The first time I stepped foot onto Nigerian soil it was clear,
“…this was way different than home.”
We have been traveling in and out of Nigeria since 2006 and have developed some dear friends and partners during that time allowing us to work on important projects.
While in Nigeria the climate feels different, the food tastes different, the accents are different, the business climate is different…it’s just different.
Yet still when I look up in the evening against a dark sky what I see is exactly the same. The same stars and moon as I am used to back home.
When you coach business owners their offices look different, their teams look different, their products look different, their customers look different…they are all different.
So how do you systematically liberate business owners from chaos when everything is different?
I realized a few years back that the coaching playbook I would walk business owners through was not a set of strategies but instead a toolbox of principles. It is a toolbox that has not changed over hundreds and thousands of year.
This toolbox would have been useful to a silk trader in the Ancient Near East in 100 BC, a Middle Eastern tent-maker in 100 AD, an entrepreneurial printer in 1713 AD, and an ice cream shop owner in 2020 AD.
A toolbox of principles is differentiated from a set of strategies in regards to their change-ability. Strategies change all of the time (think of soap operas in the 1950’s vs. Facebook ads in 2020). Principles never change (think vision, mission, values, systems, and process).
The Business On Purpose Roadmap (aka Four Steps) is a system that I built while in the trench-like laboratory of coaching business owners at a pace of 800-1000 hours per year.
Each day I would sit with a heroic business owner and listen to the chaos they were submitting to. Themes tended to center around employees, lack of process, lack of clarity, and the unpredictability of people, schedule, or capital.
As we worked to situationally resolve each of their major and minor challenges a pattern began to emerge leading to the question, “what are the non-negotiable basics that every business owner must install whether they are selling art, ice cream, medical surgery, or roofing shingles?”
We were able to reduce what we saw into a construction metaphor that mapped out into three major layers.
The first layer holds the five foundational cornerstones of a business: vision, mission, unique core values, team meetings and huddles, and the hiring process.
The second layer holds around 13 ingredients which make up the “concrete slab” of a business (Dashboards, Bank Accounts, Job Roles, Org Chart, Process Roadmap, etc.)
Finally, the four major wall structures or the “systems” of the business; administration, operations, marketing, and sales.
Business owners must first commit to what’s behind the aesthetic, stop obsessing about marketing, product design, office interiors, and logos before obsessing about the foundational principles all of those strategies are sitting on top of.
To own a business is to commit to building a principled substructure that lays a predictable, stable foundation for every else that sits on top that the world sees with their eyes.
Without these layers, your business is a house of cards.
With the daily implementation of these layers your business becomes (over time) a force for sincere transformation…personal, professional, local, and global.
It’s been five years to the day since we launched Business On Purpose and the stories that are shared with us of genuine life-change are powerful…exciting…moving.
We press on with our laser-focused mission to liberate business owners from the chaos of working IN their business.
As you go, we hope that you will make time for the hard work of liberation so that others will benefit.
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.