The Soul of the Firm

In his book The Soul of the Firm, C. William Pollard explained that “People want to work for a cause, not just a living”. Independent Retailers who are working for a cause are more likely to succeed than those who just want to make money. Why is that? Because when you are working for something bigger than yourself you are prepared to break barriers, try new things and stretch your potential.

Traditional methods of retailing no longer apply in this crazy online world. There are many ways to reinvent your business but what are you doing to reinvent yourself? When all is said and done you are the Soul of the firm. Your firm. Your staff and customers will rise or fall based on how you turn up to work every day. When you have a cause, you will lead your team and your customers with an energetic purpose. You see possibilities and opportunities. And you are more resourceful.

John Scully served as president of Pepsi-Cola for six years, preceded by seven years as its vice president. He then joined Apple after Steve Jobs famously persuaded him: “Do you really want to sell sugar water, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” He ran Apple for 10 years.

“When I showed up at Apple, I was by then a veteran of the cola business. I thought business was all about market share and competing against this strong and respected competitor.

“It wasn’t until I was sitting around with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and listening to them late one night in the Mac engineering lab that I heard something I’d never heard before. They were talking about their noble cause. By that, they meant that they wanted to change the world by empowering individuals with tools for the mind — and change the world one person at a time. I had never heard anything like that before. No one in corporate America was talking about changing the world or empowering individuals and things of that sort.

“So many people think, ‘Well, the goal of starting a company is to make a lot of money.’ In my generation in Silicon Valley, nobody was there to make a lot of money. We all did, but that wasn’t why we were there. We were there because we were passionate about doing things that had never been done before.”*

What are you passionate about? How can you change your local community? What cause are you willing to fight for? There is always something higher and nobler than just making money. As you seek for your higher purpose look beyond yourself and be open to all possibilities…no matter how crazy.

*Entrepreneur. – Lydia Belanger. 8 February 2017.