This past week, I had an inspiring call with a friend who had returned home from a two-week meditation retreat. We are both entrepreneurs, so of course there were moments in the conversation that we discuss the importance of enhancing ourselves so that we could enhance those we service through our businesses. After he shared what his daily routine was like during the retreat, I kept hearing the word "servant" in my head. I began telling him why it's important that, as leaders, we should invest in ourselves daily to be an asset in the lives of those we serve. We must be transcendent "servant entrepreneurs" if we want to change the world.
A servant by definition means a person who performs duties for others. S/He is a devoted and helpful follower or supporter. An entrepreneur means a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks. So, a servant entrepreneur strives to plan, establish, and operate a strong business structure that can provides immaculate service and/or products where their success rate is validated by the amount of lives that have been permanently changed.
Entrepreneurs take a great risk to provide a service or product, a risk that is only taken when the individual has unwavering faith and extraordinary courage. Even with these two attributes, many entrepreneurs still fail due to things such as: lack of strategic planning, lack of research and development, lacking an understanding of their target market and the culture of their customers, and providing poor services. As a servant entrepreneur, you give your all so that you can reach all. You strive to fulfill the areas where people are lacking because you want the best for your customers/clients. You know that if you slack in an area that should be your strongest, you are doing a disservice to the people who trust that you will supply a quality product/service.
No matter what business or organization we create, it's never about us. It is about the individuals we serve, and how we directly affect them for long-term change. This is another form of leadership in action; servant entrepreneurs definitely lead and strive for growth through service.
Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of Spirit said, "Most people lead their lives following a course that is not their own. And unless you can find the course that is truly your own you will remain off course." Below are seven pillars that will help to keep you on course if you yearn to be the servant entrepreneur. As you embrace these seven pillars, ask yourself, "What and how can I give in the most innovative and inspiring way to as many people in the world?”
7 Pillars of a Servant Entrepreneur
- Measure the quality of service/product by how many lives you've enhanced (The strongest brand has quality in the giving hand)
- Have a clear understanding of mission and sense of purpose (This attracts more helping hands to expand your land)
- Nurture fruitful growth (This allows you to be a constant resource and asset in your business and personal life)
- Embrace the honor and responsibility to lead the next generation of entrepreneurs (This is confirmation of your wealth of influence)
- Authenticity and honesty (This validates your integrity)
- Treat humanity as family (This enhances your level of communication and compassion for all those around you)
- Focus on the well being of the people you serve (This pushes you to provide the best service and products)