The more time I spend developing my own business the more similarities I see in it to my personal life.
Romantic relationships and business life have a lot in common.
I want to present here five lessons that I’ve learned both from love and from my career in entrepreneurship:
- Passion. I consider passion to be the number one success factor for both business and love. Some philosopher might say love is what is left when the passion drains from a relationship. I will argue that passion is a crucial component of love. Nobody can be passionate about everything but everybody can find their passion both in love and in business life.
- Purpose. In business we call the purpose a goal, a vision, a mission or a strategy. In a relationship you and your partner are the “business”. You have to have the same goals in life. When you can trust that the other person is pursuing the same goals and backs you up in your personal decisions, there is a huge potential for success.
- Openness. Both the passion and the purpose come through open discussion. There is no other way. Verbal communication has a very similar role also in business life. A functioning professional organization is based on openness. Companies don’t achieve anything by themselves, it’s the people who make the success through communication.
- Constant learning. Without learning there is only one way and that way is failure. In a healthy relationship you can learn new things about your partner after 50 years of marriage. The same goes for companies. A professional organization should keep learning faster than its competitors to succeed. Again it’s the people who learn, organization only facilitates their learning.
- Conflict resolution. No relationship or business is made without conflict. Conflict is inevitable but can be avoided through the process of learning and through openness. Bad handling of conflicts can deteriorate even a successful company or a relationship. The best way to handle a conflict is to do it firmly, friendly and immediately.
So whether you want to success in business or in love, keep these factors in mind. And let me know if there is something you’d like to add to the list.
In a recent research conducted by Taloustutkimus for TWBA North it was found that 53 % of Finns are unaware of the purpose of the work they are doing. This means that 1.6 million people in our country wake up every day and do their daily chores without even knowing why. How many people would keep doing what they do even if they were explicitly told their work has no purpose whatsoever?
What on earth is wrong with people?
No one can be truly happy without a clear purpose in what they do. It is no wonder that 400,000 Finns are taking antidepressants to fill the lack of purpose they’re suffering from. But the lack of purpose does not end there. Most people are teaching their children that they should study hard so they can get a job. Shouldn’t someone tell the kids that there is a 50 % chance that they will end up in some corporate job doing stuff without even knowing why.
In the end it all comes down to money.
People are willing to suffer for money. Money is then used to supposedly alleviate the pain created by a crappy job. Everyone should ask themselves whether this really works for them? Can someone really say the money is enough to fill the void caused by a purposeless job? If you are that person, I’d really like to meet you. I’d love to share your ideas with these 1.6 million Finns that are struggling with the same issues.
What could we do better?
It’s up to every individual to make a personal choice. Personally, I try to limit my effort to doing things that have a purpose. And more importantly, I want people who I’m working with to feel the same way.
I don’t love my job but I still want to do it well
If that sounds like you, then this post is especially for you. One of my readers pointed me to an e-book Työn hyväksikäyttö (utilization of work) by Sampsa Kiianmaa. This book is about the purpose of life. How to find your own purpose and achieve happiness.
Most people consider work to be the most important part of their life. Seeking employment is seen as the ultimate challenge. People optimize their life and studies to make themselves best suited for getting a “great” job.
Now, think about what really counts in your life
Kiianmaa has realized the importance of happiness. What really makes you happy? How would you like to be remembered when you grow old? Who would really answer that they want to be remembered by their material possessions? Still that seems to be the one and only form of achievement in this rat race we call life.
How can I find my happiness?
You are happy when you can utilize your strengths in whatever you do. Kiianmaa links to a test you can take to determine the strengths that are behind your happiness. The test is called VIA Survey of Character Strengths. But a word of caution to all you busy people: taking the test takes over 30 minutes and you will need to register to the website to take it. After registration you will see plenty of tests but take the one I named here that has 240 questions.
And now what?
You will receive a result of your top #5 strengths. Think about them. Do you live your life for the things that make you happy?
And finally, I dare you to post your result here as a comment. I have to say that this test worked for me.