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The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact
You cannot know where you can go if you do not know where you are at the moment.
You cannot know what you can become if you do not know what you are right now.
Read our summary of Glei’s “Make Your Mark” and learn how you can define your own and your company’s purpose, and find the right road to success.
Who Should Read “Make Your Mark”? and Why?
“Make Your Mark” is a collection of the opinions and advice of twenty-one entrepreneurs on the qualities of good leadership, gathered in one book by editor Jocelyn K. Glei.
Her purpose is defining the essential traits that successful companies have in common.
The book addresses issues such as the need for finding your business’s purpose, the necessity of knowing your customers’ needs, the need for transparency during communication, the challenges of building a brand, etc.
We recommend this essay compilation for executives, self-employed individuals, and entrepreneurs.
About Jocelyn K. Glei
Jocelyn K. Glei is a founding editor of 99U and a former global management editor at Flavorpill.
“Make Your Mark Summary”
You worked hard and came to the point where you can “sell” your passion.
Does that mean that you are successful? Sure.
But, does that mean that your business is successful?
Well, it depends.
You need to understand that “success” is not just profit and product – focus. To make sure that your business is labeled as successful you need to define your purpose. Purpose-driven companies actively participate in making the world a better place to live in.
So, you know what the business is about, but you do not know exactly how you can define your purpose?
Do not worry; we are here to help. What you need to do is answer the following four questions:
- What does the world need?
- What are your organization’s specific abilities?
- Who has the company timelessly been?
- Who must it fearlessly become?
These questions will help you become introspective and realize your business’s contribution.
You can play with these questions and make them relevant to inquiring about your own purpose:
- What do you contribute to the world?
- What are your abilities that no one else has?
- Who are you at your finest?
- Who must you fearlessly become?”
To be able to find your purpose, you have to forget about whom you think you are. The ideas you have about yourself are ego-based, and the purpose is defining your core concerns. Answer these questions, and you will come up with a clean personal statement.
A personal statement will communicate your goals and your worth. The same goes for your company as well.
Apart from the questions we mentioned above, which are fit for finding your purpose, you should also keep your progress in check.
You can do this by continually posing “why” questions. You should know what your customers want and why they want it so that you can fit their needs better. Be ready to reestablish your patterns and beliefs, since things change, and you need to change along with them.
Furthermore, do not forget the fundamental “why” question: why are we here?
As your business evolves, it will most certainly be overburdened by operational issues which will confuse its compass. Whenever you feel this happens, rediscover the spark that started everything.
Next, ask yourself who would miss you if you did not exist and why would they feel like that. This way you will pinpoint your target audience.
Now, you may know your customers, their needs and the value they want to get, but do you know your business?
A company is not just a product. Instead, think of it as a service whose job is to fulfill some kind of cause. So, if you have considered your company as a mere collection of products until now, it is the time that you find a way to become a cause and not just a business.
However, be prepared – when you choose a cause, it will most probably cause a conflict with the bottom line. So, know what you are willing to sacrifice.
Continue questioning yourself and your company, and make sure that your employees know the company’s changing role. Keep learning and growing, and stay open to innovation. But do not innovate just for the sake of it.
Innovate to make your customers’ lives easier.
When you put your focus where it should be – on your customers and their needs, you are exercising leadership the right way.
When you reach that point, you will understand that the best products are the simple ones. Stop focusing on making the product have everything there is to have, and instead concentrate on building it in a way that satisfies a particular need.
The customers will love you for it, we promise!
Because the only person impressed with the complex packaging, in-depth instructional texts, and long-winded marketing is you. Your customers, on the other hand, will steer away.
Most people do not like to be told what the product can do – they want to discover it on their own.
Keep this consumer-oriented advice in mind, and your business will bloom.
Key Lessons from “Make Your Mark”:
1. Guidelines for Successful Design
2. The Value of Transparency
3. Guidelines for Effective Team Communication
Guidelines for Successful Design
- Work Backwards – try to imagine that you have no limits, and get rid of your mental restrictions. Work backward from your idea about how you can fulfill a specific need, and stroll towards a practical solution.
- Limit Steps – do not add too many steps that only complicate user experience. Less is more.
- Use Recognizable Models
The Value of Transparency
Do you wonder what transparency can do for your business and its corporate climate?
- It will build trust
- It will boost innovation and information sharing
- It will fuel loyalty
- It will minimize nepotism and increase fairness
- It will create opportunities for valuable feedback
Guidelines for Effective Team Communication
- Embrace repetition – send the same message over and over to make sure that all team members heard everything there is to hear.
- Heed different points of view
- Eliminate gossip
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“Make Your Mark” QuotesThe first step in living your purpose is to distill it. – Keith Yamashita. Click To Tweet The best businesses aren’t profit-driven or even product-driven; they’re purpose-driven. They strive to solve real problems, meet pressing needs and change the world in ways big and small. Click To Tweet If you wait until you are ready, it is almost certainly too late. – Seth Godin Click To Tweet The best brands, the strongest brands, the ones that everyone loves, stand for a concept that is much greater than the product itself. – Emily Heyward Click To Tweet Tiny considerations in the interactions companies have with their customers are all about focusing on people before profits – and, paradoxically, this can yield huge returns. – Shane Snow Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“Make Your Mark” consists of practical advice, applicable concepts, lists, exercises and questions that can immensely help interested readers to become leaders.