I'm a huge fan of Simon Sinek as his ability to challenge the status quo of how people are treated in the workplace. His perspective has really made me challenge why I do what I do and what it is I'm striving for.
Over the past few months I've been ruminating on this, and there is a pattern that keeps coming back again and again.
Before I delve into that, it's important to have perspective as to where I am today and how I got here. I am currently bootstrapping an e-commerce technology company. The idea was bubbling over the past 10 or so years while being a technology consultant for an online retailer. Long and short of it, I have the obsession to innovate in such a way that the end consumer has a much richer experience that what they have today.
However, I've been really trying to figure out what it is specifically that my company is trying to solve, and as it turns out, the answer is a lot more nuanced that I realised.
My inner conflict
Ask me what I'm passionate about, and I would say it is to help empower others to find fulfilment, happiness and success by showing them how to change their mindset. It's something I've personally experienced and I feel is a gift. I want to share this with others so they can do amazing things.
The problem is, this isn't about e-commerce or technology. So why build an e-commerce technology company when my why is to empower others?
This is where it gets interesting.
It's all about people
In Simon Sinek's book The Infinite Game, this has given me the missing clue as to how resolve my inner conflict of wanting to empower others, while building an e-commerce technology company.
The second piece to the puzzle comes down to a question of scaling it. I could pivot my business and try to become a business consultant or coach to help others directly, but I've never really felt that was my calling. I always knew that in order to have a large scale positive impact, you need to be a catalyst, not a force.
The key to my success is to empower the few who in turn can help many.
I must simply be a single brick in the institution of progress.
What do people care about?
I believe the key foundation to help empower others find fulfilment, happiness and success is through a lot of small improvements that compound over time. It's about living to a value system that aligns with who you truly are.
We all carry our own value system. We choose to buy the products from companies that also align with that value system. For example, reducing plastic is a key topic right now to help save our ecosystem. As individuals, we want to do the right thing when we buy products. But it's hard to know what's what when making purchase decisions. We want to buy from companies whose core mission is to help advance the just cause that we truly care about.
What is the 'just cause' that building an e-commerce technology company advances?
I believe that the e-commerce industry is lagging in making this key and centre. And sure this is one area in many, but remember, great change happens from small incremental improvements, whether it be reducing plastic consumption, being sustainable and ethically sourced or even easy to recycle, and so on. There is a whole supply chain that needs to be reassessed with this new perspective.
While I may not know the specifics of how this can be done, I know one thing: Consumers want to buy ethically and feel good when they know the purchase they made helps make the world better than before.
What I need to do is build a team that can help tease out the innovations to make this happen.
And now for empowering people
As my why is to empower people, I want my e-commerce technology company to be a model of success that can be replicated to companies all around the world. I want my e-commerce clients to become people first and healthier business, along with their whole supply chain. I want to make their businesses more robust and stable so that can focus on advancing their just cause. I want them to be empowering places to work that gives people true happiness and fulfilment.
To do this, I am to double down in being a great leader and entrepreneur, who can band together a team to advance this just cause. This is not me hiring people to advance my mission, but rather us coming together to advance a unified just cause.
My infinite game
Once I prove the model works, to build a sustainable e-commerce technology company that is focused on people and advancing a just cause, then I can fulfil my why and teach it to others and empower them to be happier, healthier and follow their infinite game to make the world better than when we started.