What is the meaning of value to you? What is it mean to your team? It seems we often get confused with what the true meaning of value is upon giving it to the customers. We get distracted with our businesses that we tend to focus more on the money and if the money will be there at the end of the financial quarter. When this happens it’s mostly likely our customers start to decline or better yet, when we are starting to plan for a business, we often go into this mindset of asking ourselves if this market we are getting into will bring us a good amount of ROI. Upon this brainstorming phase, we get ourselves stuck and it starts to get painful because the indecisive thinking we can’t get out of.
I have a great friend of mine who is planning to launch his business but he asked me recently about what I thought about the product he was going to release to public. I liked the idea and told him he should go for it, why is he worried or not executing it right away. He was worried that he wouldn’t make enough profit and all the time putting into it would be wasted, instead he’d be focusing on something else.
It came to me that this issue he was dealing with is very common. Many people who want to start a business have the idea that the only purpose for them to start a business is to make large amounts of money.
Perhaps some is true, but most of whom I’ve spoken with have stated the sole purpose of entrepreneurship is not to make money, but rather to give value to customers. Making customers’ lives easier by solving their problems.
This is the mindset we need when we plan to start a business, we have to deliver value unto customers instead of putting money in our minds. That value people will love and of course will trade in their value (money) in exchange, which will duplicate in time. A history lesson I was taught was that before there was paper as a way to exchange for currency, people would trade something valuable they had in exchange for something they wanted from the other person. This made complete sense; now people are taught to worry more about money thus creating mind full of selfishness and greediness.
Y Combinator’s own Paul Graham says it best in his essays about the true meaning of value and what it really is. How much value is worth is determined by how we and our customers see it. If it doesn’t solve a painful problem they face, that value isn’t worth much. But if the value you create solves their pain and makes their day go by better, that value becomes worth millions.
Instead of focusing if a business idea will make us rich, focus more on if this idea will bring in value to customers with their everyday needs. In other words: value=profits.
I think this is why starting a successful business again for entrepreneurs who already had success with one or more of their businesses is easier because they tend to think more about what is the next value they want to give out to customers and serving them with their needs. It’s something I’ve learned now as I’m maturing more into this leadership phase and this mindset of value can actually be applied to anything we do.
When we work for others as an employee, don’t put yourself with a negative attitude about not doing a certain role because it’s not what the job description stated. Let’s remember that anything we do at work, let’s do it with the cause of value. Not because it’s for the company itself, but for us as well. You may not notice, but others will notice the value you start to give. The more value, the more profit.
As my friend got into that mindset, we began to brainstorm more thorough ideas on how this business would give better value instead if the profits would be there. There is profits everywhere, millionaires know how to make profit anywhere because they understand that giving value first turns it into money in the end.
Now thinking of great ideas to solve customers needs are much simpler, the next part would be having your mind set only on that idea.
As this post comes to conclude, what is the meaning of value for your business to customers? Have you had the thought of value being the same as you previously thought? What would your advice be for someone that is solely focused on a revenue driven mindset?