“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Henry Ford
It’s an interesting quote and a concept that many business people often forget. Being an entrepreneur is not about making money. I believe that an entrepreneur’s purpose is to make a difference. It’s as simple as that.
Money will only motivate you so far. What happens in the inevitable times when there is very little spare cash? What will keep you going at those times? How do you stay driven?
A good goal isn’t ‘to make a million’. It’s a good milestone in your business journey, but who are you helping? What difference are you making and what are you learning along the way? If you had asked me 17 years ago, I would have disagreed with that. But, having been through the UKFast journey, having lived off cereal and passed my wife daily on the way in and out of the office as we swapped over for shifts, I know for a fact that money is not a motivator. It is a by product of greater successes.
A fantastic description of this notion can be found in the book The Go-Giver, an incredible story about giving back. Yes, you will be successful but you will also make a real difference to people along the way. It’s cliche but a goal is not about the end point, it’s about the journey to it. That’s where you find the real value.
I am incredibly fortunate, I have worked extremely hard and have an extraordinary team and this combined has meant that UKFast has been financially successful year on year. However, that’s not just how we measure success.
Our commercial focus and success has meant that we are able to give back to the community that has helped the business to thrive. One such way is through education. I am extraordinarily proud to be involved in a number of education-related projects. Our education team, led by Aaron and Arlene is something quite wonderful. Aaron has boundless energy and channels it into his drive to transform education and ensure that every child has access and opportunities when it comes to technology and digital skills. Arlene represents UKFast at so many events and talks, particularly at women in tech events, like at Manchester High School for girls, where she is a real role model for girls looking for a career in technology and digital businesses.
I am excited about what the future could hold here and the legacy that we could create when it comes to digital education. I am sure there will be more news to come on that front soon too, when my comms team let me blog about it!
I am driven every day to make a difference to the people I meet. UKFast’s purpose includes the words “whilst enriching the lives of everyone we touch” – anyone and everyone that the UKFast brand reaches, we aim to add value to. Of course, it’s an unachievable and immeasurable goal. But that’s why it’s there. Everyone needs a purpose, an unachievable target. That’s what kept Walt Disney motivated – Disney’s purpose is “To make people happy”. How can you possibly make everyone in the world happy? It’s impossible! But it is something to strive to, and what a goal to have!
So this week, take the opportunity to take stock and think about your goals. How are you making a difference to people? What are you giving back? Where are you creating real value?