As an entrepreneur you constantly hear from advisors, investors, and other business experts the bulletproof rule: cash is king. For those of us that have taken the road less traveled and decided to start their own businesses with visions of creating something magnificent; building wealth, providing for others or all of the above, we have learned how important this one rule is. As my business is quickly growing and transitioning from startup phase into small business phase, I am learning how important it is to have a mission outside of making money. Maintaining a healthy bottom line and being able to report large growth and profits to my partners is important as well because let’s face it, hugs and good intentions are NOT going to keep the lights on or keep anyone on our staff employed.
When I say mission, I mean using your resources and platform to do good and bless others. This might mean supporting veterans, sheltering the homeless or planting trees─Your mission is up to you! Like most entrepreneurs in the earliest stages of building a business, you pretty much find yourself wearing hats that you do not have any business wearing. You are trying to build a better team on peanuts and should be awarded a honorary position at the local firehouse for the daily fires you are putting out back in the office. It can be exhausting and very stressful at times. Many of us have found ourselves looking into a mirror and asking ourselves “What are you doing?” reminiscing about the good old days back when we would clock in at 9AM and roll out before 5PM, leaving work and all of our professional worries behind. I have found one of the most therapeutic ways to combat this is to focus less on my worries, responsibilities, and burdens, and focus more on how many people we are able to come along side and help out. This focus and mission has given us the extra motivation to take on the next phase of business and deal with the new fires and complications that come along the way. As strong as our desires are to take care of our families, get featured in Forbes magazine, or live in a mansion on the hillside, sometimes these desires and business goals just aren’t enough to keep us battling away, day after day, with the extremely poor odds of success.
You might be thinking, “What if we don’t have a mission, how do we start?” The vehicle you use to get there isn’t as important as making up your mind that you’re going to start the journey. You just have to be creative and think outside the box.
You might find yourself saying, “We can barely make ends meet, how can we possibly give anything away, or provide for anyone else?” Call it Karma─ or what comes around goes around. You will be very surprised to see with your own two eyes just how this works… Our friends at Wicked Good Cupcakes take their product and send their world famous jars of cupcakes overseas to deployed service members during the holidays. Our friends at Grace and Lace take a portion of every sale and use it to build orphanages for children in India. You would be surprised at how much more pride your team and staff will take in their work when they know that they are directly involved in something bigger than themselves. Their job is no longer just about making a paycheck, but about making a positive impact on others.
Having a solid mission will bring you exposure that is so much more positive and will differentiate you from your competitors. It will also set the foundation and bar for a more sustaining business. With all of the benefits to giving back and having a mission dedicated to something that’s much bigger than making cash, sometimes I don’t know how businesses survive without one. If you are doing it now then good on you, and thank you. If you are not, it is never too late and remember─ we only go around once. Life is too short to be wasted on pursuits that won’t bring you any real fulfillment. In the world of business cash will always be King, but take it from us, you will be blown away and extremely blessed if you make a good mission your Queen!
The owners of Bottle Breacher, Eli and Jen Crane, have been married over 10 years. Eli is a former Navy SEAL serving 3 combat deployments in Iraq that turned entrepreneur. Jen has had a passion for business ever since graduating from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management in 2005. Bottle Breacher began in a 1 car garage while Eli was Active Duty and aired on Shark Tank a year and half later with a successful partnership with Kevin O’Leary. They love to hire Veterans and reinvest in those that have served.