Let me ask you a question. If you were to sum up business using only one sentence, what would it be? Would it be something you heard from your favorite college teacher, or would it be something your dad told you? Would that same sentence be valid 40 years from now? Could it be understood in all parts of the world, to all people? If you’re having a little bit of trouble, that’s okay. If your mind is going blank, you’re not alone.
Let’s try something different. Close your eyes, and think of the last vacation you went on. Where did you go? What was your favorite activity? Was it the plane ride to Hawaii, or that bus trip to the Grand Canyon? Perhaps it was a family cruise, or you just simply enjoyed a classic stay-cation at home to recharge the battery. Do you remember how it made you feel?
Why is it that we can remember our vacations so easily, but struggle to explain business in one simple sentence? Trying to understand the art of business in a “one sentence fits all” format is a very difficult task for even the most experienced individuals. Why is that? Why can’t we just simply adopt that classic phrase “Business is about relationships” and earn millions of dollars? How about that respected corporate leader telling us success is “all about organization,” or those motivational posts telling us that “true business is about the details?” Isn’t there just one magical phrase that could shift us into a world of unimaginable success?
Let’s go back to the vacation example. Just like you visualized your favorite activity, could you sum up business using a single picture? What would it be?
If your mind’s eye is struggling to effectively jump to a picture, chances are you don’t have one!
Pictures provoke emotions, and emotions provoke memories that are easily accessible. Just like your memory of your stay-cation made you feel comfortable for a split second, you can do the same with envisioning a “business picture.“
Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures
Your beginning picture may start with a simple format, but at least you’ve started. If you’re a chef, business may be like a plate of food. The plate may represent the foundation of the restaurant, while the food describes the operations of the kitchen. If you’re a plumber, the pipes connecting to one another may be used to describe the relationships built for money to flow through.
An artist may explain business as an art of blending and meshing, much like how they do with the colors of a masterpiece. An architect may have a slightly rigid approach when describing business as a blueprint for a new multistory building.
Your picture is unique to you. It’s a picture that naturally inserts emotion and life into this intangible concept we call business. It’s a picture you can wrap your head around, and do something about it, today. Learning about he art of business can truly be as simple as a picture while simultaneously being as complex as a thousand words. It’s a picture you can remember and reflect on, add to and adjust. In the same way your business evolves, and you gain more knowledge, your picture also develops.
A chef can always add food to the plate without having to throw away the steak. An architect can always add a floor to his blueprint without needing to change the address of the building.
What is your picture today? How will you build on it as you develop your understanding of business?