Crisis of Clarity
You have to separate what you do from how you make money. We often collapse the two together.
When what we say we do is given by how we make money we lose our clarity on the soul of our business.
Example: If I make money by selling houses as a real estate agent and that then becomes who I am and what I do, then all we are is a real estate agent.
There is no soul in that. There is no differentiation or value or connection in that. That doesn’t inspire people. It probably doesn’t even inspire you.
What inspires is soul. What inspires is the stuff that means something to you.
How to explain this became clearer to me reading The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
They used the example of Google who’s ONE thing is search. And that ONE thing makes their economic engine (ads) work.
In professional services, we have a harder time distinguishing our economic engine from our ONE thing. Selling houses as an agent or growing portfolios as a financial planner or growing and managing policies as an insurance agent is just our economic engine. It’s how we make money. But it’s not our ONE thing. There is no soul in the economic engine.
From where I sit and from what I see, our ONE thing in professional service industries that makes all other things easier or unnecessary is building a tribe of people around a topic that matters to you and them. A topic that transcends your industry. Something people are passionate about and want to talk about daily or weekly in their lives. Topics that add value to their life or topics they’re wrestling with that have significance and come from deep seeded values.
This approach has soul. Meaning. Connection. Engagement.
So as you seek to grow your business, look to the topics in your life that move you and build a tribe around that. This kind of clarity will soul and depth to your business and as a result will snowball your economics.