When you start your business, your goal should be to go from nothing to something great that changes people’s lives while earning you a living. This is much like Abraham Lincoln, who grew up in poverty and battled depression — but never stopped persevering and never accepted defeat. Lincoln went on to become one of the greatest presidents the United States ever had and a national hero.
My advice is look at business examples to model his life and the businesses of other great business men and women. Steve Jobs built a personal computer and tech device empire on the idea of thinking differently and providing quality. Henry Ford believed everyone should be able to afford an automobile — so he made it happen. Warren Buffet loved investing so much he opened an investment partnership after offering to work for free for his hero Benjamin Graham just to learn more.
These principles of dedication, hard work and passion are the essence of every great business. Below are some ways you can model your business after Lincoln’s life — the way a business should be built:
1. Be honest and fair in all your dealings. Lincoln prided himself on his character and honesty.
2. Work hard and bury your heart in your passions. Lincoln had a sincere love of people and although depressive and shy he made a career out of making a difference in others lives.
3. Always find ways to laugh enjoy life and relax. Lincoln medicated his depression with laughter he believed it was better to laugh than allow himself to cry.
4. Build your business around something you believe in. Passion fuels desire and helps to drive you. If you pursue a passion your business processes will never feel like work.
5. Never stop learning. Lincoln had very little formal education. He became a lawyer almost completely off of reading and self educating himself constantly.
6. Never believe where you came from matters. Lincoln grew up in severe poverty and had to quit school to help support his destitute family however he never let his circumstances stop him from striving toward greatness.
7. Treat failure as a learning experience. Lincoln had several businesses fail. He went bankrupt and had his fiancé leave him. He also failed two times to get elected to senate. He never let his disappointments stop him from moving forward.
You don’t need to love investing to use this guideline, be a politician, or have great tech skills. The important thing about this model is commitment, action, and integrity. Success waits for no one. Make the decision today to build something great the right way. In the long run, it will be worth the sacrifice.
This guideline could easily be applied to several different business models. When you build your business with integrity, long term success will follow. There are no instant riches or instant success. Even if you made a lot of money being dishonest, would you really want to be that person?
Jason Baudendistel is the CEO and founder of New Horizons Marketing a full service advertising,social media and web marketing company. He is a small business consultant, web marketing consultant and social media marketing consultant. He can be contacted at www.jasonbaudendistel.com