As an entrepreneur, what is the overarching goal that you are always striving toward, and why?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Achieving Motivational Alignment
All of my entrepreneurial pursuits are motivated by positively impacting specific communities. It’s important not to forget about overarching motivation as you dip into the weeds of pursuing a business outcome. This alignment ensures that the desired results remain in alignment with impact and motivation.
2. Creating Value
Everything I do is directly tied to the creation of value, whether it’s value for myself or for people that I work with and my company. Things like constant learning and striving to be the best at what I do are also dependent on the value creation for other people and businesses. Because at the end of the day, what’s the meaning of it all if you are not helping create more value for society?
3. Contributing to Economic Development
I live and work in a small city in Pennsylvania called Wilkes-Barre (it’s about 20 miles from Scranton). Over the years, I’ve realized that my success in hiring employees, expanding offices, investing in companies and supporting local businesses directly and positively impacts the economic development of the city. The end result is a higher tax base and more success and opportunities for others.
4. Building a Nurturing, Sustainable Business
My overarching goal is to grow and build a nurturing, sustainable business using ethical practices. The larger we get, the better able we are to serve our community and further our mission to help and heal through social outreach.
5. Making a Difference
My goal is always to make a difference in my customers’ lives, helping them in any way that I can. Having this as my overarching goal keeps me focused on continuing to improve because there is always more I could do in terms of making a difference and addressing pain points.
6. Getting Better Every Day
This goal can be easily forgotten in the everyday runnings of a small business, but it’s important. You should be focused on improving your business and/or yourself personally, at least in some small way, every single day.
7. Staying True to Your Standards
I think it’s important that you always stay true to your standards and principles. Keeping your own values close to your heart while you work is very important. It shapes the way you treat others, how you treat your business and, ultimately, the real intrinsic value of the money you are earning.
8. Making Yourself Obsolete
My goal is to become unnecessary within my own business. When I can create a role out of a subset of my responsibilities, I hire someone immediately. It’s for the better; your impulse may be to wear lots of hats, but it’s simply not sustainable in the long run. Specialization is the key to a well-oiled machine and creates more sorely needed time for big-picture thinking and optimization.
9. Furthering Educational Growth
Although personal financial growth and seeing my team members succeed are great outcomes of running a successful business, my true desire as an entrepreneur is to learn. It’s that singular goal of furthering my own educational growth by learning from my daily challenges that has pushed me forward and helped me maintain momentum in the industries within which I’ve operated.
10. Taking Care of Coworkers and Companies
My motivation to build creative alignments is intertwined with my desire to create a place for people to work where they feel respected, work-life balance is a reality and being yourself is honored and appreciated. I’m also motivated to offer companies a true recruiting partner that has their backs and treats them respectfully and fairly.
11. Keeping Up With Growth and Innovation
I want to succeed in my business and I want that success to grow every day, week, month and year. But I understand that times change and so do industries. I want to be at the forefront of mine, adapting to those changes and innovating as I go. If you can grow and innovate at the same time, that is what sets entrepreneurs apart.
12. Helping Others
I think most people start a business because they have an idea of a service or product that will improve people’s lives. It’s easy to lose sight of that goal in the daily grind, but when I step back and remember the whole reason I started my business, I find it reinvigorates me to keep growing and improving.
13. Reaching Financial Freedom
When you are working for something much more than money, great things happen. I know this may sound very capitalist, but the first way to look beyond money is to not have to worry about it. At this time, tunnel vision gets easier, goals become easier to accomplish, and the vision of the company becomes stronger than ever before.
14. Solving New Problems
Every business I build is designed to solve problems and make a difference. I learned early on that money and profits will never be truly fulfilling, and that if I want to have the kind of success that makes me thrilled to wake up every day, even when things are extremely challenging, I have to build things that make the world better and people happier.
15. Pushing Limits
Too often we limit ourselves in terms of what we develop. We become successful and seem to stop. However, my goal is to continue to push myself even farther than I think I am capable of going. That means trying new things in my professional and personal life, particularly those things I was most apprehensive about doing in the past.