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Business as Usual is Over: We Need New Rules for Entrepreneurs

I just posted this on my blog, but wanted our customer community to know how I feel about Business as Usual so I’m reposting it here as we’ve consistently shared our values and what we’re all about before. Since Jan. 2008, I have sought to steer our ship according to a different set of rules and values. We’re not perfect by any means, but we seek to live these in our work. 


I’m pretty fed up with the current playbook for entrepreneurs.

Somehow we’ve gotten into this rut of a jacked up mindset that the key to success is to bulldoze people to get what we really want. We put profits over people. We make decisions that help us get where we want, at the increasing expense of those who got us here.

This is business as usual for us, entrepreneurs, and I’m tired of it. It’s such a waste of what I believe is a noble occupation and a higher calling.

We use the “It’s not personal, just business.” quote way too often as justification for it all. (Business is always personal, by the way.)

It’s a self-centered, self-focused, self-obsessed, supremely disastrous way of doing business.

And it’s time all of that stopped.

We need to burn the current playbook. We need a reorientation to what entrepreneurship should be about. (Hint: It’s about people and purpose plus profit … making meaning while making money).

We need to return to (or maybe start) the value-based entrepreneurship … one that puts people first, that’s about character, empathy, service and integrity and most of all, focusing on making the world a better place.

So I’ve been working on a new playbook and new set of rules for entrepreneurs that I’m rolling out for the first time here. My purpose, mission and aim is to change the way we think and act as entrepreneurs. That we have a set of principles, finally, to guide us, to be measured by and to help correct us when we’ve went AWOL from them.

And I think it starts with these principles:

  1. Do right
  2. Do good
  3. Care
  4. Be genuine and authentic
  5. Be open and honest
  6. Serve others

In full disclosure: I’ve broken all of these principles at some point in my career. I’m not perfect and not suggesting I am. Far, far, far from it. But I’ve sought to live out my life as an entrepreneur and leader by these simple values each and every day and they’ve served me well.

My first draft of the playbook is already 2,800 words. But I need your help and perspective and feedback to shape it. Who knows where it goes from here, but I want to at least take a bold first step to see change I believe needs to happen.

My request is for you to help me edit it and make it better. Highlight the sections you see that need refinement or editing and make a comment. Make sure you put your name so I can thank you once it’s finalized and released. I’m certain I’ve missed things. Key things. The last time I did this I got some amazing comments and edits that made the project so much better and impactful. I know if anything it’ll give me the opportunity to clarify what I’m actually trying to say.

You can read the really, really rough draft here now. (Keeping in mind it is an early draft of an unfinished project … so you’ll see plenty of loose ends, studs, exposed plumbing. You’ll also see it evolve throughout the process as I’m, even now, working on it.)

So I’m crowdsourcing the editorial process with you again … and I hope you’ll help me, help others, by establishing a new set of rules for entrepreneurs to live and operate and yes, be measured, evaluated and judged by.



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