One of the most powerful driving forces in human nature is competition. The desire to overcome something or some company, the need to win, the cause, can in many cases be more important than the day-to-day work of the company.
If your company and your people are to ever reach some level of greatness, you must identify and focus on beating something, on creating and communicating a reason for being.
If your reason for being is that you got fired, so you decided to go into business for yourself, then maybe all you will ever create is a job.
Now, understand that when I say enemy or competition, I'm not necessarily suggesting something negative. While the folks at Apple Computer will tell you that their reason for being is often rooted in beating Microsoft, many organizations also draw motivation from saving things, ridding the world of things, creating peace, making life more enjoyable, teaching, sharing, spreading and a host of other very positive things.
And that's the point. Small business owners often have no readily identifiable group of competitors or Goliath to aim at but they may find motivation in a great cause or reason for being and connecting that that great cause can become the drive to play the game at the highest level.
Your cause can be grand or it can be humble, but find it and you will be much more prepared to market your business, run your business with passion, hire people who support the cause and create a vision for your business. Great causes possess the power of attraction.
Think what you do isn't grand enough to call a cause?
I will rid the world of bad advertising, one ad at a time. We will prove that tax preparation can be fun. We will empower anyone to buy a home. I will make my customers so overwhelmingly thrilled they will refer their friends and neighbors willingly. I will ensure that no one will ever be afraid to go to the dentist again.
Are you starting to see how this kind of thinking and the notion of focusing on competition could help drive your actions?
What if you could actually connect your beliefs and values to your reason for being? Would that provide motivation to do more? Would that start to feel like more than a job?
So, what is your organization's cause for being? Aim high and let your cause guide you, your people and your clients to greatness.
Copyright 2004 John Jantsch
John Jantsch is a marketing coach and the creator of Duct Tape Marketing. Find out more and recieve you free small business marketing guide at http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com.