I was having a chat with a pretty young girl at a bar near my house last Friday night. We discussed what we both do with our lives and as usual I faced some trouble describing what I do. After covering the usual pleasantries we moved on to more deep and meaningful discussions and the topic invariable progressed to religion and faith. We shared similar beliefs and while we both don’t ascribe to a particular religion we do have faith.

This morning I was again mentally assessing where I am going with my blogging and business in general and I realized that a lot of what I do is based on faith. I don’t in particular have very specific goals, rather general medium and long term things I want to do and achievements I would like to complete in the near future. I work towards these targets in a very faith based manner, committing myself to certain activities, like writing articles for this blog, that don’t necessarily provide an easy-to-measure return.

I could look at things simply as return on investment in money terms, but that would not be a fair judgement because a lot of the value I derive from my business, and in fact life in general, is intrinsic. Strictly using financial metrics to determine success would be like using someone’s net worth to judge their character and value has a human being, which sadly some people do. This is not a method that leads to healthy relationships and I would never associate with people that were so callous.

Business As A Religion

I have a few friends that I meet with regularly who share my passion for business. In fact some of them have even more passion for business than I do. After one meeting with them you can see that their business is the main focus in their life. For some their business enjoys the majority of their daily headspace, even surpassing the time contemplating sex (yes these are male friends). Business has become a part of who they are. Business is a part of who I am. If you are reading this then business is probably a part of who you are too.

Religion is a set of rules and guidelines to live your life in a way that is positive and rewarding. Religion provides faith, something intangible that can be called on when times are tough or when things happen that are out of our control. Religion for many people is a rock providing support and a map to follow, a means to find clarity and purpose amongst confusion and despondency.

Business provides an entrepreneur with purpose. When times are tough faith keeps an entrepreneur working long after other people, those that could be said to possess less faith, would have given up. While blind faith is not a good thing, certainly strong faith and courage of conviction are vital for any business person to carry on despite whatever obstacles are thrown at them.

Business provides an entrepreneur with meaning. An enlightened entrepreneur works towards building something that enhances many people’s lives, not just lines his or her own pockets. By creating a business that employs people, provides helpful products or services and creates prosperity for many, the sum effect is an expansion of positivity. While this wonderfully positive picture isn’t always the case in our corporate environment I choose to have faith in the humane part of each entrepreneur and will admire only those that give back more than they take out.

When business people get together they share the faith. Entrepreneurs discuss commerce, opportunities and advise each other on the best course of action in a given situation. It’s as if there are a set of rules, some written, some intuitively understood that are guiding these people. When entrepreneurs network they call on their collective understanding and knowledge to help each other and create something greater than the sum of the parts. It’s as if they are divinely inspired.

Keep Your Faith

Fanaticism is dangerous, but a healthy mix of faith and reality work well together. Personally I follow my own ever-evolving doctrine that guides my life and business activities. Living in the moment and focusing on the present gives me satisfaction. Work, or as I prefer to call it – creative expression – keeps me enthusiastic and motivated. Money is a reward for persistent effort and giving more than you take. Other rewards are intangible, such as positive feedback, having a positive impact on other people’s lives, increased personal confidence, clarity of purpose, maturity and the ability to remove yourself from negative influences and thought patterns.

Understanding and balancing your own strengths and weaknesses and working towards your own self improvement should be your primary goals in life. Being a business person, an entrepreneur, gives you membership to a special club of people who share a special religion. Your faith in yourself and your actions will greatly impact what you achieve as a person and as a business owner.