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What would it look like to take the YOU out of entrepreneUr?

(OPINION EDITORIAL) The root of every good business is selflessness, so what would it look like if you take the YOU out of entreprenUr?

Man working on laptop representing time well-spent.

Bigger than profits

Love makes the world go round, but can it really live in the cutthroat world of start ups and entrepreneurship? Can it live in the same breath as the calculating Steve Jobs, or a conniving Travis Kalanick, or even the maniacally evil Martin Shkreli? When you’re building a successful business does the shrewd selfish CEO always come out on top, or is there room for entrepreneurs without ego? Is it possible to build a selfless business, based on passion and more importantly love?

I believe that it’s not only possible but imperative, not just for the good of the company, but for the good of the entrepreneur as well.

Selflessness freedoms

There is something so freeing about selflessness, motivations that are trapped outside of simple personal gain are easier to achieve. That’s why motivation experts teach that when you’re trying to lose weight you should think of how your goal will help the people you love (my kids will have a healthier mom, my husband will be motivated to stay fit, I will have more energy to play with my family) rather than how your goal will help you.

It’s easier to compromise when you think only of yourself.

It’s easier to convince yourself to cheat, to take, to indulge. Perhaps when we think about how we’re satisfied at work we ought to think in the same way.

Inherency of entreprenurialism

What entrepreneurs innately know is that when their business surrounds customer satisfaction, when they are providing a product or service that people really need, that really works, that’s really important to their lives, the fact that it makes money or not tends to become unimportant.

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The important part of the business is really the crux of all business – how can I make people happy, and how can I provide them a product that they will really love. When you focus on the external product – making the world better, making lives easier, loving your customers, you find that the physical work becomes a little less tedious and a little more passionate.

It’s not about following your dream exactly.

It’s not about pursuing an idea at all costs, or burning through capital without a plan, it’s about taking yourself out of the equation. What if success didn’t mean buying a bigger house or a bigger car or going on fancier vacations.

What if success meant changing people’s lives for the better?

Not being a good employee so you’ll get a promotion or helping out your coworkers, but actually making a product that’s so exciting to you that you just want people to have it. You just want to give it away.

It’s not hard to simply remove yourself from the equation. Focus on what you’re giving to the world, rather than what you’re taking from it.

Ask yourself why what you do is important – whether you’re selling home grown organic produce at the farmer’s market, or feeding families burgers and fries at a fast food chain. If you weren’t there doing that job every day would other people’s lives be worse? Would yours?

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Food for thought

Consider these two questions: If you took home exactly the same pay check no matter what you did, would you still show up to work every day? Or – If your job doesn’t make you any money, does your work still matter?

If the answers are yes, than your job gives you a sense of purpose beyond yourself, if the answer is no, then maybe you should think about how you can reframe how you see your work in the bigger context of the world.

Sometimes that means changing your job, but mostly that means reevaluating how to integrate more love into your daily grind.

Shift focus

Instead of telling your customers to “Buy what I made” try, “look what I made for you.” Successful marketing does this already – it gives fifty percent off, or value meals, or free samples or gifts with purchase. But it does more than that. It alters our feelings about our product, it externalizes our love for our base rather than internalizing our sense of greed. It changes our motivation from making money to building a bigger business to buy buy buy, to giving products so you can build a bigger business and give more to more people.

The change you can create in yourself and your business is astounding. Build in more love to your work, and not only will you and your employees find more satisfaction in your day to day, but customers will find your love for them irresistible.

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Written By

C. L. Brenton is a staff writer at The American Genius. She loves writing about all things, she’s even won some contests doing it! For everything C. L. check out her website

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