisis demands “appropriate riders to lead the available horses.” That is to say, flexible, ductile, and skilled people and professionals to function in all circumstances. People and professionals with a very clear focus on what they are and what they can, what they produce and sell themselves.
The profound changes that are taking place in the labor market and the type of worker that the future will demand have been highlighted for some time. But the present crisis will derail even that reasoning. It is not now about acquiring certain knowledge or skills, in particular, it is much more than that. It is a matter of making everyone’s life a solid and competitive Business.
As it is!
Each person and professional must be very clear about what they produce and sell. And it must be the best possible version of your own Business.
It is different to approach personal and professional development in conventional terms than to do it thinking of oneself as a Business. And this is easy to verify, let’s see:
WHAT IS MY BUSINESS?
To create a conventional business, a specific need must be identified in the market.
And on a personal basis, you must also identify what has to be produced and sold to make the Business that you are viable. What can I do better than the others? What do I excel at? So I’m good? What should I develop or strengthen?
#1.STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
To create a Business, a market study must be carried out to certify the identified need and the potential of the idea to satisfy it.
In a personal capacity, an inventory of the knowledge, abilities, skills, aptitudes, and dispositions that are available must be carried out. Equally of limitations, defects, and weaknesses (which for the rest is a matter that is always avoided, almost unconsciously).
#2.OBJECTIVES AND LIFE PLAN
To create a Business, a project must be developed that responds to the conclusions of the market study and can make the activation of the idea feasible.
On an individual basis, one must have specific objectives and plans to develop and activate the production, sale, and support tasks of the Business that is oneself.
To start a Business, capital must be sought and the necessary investments activated.-
On an individual basis, you also have to look for resources and make as many investments as necessary yourself. Learn and develop the knowledge that allows you to consolidate your own business. Without investments, businesses do not work, and it is the same when it comes to one.
#4.COMPETITIVE PROFILE OR THE BEST VERSION OF ITSELF
A Business must develop a clear competitive profile to prevail in the market.
In the case of people and professionals, what is produced and sold must also have a distinguished stamp. An added value over other similar offers. And this is not just a matter of common sense, it requires investment and hard work.
It may seem that in a personal capacity the competition does not have the forms that correspond to business, but the reality is different and much more in times of crisis. There are not only one, ten, or a hundred competing for the same thing, in a global reality the number can be in the millions.
#5.ORDERING AND INTEGRATION OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE
In a Business, the support functions that sustain production and sales are organized. Accounting, logistics, administrative, financial, etc. are used.
And in a personal capacity, it cannot be very different.
Family activities, personal economy, and productivity must be properly arranged. Organize the time and energy for private tasks and those related to the Business that is oneself.
A business approach to managing your own life is very different from what you think. The common people understand that they must order their life to have good professional performance, but this almost always ends as a truism that does not resemble treating the subject as if it were a conventional business.
THE CLIENT. WHAT DO I OWE?
A Business remains healthy and competitive because of its customer orientation.
In a personal capacity, there is always also a client to whom you must respond. Because finally, all the relationships that condition personal and social development are clients that must be served. Starting with the family and ending with business relationships.
MY BUSINESS IS ME
When things are evaluated under this lens, the conclusion is reached that a person must do a Business of his life itself.
In this way, the integral performance that is necessary to sustain in a complex and challenging environment is achieved. In this way, systemic development is achieved.
It is not enough to have a clear order of “professional” and personal life. Or even a “healthy separation” from them. On the contrary, both must be a solid structure, interdependent and conditioning.
A disorderly personal existence or a dissipated family life takes little advantage of professional performance. And on the other hand, personal and family order does not help much either when it is not efficiently transferred to professional development.
Is not easy. But the times require to come.
And it doesn’t have to be evaluated as a bad thing, because ultimately the success that can come from such an approach surely justifies the inherent cost.
Do the Business of your life or make your life a Business?
There is no objection to the desire to do business. Opportunities multiply in crises. But adopting a life approach emulating the guidelines imposed by a Business is not incompatible with the above, on the contrary, it strengthens it.
Not to forget the historical reference set out: there is indeed a demand for horses suitable for battle, but riders who can perform well in terms of the restrictions that exist are even more valuable.