Can one get from A to B without a strategy? Only if there are no obstacles.

For me a strategy, whether written or in someone’s head, is what sets a business apart from the rest. Companies that are managed strategically are the ones that outlive the rest.

I sometimes come across small or medium-sized businesses that are like works of art. They are beautiful, because they have a clear point of difference, understand their customers very well and offer a high-quality product. And they all tend to have passionate owners.

But many companies are not like this. One reason is because they are founded purely to exploit a business opportunity. To make money. But making money, although the desirable result for any business, should not be the only reason to start a business. Your business won’t reach “art” status if your only motivation is money.

Whenever someone introduces himself as a “serial entrepreneur”, I get the shivers, because these are usually the people who start companies for no other reason than to make money. They feel little for the business itself. They flit from one love affair to the next, and are not interested in making the kind of commitment required for making a long-term relationship work.

Artists, on the other hand, are married to their businesses. I recently spoke to an owner who said this about his business: “…this place is a little special…” before continuing to explain how it has managed to survive through three generations! Is your business “a little special”?

I go to extraordinary lengths to work with companies that have the following in common:

  1. Family owned
  2. Long operating histories

When I step into these places I understand that “something sacred is happening here”. Here it is not just about making money. A bigger plan is at play. A strategy for creating a beautiful business.

Maybe this is then the question: are you a serial entrepreneur, or you an artist?