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Raison D'entrepreneur

Matt Morgan • Apr 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Why do you want to start your own business? Or, if you have, why did you decide to put a lot on the line to do so? A similar question can be asked of those who have found their non-self-employment careers in life: Why?

Money seems a safe bet, but many others do what they do for a passion. There really is no one answer because it is such a personal question! That then is the "why" itself. With what you do, you must share your reason with others if you are to succeed.

In 1989's comedy "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," George Carlin's character Rufus introduces the premise of why he does what he does (which is put up with and guide two rocker-teens through a time-traveling journey).

"Hi, welcome to the future. San Dimas, California, 2688. And I'm telling you it's great here. The air is clean, the water's clean, even the dirt, it's clean. Bowling averages are way up, mini-golf scores are way down. And we have more excellent water slides than any other planet we communicate with. I'm telling you this place is great! But it almost wasn't. You see, 700 years ago, the two great ones ran into a few problems. So now I have to travel back in time to help them out. If I should fail to keep these two on the correct path, the basis of our society will be in danger. Don't worry, it'll all make sense. I'm a professional."

The passion of Rufus, Bill, and Ted ended up changing history itself. They overcame a great many struggles and misconceptions to do what needed done. In fact they went in rather unprepared save for some advice time and again from their guide. But their "why" was powerful enough to prevail. Now movies are movies and real life is real life but the two do mirror each other in many ways. It is up to you to exist in the middle and make the movie magic happen while applying IRL (in real life) concepts to what you do.

Whether you sell insurance on commission, make widgets on a machine line, or operate a retail business, your "why" is going to be what compels not just yourself but others to come to you. Be prepared to share it with others. Learn how to communicate with your customer base. Bill and Ted spoke in the teen parlance of the time, which didn't earn them much regard by the adults. But by the end of the story, their message was received by all and went on to even make the dirt cleaner.

In a day and age when things may seem mind-numbing and meaningless it may just be YOU who is the one to prove to others that things like compassion, decency, professionalism, or even just a friendly smile still do exist in business. You may have to do it with a "gnarly, dude" in your sentence or perhaps even a formula predicting the margin of error. But if you don't, think of what will happen to more than just peoples' bowling averages.

Reason overcomes mindlessness, reason compels decisions and reason is what you should give your customers to share in your "why." That is your "raison d'etre", or, "reason to exist". Let it guide you and act as a constant reminder of your importance just as Rufus used his to save the world.

So, from the bottom of my heart and with all due professionalism, "Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!"

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