Take some time to think about whom you want to emulate.
Remember when you were growing up? At different points in our lives we all had heroes and they probably changed over time. Who was your hero and why did you want to be like them? Think about it. Was it a sports star, a rock star or maybe a politician?
I think every entrepreneur should think about the same exercise in a different light. What company is your hero? Who do you want to be “like” when you grow up one day.
As we think about our businesses – there are many metrics that come to mind. EBITDA, Growth Goals, Market Share, Funding Rounds — just to name a few that come to mind.
What makes you tick and why? Try not to think of a competitor. Consider companies in entirely different industries than your own. Perhaps businesses that you frequent could also be a role model.
I thought about this exercise the other day when I dropped off my car for service at the local Exxon dealership in Maple Glen, PA. I have frequented them for years, and my son was getting ready to drive. I handed them the keys, asked them to “do whatever was necessary” and I jumped into an Uber and headed to the airport.
I returned two days later. I picked up the car and paid the bill which was reasonable and fair. Exactly what I expected. The local Exxon business is built on good old fashioned trust.
I want my company to be like the Exxon station. I want it to be that way today, tomorrow and as we grow. I will compromise speed and fast growth for trust and longevity any day of the week.
What company is your hero and why? Who do you want to be like when you grow up?