There is a unique breed in the wide arena of entrepreneurship: the ultimate business owner or founder whose path surpasses mere profit margins and instead delves into the area of profound impact and transformation. What truly defines a top-class owner of a business? Is it their astute ability to maximise profits ethically, or their capacity to inspire a team, elevate industry standards and champion causes beyond the confines of their business and personal sphere? Perhaps it's their evolution from ego-driven pursuits to the pursuit of higher-order values – service, making a difference, and doing so with grace, strategy, and a keen understanding of risks.
This unusual breed of entrepreneur goes past the fleeting draw of lavish dinners, keeping up with the whoever's and get-away-from-my-problems-travels, as they are immersed in the long play – the strategic manoeuvres, the why, the exit strategies, and the impact they leave behind. Unlike others who succumb to the need for immediate gratification, they recognise the significance of using their time wisely in every area of their lives. They comprehend that poor allocation of resources and planning can shatter dreams faster than they are built. An emergency fund covering at least six months of operating costs isn't a hindrance but a safety net, a shield against unforeseen storms.
Inspiring business owners and founders acknowledge the unseen dangers lurking on the horizon – geopolitical shifts in a multipolar world, economic uncertainties, rapid technological advancements, and the fundamental structure of their businesses. They embrace the role of a forward-thinking strategist, understanding that adaptability is key to success. What if a global war broke out? What if technological advancement prevented them from continuing to work due to a moral imperative? These leaders steer their own ships and they do it ethically, lawfully and they rely on no one to do so but themselves.
They recognise the existential crisis faced by many in the modern world – a surplus of conveniences, consumptions, loneliness, addictions and distractions that lead to a vacuous existence. They understand the power of less, of shedding the superficial, and embracing higher-order virtues and values that imbue life with purpose and fulfillment.
Moreover, these rare entrepreneurs comprehend their true power lies in the bonds they foster, the knowledge they share, the lives they directly or indirectly improve and the legacy they create. They are not threatened by intellect; instead, they seek wisdom in the counsel of others. Their humility illuminates the paths for others to follow.
For those fortunate enough to embody these traits, the advice is clear – forge ahead, create, innovate, and leave an indelible mark. For others, stuck in the grind the advice is: fiscal responsibility, mindful spending, and ego management. Yet, for all entrepreneurs, there is strength in unity. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must band together like Japanese Moai, forming and association that amplifies their voices and helps them mitigate risks collectively.
The sentiment of fear must be overcomed. Action is key, where we must save, take the necessary risks, have a back up plan and do not fear loss or poverty. Let us strive for a business ethos that encompasses integrity, vision, and resilience. For in the heart of every entrepreneur lies the potential to transform not just their businesses, but the world itself.
Do such extraordinary individuals exist? Indeed, they do.