I was at an internet marketing workshop in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago, and had the opportunity to have our website critiqued by a few internet gurus in front of the whole workshop. The very first thing we say on our website is "LYB has unique methodology to ...". The response from the workshop facilitator was "so what". His response was eloquent in its simplicity. His point was that people don't care that we have a unique methodology - not yet anyway - they want to know what's in it for them, how will it solve their problems.
It got me thinking pretty deeply about what we do, and why we are in business in the first place. Fundamentally I think all of us who are in business for ourselves are after three things from our business - time, money and meaning.
Those of us who left a job to start a business generally didn't do it in order to work longer hours for less money. We want more discretionary time, and a greater income ... More freedom and more safety. But its more than that - we also want meaning. We want to leave a legacy, make a contribution, do something we are proud of and that gives us satisfaction.
Unfortunately most businesses don't make it to the promised land. Most business leaders end up working longer hours for less money than most employees. There is the possibility of something much more, but achieving that tends to be the exception rather than the rule. I ran a couple of different seminars last week, and talked to a lot of different business owners about the experience of working harder for less money, and it definitely struck a cord.
Business as usual is probably going to give us more of the same. It takes more than incremental improvements to create a business that gives us what we want. For most businesses it takes a whole new way of doing business. And that's the answer to Andrew's question from the start - what's in it for me? A way of doing business that can give you time, money and meaning ... Which is what we are all after.