I was recently asked what I’m most proud of. Here was my answer…
My biggest achievement is building the two companies I have today. Not only the work we do, but also the culture we’ve created.
The websites we build at Fifty&Fifty, though great, will come and go. But the people and the impact they have, both in these walls and beyond, is something I’m most proud of. I’m humbled by all of the people here who are willing to put their time and talents into building technology for social good, and it’s a great feeling to see them enjoy it…
But that question stuck with me and I ruminated on it for a long time.
Why am I not most proud of the sites we build or the products we engineer?
It’s taken me a long time to shift from an obsession with creativity and design to a position of user experience. From there I’ve come to realize what matters most: A brand that survives and has lasting change and impact.
So, here is what I think really matters when it comes to building a business:
Don’t Focus on the Profits
When money is the end goal, you run out of reasons to work hard when you eventually realize money doesn’t make you happy. You need to find your purpose and figure out how to work it inside an existing industry.
That might mean tighter margins and tougher profits. But the tradeoff will be a team that believes in a mission–something bigger than their own finances. This will motivate them to build a more valuable brand that people will be drawn to. So, it may be harder to manage in some ways, but easier in another.
Invest in People
Our company values our team and where they want to go. A group of people bound to a mission will grow far closer than a group of people trying to get paid. And when they feel valued in that pursuit of doing good, they’ll feel more a part of the team and stick things out when they get tough.
How about you? What do you think it takes to build a purpose-driven brand?
If you liked this post, you’ll probably like Sell a Product, Don’t Settle for Change.