Elemental Features Of Your Business
The Small Things You’re Made Of
Just imagine all of the small parts that make up the whole of your business. They may have much more value than they’re given credit for. Those fabulous ingredients can be magnified, described more thoroughly and utilized to our customers’ benefit.
Businesses have a set of elemental (or root) qualities that can ultimately aid our learning about the entity itself, by somewhat coincidentally defining (or obscuring) the business’s purpose. These fragments could be living on the surface of the personality of the business or maybe they’re more covert, buried in the fabric of the details. They might even be organically built-in by the people who created the entity as unintended (or intended) tokens of their own identity.
Perhaps even more immediate, is that identifying them and zeroing in will help us more accurately define the very nature of the business itself. It sounds like it ought to be obvious, but I’m not so sure that it is. We lose sight as we go about our day to day.
And it’s also like seeing the trees in the forest we got lost wandering in; like seeing them for the very first time.
You might feel like you’re attempting to stand solidly in what you believe about what you’re doing. Craving that gravity, your feet might be digging down into the sand of a strong current with the tide pulling you further into the swells even while you are trying to resist. A sensation that can make us lose balance and become less coherent about how all those smaller things are functioning as a foundation in our small business while time moves by.
A Mystery With Structure
These thoughts began while walking on a trail in the woods a month or so ago. I came across this small, seemingly random log structure and took the photo, below. I have no idea what it is, why it’s there, why it was constructed or by whom. I don’t know what it’s meant for, but still, it seems to be imbued with meaning and purpose. A message. There’s something about how it’s made, the pieces of wood carefully patterned with deliberate intention to build a heavy, solid and sustainable log structure in the woods. But what that deliberate intention is happens to be obscured to the casual observer like myself. It embodies a mysterious or secret purpose even though all the clues are right there.
On a more recent walk, I saw the thing again and my thoughts began to coalesce and move to the realm of business. I got to pondering the cumulative nature of it. How the patterns might shift in a structure or foundation; what it means when we find ourselves longing to create something that builds upon what we’ve already done up until that time, add to the existing natural resources so that all that’s good and useful will further accrue.
What Is That Longing To Build Something Out Of Natural Resources?
I mean the kind of natural resources that exist in any business, the kind that are there no matter what, simply because of doing business. Thus giving it concrete purpose, a name, defining it. We’re able to pick and choose what those things are, identify the small details that actually matter to us. But how do you notice the pieces that you take for granted that are running under your radar? The ones that make up who you are, who your entity is? The elemental features.
Time To Reflect
It’s been a long stretch since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve been taking a casual, undeclared breather, reconsidering some of my own purpose and strategies. Looking for renewed structure and clarity. It’s been a combination of things- questions about my social media activity, my content marketing and how these things interweave with our company’s direct work with clients. I’ve allowed the flow of that work to carry me along. Taking note of what makes it all worthwhile not just for me but for others.
Looking Up Close
We’re familiar with how we use nature photography to examine the details of things. We take close up shots that reveal what would have otherwise been an inner mystery. We pull apart the petals of a flower, look under the hood of a snail, blow-up to beyond normal proportions what we might not get a chance to see if we are only taking a cursory glance. It takes technology, but it also requires a slowing down of our thoughts and senses.
It’s no different with business. But we lose sight. We’re either looking at the wrong details or can’t see them through our preoccupation with getting things accomplished.
There’s the why we’re in business in the first place. And there’s the why’s of how we do things and why those things are working well or not. And why people care. And then how all those things add up to the whole.
But how do you get there? You might be wondering right now how to take the ball and run with this, put the thinking to use and form something tangible. Is there a way to create some concrete action to push into the questions I’ve raised and build some steam towards raising your own bar? You bet there is.
Pull out your favorite writing tools and don’t just think about it, allow yourself to write down your responses to these questions. Keep what you’ve written and live with it for a while, it may transform. Your answers will deepen your knowledge of your own entity.
- What basic or primary parts most clearly and accurately defines ‘why’ you have chosen to be in the business you’re in?
- What are your business elementals?
- How do those connect and add up to the purpose and personality of your business?
- Can you easily state what your unique value is? What do you bring to your customers that no one else can?
- And who are those customers anyway? Can you describe their particulars with details?
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Pre-Remixed Title Photo Credit: iStock Copyright: joebelanger
Re-mix by Gina Fiedel
Log structure photo: Gina Fiedel
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