010: The #1 Way to Make Sure Your Business is Still Around in 10 Years
The security industry is tough. It’s competitive, it’s rapidly changing, and it requires hard work and long hours. Building a business that can last for decades in this business requires one key ingredient: Passion.
Start With Why
In this podcast, we talk about how rare it is for people to survive beyond a couple years in this line of work if they’re not motivated by a genuine passion for the industry. I discuss one of my favorite books by author Simon Sinek, who popularized the concept of “Start With Why”.
“He says, 'everybody knows what they do, most people know how they do it, but a lot of people don’t know why they really do what they do,'” I tell Chris.
It’s important to understand and connect with your why, no matter what that may be. You might want to provide for your family, or deliver great service to customers, or change your community.
Whatever it is, you have to understand the driving force that motivates your business, or it’s going to be impossible to sustain your momentum and keep doing all the work necessary to stay afloat.
Build Connections Around Your Passion
One key way to build and maintain your passion is to surround yourself with people who have similar drives and motivations. Business relationships built around shared passion, rather than cost or convenience, have a better chance of delivering long-term success and collaboration.
These don’t even have to formal connections. In the podcast, we talk about our efforts to put together a “Mastermind Group” of similar people and companies in the industry.
“We’re getting together on an every other week basis and just exchanging ideas, exchanging wins and struggles and things that we’re trying to work through, and taking a collaborative approach,”.
Think about that for a moment. These are similar companies targeting similar markets, getting together to share ideas. By emphasizing and connecting through their shared passions and values, these companies can strengthen one another and promote long-term success.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to always be engaging with others. Taking time in isolation to brainstorm ideas and reflect on your strategy can be extremely valuable. Bill Gates is famous for his “Think Weeks”, where he goes into seclusion and does research on the past year and maps out new strategies. Here is a great article on the benefits of taking time to strategize away from your businesss.
Cultivate A Learning Mindset
Like we said at the start, this is a tough business. No matter how driven and intelligent you are, you’re going to face some struggles. These setbacks can kill some people’s passion. The key to long-term success is viewing every struggle, every setback, as a learning opportunity.
“There’s a lot of lessons in struggling, making mistakes,” says Chris, “There’s lessons behind everything, and as long as I’ve been in this business, I think about all my struggles, I look back and I go ‘wow, every one of those struggles was a lesson.”
What separates great entrepreneurs from most people is their passion for constantly learning. In a results-oriented world, those who succeed at building strong businesses are the ones that love the process, that can enjoy the lessons they learn from their struggles as well as the profits they reap from success, and share that process with people that support their goals.