If you’re trying to understand why your business matters, write its eulogy. Confronting the death of your business will give you insight into what makes it meaningful here and now.
People taking stock of their lives often write their eulogy as an exercise in self reflection. They start by asking themselves: In my absence, what will people say about me? What will they remember about my life and how I treated them? Give your business the same kind of honest existential panning. Take pen to paper and start writing your businesses eulogy.
- Who’s at the funeral?
- What are they saying about you?
- What will they miss most?
- How were they affected by the loss?
- What’s in the casket that represents the truest form of your business?
When you’re done, go share it with anyone who knows your business and ask them if it rings true. Better yet, ask them to write and read aloud their own version of your business eulogy. Then make sure to serve cake and Schnapps.
As you wrestle with your business’ identity, you’ll begin to see with increasing levels of clarity. You’ll have stripped away the layers of bias, expectation and judgment that clouds your decision making and planning. As you get closer to the heart of the matter, you’ll begin to reconnect passion with purpose and understand again why you matter to your fans; what makes them want to get to know and love you.
You don’t need to be dead to leave a legacy. Zappos is loved for unparalleled customer service, Facebook for making the Internet sociable. What are you loved for? Get to know that and do more of it and less of everything else.