How To Create A GREAT Business

By Alexis Rodrigo | Entrepreneurship

Sep 10

I was going to make some lame video today to invite you to join my upcoming free webinar on list-building.

Fortunately for you, my sister sent me a link to wonderful business-building videos of Guy Kawasaki. Guy, of Alltop fame, is founder of Garage Technology Ventures.

In the first video, Guy talks about why and how you should make meaning in your company. Keep your eyes open for the three ways you can make your company  meaningful. And in the second video, he tells us to discard the mission statement in favor of a mantra.

Going through these two exercises has the potential to enhance your marketing. You don't even have to explicitly say what your company's meaning is, nor what your mantra is. However, having these clearly in your heart and mind will color every thing you do in your business–including your marketing.

At the bottom of this page are the transcripts for each video. Watch, print out the transcripts, and enjoy. Can't get enough of Guy? Then click on the video to find 13 more in this series.

Video 1: Make Meaning in Your Company

Video 2: Don't Write A Mission Statement, Write A Mantra

PS: Curious about my list-building webinar? Click here to register–it's free! You'll find out how I'm going from 300 to 2000 subscribers in less than a year. See you there!

PPS: What the motivation behind your business? And what is your mantra? Please share in the comments below. Thank you!

Transcript of Video 1:

The first thing I figured out and learned, sometimes the hard way, about entrepreneurship is that the core, the essence of entrepreneurship is about making meaning.

Many many people start companies to make money, the quick flip, the dot com phenomena. And I have noticed in both the companies that I've started and funded and been associated with, that those companies that are fundamentally founded to change the world, to make the world a better place, to make meaning, are the companies that make a difference. They are the companies to succeed.

My naive and romantic belief is that if you make meaning, you will probably make money. But if you set out to make money, you will probably not make meaning and you won't make money.

So my first thought is you need to make meaning. That should be the core of why you start a company.

There are three ways to make meaning. First is to increase the quality of life. My background is the Macintosh division of Apple Computer, and I can tell you with total certainty that we were not motivated by making money. We were motivated by changing the world to make people more creative and more productive. We were trying to increase the quality of life for the Macintosh user. And that was a great motivation. It kept us going through many many difficult periods. We were waking up in the morning thinking how we could change people's lives.

A second way to make meaning is to right a wrong. This fish is going to die after jumping out, but to right a wrong means that you find something that's wrong in the world or you notice that's something wrong and you want to fix that. This might be particularly applicable to not-for-profits where there's pollution or there's crime or there's abuse and their very core is to end that wrong.

And the third way to make meaning is to prevent the end of something good. You see something beautiful, something wonderful, and you just can't stand the fact that it's been eroded, it's being changed, it's being ruined.

So I ask you as you start your companies, your not-for-profits, your churches, your schools, whatever you're starting, please have one of those three motivations, one or more of those motivations. If you don't have any of those motivations, I suggest that you rethink what you're doing. I think these three things are the key to starting a great organization.

Transcript of Video 2: Don't Write A Mission Statement, Write A Mantra

The second thing I learned is to make mantra. Many of you have not yet been polluted by the desire to make a mission statement. The desire to make a mission statement comes because you have a graduate school, business degree, or perhaps you work for McKenzie for summer. Or something like that has ruined you.

And so many, many entrepreneurs take it as one of the fundamental things they have to do is figure out a mission statement. So what they do is they grab the core team. There's somebody from marketing, from sales, from engineering, from production, finance, HR. And they go offsite and they craft this mission statement. And everybody has to put their two cents in because this mission statement has to be workable for employees, for shareholders, for customers, for the dolphins, for the purposes. In the ozone hole, all that has to be in a mission statement.

So what I recommend is that you don't do a mission statement as a start-up because a mission statement usually ends up crap. It's too long, it's impossible to remember. It cannot even focus the company which is what it should do. Inevitably you will end up with the mission statement along these lines. “The mission of Wendy's is to deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation, and partnerships.”

How many of you thought that that was Wendy's mission statement when you bought a hamburger there? How many of you think you could go to Trixie or Beef working at Wendy's and ask them, “What's the mission of Wendy's?” And they can repeat that word for word. It's impossible. That is a $50,000 mission statement done by a consulting firm.

I love Wendy's. Don't get me wrong, I love Wendy's. But the mission statement leaves a lot to be desired.

By contrast, you should do a mantra. Do a mantra because it's only three or four words. It captures the essence of your organization. When you have a thousand employees or 10,000 employees and you can hire a facilitator or you can go outside and you can use McKenzie. God bless you! Write this mission statement. It will make you feel better. You can put it up in your annual report. You can post it in your cafeteria or whatever you want to do.

But right now, as an entrepreneur make a mantra. Here are some mantras. First thing is. I think Wendy's proper mantra is “Healthy fast food”. Three words, healthy fast food. Somewhat oxymoronic I must admit but healthy fast food is something very easy to remember.

Another good mantra: FedEx. FedEx's mantra in my mind should be “Peace of mind”. Because when you absolutely, positively want something in some place, you think of FedEx. The FedEx employee is thinking peace of mind for our customers.

A third mantra from Nike, “Authentic athletic performance”. Just do it is the slogan. It's the slogan for the customer. Authentic athletic performance is the mantra for the employee. That's what a Nike employee stands for, authentic athletic performance.

And one of the best mantras is from Mary Kay, “Enriching women's lives”. This is a good mantra because it worked for two groups, the customer of Mary Kay who buys the Mary Kay products and also the sales person of Mary Kay. It enriches both people's lives.

So these are examples of mantras. And I would suggest to you that you come up with three or four-word thing like that. For me my personal mantra is empowering entrepreneurs. That's what I do.

OK, now if some of you still have the desire to create a mission statement because I don't know why, because you've been ruined somehow. So if you have this great desire to do a mission statement rather than taking your team offside and going away for a day, and using a consulting firm, and crafting some 50-word thing, and wasting a lot of time and money. I suggest to you that you can kill two birds with one stone.

All you have to do is go to the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator website. And there for absolutely no cost, you can get a mission statement like the one you want. Like, “We exist to professionally build long-term high-impact sources so that we may endeavor to synergistically leverage existing effective deliverables to stay competitive in tomorrow's world.” See, that's a mission statement. I mean that's something you can be proud of putting in your annual report. Don't pay 50,000 for this. Just go to the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator website, OK?

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About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

  • Mike Korner says:

    Great video examples Lexi.

    Mantra for Guy Kawasaki = Smart. VERY Smart. ­čÖé

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