So let’s start by going ahead and making sure that we’re on the same page as far as what I mean when I say business philosophy. I really like this definition from upcounsel.com and it says: “blueprint for operation”. Short, sweet and simple, right? So basically when I say business philosophy alls I mean is that it is essentially the why and the how that you operate your business.
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It’s similar to core values and mission and things like that, but at just a really, really basic level. I think a lot of times when we are trying to come up with our core values and our mission statement and our ideal client and all of these things, all these foundational pieces of our business, we are very stuffy, almost, with what we’re saying, because I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I want to seem really legit with my business, and so I create these really official sounding ideas that I can put out there on my website or that I can share with people or whatever that may be.
MY Business Philosophy
But for me, my business philosophy isn’t something that I’m going to put on my website. It’s not something that I’m necessarily going around and telling people about, but maybe I should, (and I am today, I suppose) but it’s a baseline for me to go back and gut check myself with whatever I’m doing, and I’ll get to that more in a minute. And how, practically speaking, I use my business philosophy.
For now, I just want to start with what my business philosophy is. So for me, it comes down to two really basic ideas. First, purposeful servanthood, and second, simplicity.
Let’s start with purposeful servanthood.
So for me, this whole idea of not only serving others well, because I do, I very, very much so feel very called to serving other people and trying to serve him really well.
But originally when I started my business and I was just trying to serve others as well, I was doing a lot of throwing spaghetti at the wall and just seeing what would stick because I wanted to serve, but I wasn’t sure how, and I didn’t know necessarily what I should be doing. And instead, adding this idea of purposeful in front of servant hood, I’m not just trying to serve. I’m trying to be really intentional and purposeful with who I’m serving and why, and that has helped me really narrow down what I’m doing.
And of course, I did other exercises to figure out what my niche should be and where I wanted to go with my business, but having that idea of servanthood being purposeful in my business philosophy really helps me when I do go back and gut check— Is this where I should be going with this? Is this a project I should be working on? — Making sure that I’m reminding myself of this idea of purpose behind what I’m doing and why has been really important for me as I am running my business.
Next is simplicity.
So then there’s the second facet of my business philosophy, simplicity. And in a future episode I will be explaining my journey to simple living and minimalism, just because I think it’s really important as background for you- understanding the way my business runs, and also just how I do life in general.
But for now, basically, I want to make sure that I am doing everything in my business in the simplest way possible. That I’m running my business in the simplest way possible – because I don’t want to over complicate things. And. I mean, if you look at my website, that’s my tagline— Uncomplicating life & biz — because I don’t want to be someone who is working just for the sake of working or cleaning the house just for the sake of cleaning the house.
I want to, again, have purpose behind all that I’m doing in my day because, let’s face it, we don’t have time to do all the things we want to do. We can find balance, but in order to find that balance, I believe that you really, really have to simplify everything that you’re doing. So I want my business to run at a really simple level.
I want all the tasks that I’m doing to be at a really simple level. I want everything in my business and my life to come back to this idea of: how can I further simplify?
So those are the two facets of my business philosophy: purposeful servanthood and simplicity. Those are what I run my business on. Those are really firm beliefs that I have that my business should run on.
And those are the lens that I look at my business and all of my tasks through.
What does having a business philosophy mean practically?
So practically speaking, what does this look like in my business? What’s the point of a business philosoph?. How do you make it so that it’s not something that you just write down once and never really think about again? Right? How do you actually integrate this into your business?
Knowing and being able to put my business philosophy in the words has been a really great way for me to gut check myself.
I already said this earlier, but what does that look like? Before I start a new project or I move forward with a new idea — Because let’s face it, as entrepreneurs, we are innovators. We love LOVE to do new tasks and new projects and think of new ideas, right? We love that creative mode, but the problem is, is that we can think of so many different things to do.
And again, we don’t want to over complicate our business. We need to make sure that we are moving forward in ways that are really purposeful. Again, and this is me looking at it through the lens of my own business philosophy. And maybe this looks different for you, but for me, I want to move forward with ideas that do simplify my business or are a very necessary and purposeful component of where I’m going with my business.
So before I start any kind of project, I asked myself: How complicated will this new project make my business? Realistically, if I’m looking at a big picture overview of my business, where does this fit in? Is it a whole new branch? Is it moving me towards the end goal? When you lay out your business like stepping stones, where does this fit into the customer journey? Where does this fit into your systems? Where does this fit into your budget, even?
Let me take a step back and let me give an example so that you really know what I’m talking about. Let’s say that I am wanting to create a new workshop or course, and I’m really excited about it. I think it’s a great idea and I think it could really help some people, but I need to take a step back and I need to again, lay out my business and my customers journey on a path, like stepping stones.
Where would this fit in? Is it something that logically makes sense? Is it a step down from the current level I have, or is it a step up? Is it directly inline with what I currently offer? If it’s not directly in line and it’s an offshoot or a branch of something, I need to really stop and ask myself, is this something that’s purposeful or is it something that I just think could help?
And there’s a difference because yes, I believe that we are called to serve our audiences and we’re called to serve our clients really well, but I really think we need to stay in our own lanes because there are so many entrepreneurs out there. Right?
And I don’t say this in a scarcity limiting mindset kind of way.
I’m saying this in a way that we are all each called to. Our own clients, our own audience, with our own personal gifts. And if you haven’t laid the foundation for your client journey, your customer’s journey, and you don’t have a really solid beginning, middle, and end for them to baby step through already, there is no reason for you to branch out (unless you’re talking about pivoting, which is the whole different thing). But if it’s something that you’re not trying to necessarily pivot and you just think it’d be a fun idea, you think it could serve others, you really need to stop and ask yourself, is this actually in line with purposeful servant heard in simplicity? And again, I’m, you know, I’m saying you, but really I’m talking to myself and this is, this is kind of what the conversation in my head looks like when I am looking at these new projects through my business philosophy lens.
So that’s basically it. That’s how I use it to decide whether or not a project is something that I want to add to my plate.
Another question that I like to ask myself in relation to the simplicity part of my business philosophy is how much time is this going to take me? How much time can I realistically give to this? Is it a onetime project? Is it an ongoing thing?
For example, if I was creating a mini course or a workshop. It would be a onetime project, realistically. But if I, let’s say, another idea that I have right now is that I would love to start a Facebook group book club for this podcast, because I’m going to in every single episode with a book recommendation, and if you’ve been around my brand for a while, you know that I am a total bookworm and I would love to cultivate that kind of community.
But that’s a really big ongoing commitment. And I know that at this time. I don’t necessarily have the energy to put into it, which means that I would be putting something out there that isn’t fully formed. I wouldn’t be able to give my full energy and purposely serve my audience through it, and I don’t want to do that.
So that’s another consideration. Can I really give my time and energy to this project? Is that realistic? So those are just a couple questions I ask myself and how I look at my business through the lens of my own business philosophy. It would look slightly different for you because your business philosophy is going to be slightly different than mine or very different than mine, realistically.
But those are just questions that you can ask yourself. And really what it comes down to is. Why don’t you start your business and how do you want your business to be run, and then whatever you come up with for your business philosophy— ask questions based around that. It’s hard to give you strict questions to ask yourself without knowing what it is, because it could be drastically different and probably will be drastically different than mine, but come up with your business philosophy and use that as a lens for everything that you do in your business.
Determine your own business philosophy.
Again, ask yourself, why did you start your business? What purpose is there behind your business? Is it an impact thing? Is it a financial thing? Is it a creativity outlet? Whatever it may be. There’s no judgment for whatever reason behind starting your business.
Figure out why you started your business and then ask yourself how do you want your business to be run? And again, there doesn’t have to be any kind of fluffy language or anything like that. I just have three words, purposeful servanthood & simplicity. That’s my business philosophy, but I want you to figure that out.
Then, in the comments below, let me know what your business philosophy is. Let me hold you accountable and let’s chat about it.
This week’s book recommendation is “Traction” by Gino Wickman. This is a really great book if you are maybe missing some of these foundational pieces of your business, like your mission statement and your core values and the things like that, if that’s something that you skipped over when you started your business.
Again, no judgment. I totally did do. This is a great book to help you go back and really figure out what those things are. It’s written for larger companies and things like that, but I’ve been able to really easily translate into my own small business and it’s been really helpful for me.
Remember, let me know in the comments below — what’s your business philosophy?