Don’t be the tool

Your business is a tool, to help you further your cause and enable your life.

In trying to be more “business-like” we lose our authenticity as individuals.

We start to talk like the tool. We relate to other people as a tool. We become the tool; just like many others out there similarly striving to be a tool. Because there seems to be one generally accepted model of doing business; one that minimises/denies our humanity.

A tool is a commodity. No one goes out of their way to work/engage with a tool. A tool is something you buy for the best price, use, and then store indefinitely in a shed or throw away.

A tool can also limit us from being able to solve problems in the best possible way. As a fellow design thinker described recently in a email: “As a solicitor, … I saw my client’s problems as complex because they seemed incapable of being compartmented or cleanly categorised as ‘legal’ problems. There always seemed a better solution to their dilemma that did not involve lawyers, but to tell my clients that would have meant dropping the protective legal framework and language, and engaging with them as something other than a lawyer.” Being locked in to a law firm situation limited him to solving problems using a specific set of ways only; so it is no longer about “the best way.”

By all means, learn how to use the tool that is your business. Dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s. Learn the principles of good business practice. Abide by the laws. Make it support you.

But don’t become it. You come first. Be you.

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