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Are you in business for the business?

Updated: Dec 25, 2019

The very first answer that stands to reason is yes; anyone starting a business, such as myself, is in business for the business. In other words, the main goal is making a profit. Fair enough. I think it would be ludicrous to state the opposite. Not that there is anything wrong with seeking to make a profit. After all, we all have to earn a living, and becoming an entrepreneur of sorts is actually a very good thing for the world because, at some point, a small business or a startup is likely to develop into something bigger, with the potential of offering job openings for other people.

The second answer, and the one I wish to drive home in this blog, has been on my mind for quite a while, but to give Caesar his due, let me hasten to say that in this world of competition, I have just come across a video presentation by the world-famous Gary Vee in which the first answer to the question above is no. Gary represents, and I think, passionately, that when you engage your audience on your website, on your blog, or on social media outlets, you should give them value. The purpose, he argues, is to educate them, to speak genuinely, and not to be primarily focused on attracting them as customers. When you sell your products or services, the idea is not to end your spiel with a call for action on the part of the client with a call for buying your goodies. This is futile, and customers know full well that you are just manipulating them to do business with you. Instead, share with them what you know, openly, genuinely, and honestly. The end result will be the same, that they are likely to hold you in high esteem, to think of you as a decent business, and to eventually enter into lucrative agreements with you.


Let me elaborate on this second answer, by saying that as an instructor, the idea of genuinely caring for your students is not new to me. Students have always been at the heart of what I do. Their learning matters to me and the ways they achieve this learning have to be edifying and have to give them a heightened sense of self-worth. I remember many years ago, I was a fresh graduate teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Tunisia. It was and it still true that I want my students to like me, but you can't get them to like you without genuinely liking them. As teachers of English, or indeed teachers of any language or course, we must be driven by a sense of social responsibility. Social responsibility is not just a banner we carry, but something in which teachers, medical doctors, engineers, scientists and anyone offering service to society should learn to integrate in their practice.

So, yes, do business for the sake of becoming rich, making money, and leadi ng a good lifestyle, but remember, if your goal is simply to add gold to your coffers, you will find your life to be pretty futile. When a customer, or any person for that matter, approaches you for a particular service, or even a piece of advice, do it the best way you can, and do not take advantage of the need this person has to exact a price higher than what is reasonable. In short, I have to remind myself as I enter into this new world of entrepreneurship that businessmen, and businesswomen, too must be driven by social responsibility.



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