The end goal of any business, and possibly anything, is to produce a pattern of value.
You see, we are all patterns, we are collections of mannerisms, thought patterns, things that we say, things that we do, things that we wear and ways that we act. The pattern which we are is important to us, so much so that we would often happily sacrifice ourselves to see our pattern live on. For instance, through parenthood…
There is a reason why the endeavour of creating a business, and any creative endeavour, is often paralleled with raising a child. “It’s my baby” is a phrase too often used to be insignificant. The reason for this comparison is that both the artist, the parent and the entrepreneur are partaking in the process of creating a pattern of value.
There is a reason why nobody will buy a business without systems in place. The business run by the entrepreneur who is frantically running around putting out fires is not a business, because a business is a pattern of value, not an individual desperately trying to hold things together. There is no pattern in the man with the fire extinguisher, that scenario is actually the opposite of what a business, or a human being, should be.
A pattern is by definition reliable, and reliable patterns that are valuable are what make the universe go round. We can thank the reliable pattern of gravity for our ability to walk and exist. Nobody would want to live in a universe where gravity was unpredictable. One day you’d be having a pleasant walk through the park, the next you’d be floating into a black hole. It’s the same with business. The business that is not, in its essence, a reliable and valuable pattern is not worth anything because there is a non-zero chance you will eventually encounter a fire that is simply too big.
So, how do you build a reliable and valuable pattern? It’s the same as successfully preparing a child for the world. In the beginning its a combination of care, diligence, attention and perseverance. Once they are up and running around doing stuff, it’s then a matter of refinement, guidance, and adaptation until eventually, they discover what they are all about.
Creating a valuable pattern is like building a road map. In the beginning, you’re running around trying to figure out how things might look. Then, as you continuously hit dead ends, you can correct things and add those roads to your map. Creating a successful pattern is an exercise in cartography.
As a cartographer tasked with building a map from A to B, you must accept the fact that there is virtually 0 chance you will travel on the fastest route. You must equip yourself with unrelenting attention to your direction, and hold fast to the vision of your destination. One direction may look promising, but you may soon realize it is a dead end. Mark it down, turn around and find another way, you’ve just improved your map.
Being an entrepreneur is so much more than trying to become wealthy. Being a real entrepreneur means creating genuine patterns of value that benefit all stakeholders, and that’s a big deal. Think about the fact that our entire lives, the entire universe even, rely on patterns that serve a purpose. Creating new patterns of value is no joke, the path to a sustainable, positive future is going to be through creating new reliable, valuable patterns.
Hustle it up!