This week I have really struggled with two losses that we experienced. Two very young girls from families associated with us who were taken too soon. I asked myself why good people have to be taken before their time, why families had to experience such pain. Whether through illness, or through evil attacks.
We don’t understand why some are called to be with the Lord before they have reached their peak. We will never understand that, and shouldn’t spend valuable time trying to understand it. Instead, we must use our abilities with the life we have to leave the best possible legacy.
So how do we tie this in with a business environment that is cutthroat? That takes no prisoners, and demands that we stay at the top of our game just to remain relevant. I believe the essence of business is to lift up people. To impact lives. To make a positive difference to people.
Take for example Safaricom’s stellar results presented just yesterday. Huge profits and growth across almost all pillars of their business. What people often forget is the amount of good they do for people. Hospitals being rehabilitated, schools for the otherwise-abled being created and enhanced among many other projects. We may call it CSR, they see it as enhancing lives. It’s more than just a show, it’s a chance to lift up people. To build a legacy, and thereby build their brand.
While none of us have phenomenal budgets to undertake such projects, we can all use our businesses to build a legacy. Maybe it is identifying a small school that you can support, or a small clinic that needs some help. I guarantee there is no greater feeling in the business world than enabling people who otherwise were struggling to survive with a platform to GROW.
Business is much more than just profits and CSR. The true essence of business is creating greatness in others. Whether it is through the value your product does to enhance the lives of your customers, or through the good the profits of those products can do for others.
When someone known to me passes on, I often create a scholarship fund in their memory. Where the family can select another person of the same age who is then given the opportunity to study, thereby giving an opportunity for the life that has passes on to live on and be a source of greatness.
Nothing will ever replace those we love, nothing will replace us when we pass on – but our actions will speak for themselves. Did we use our abilities to enhance others, or just ourselves. I choose to live for others, and I can see my business growing as a result. The positive impact we have on people’s lives – coupled with the growth of our own companies – is a fantastic legacy.
Go out and leave an impact in your capacity. It’s worth it.