How To Think About Building A Business

We live in a forest.

The soil beneath our feet is deep, rich and fertile – a treasure trove that stores the value of everything that’s come before.

It’s all buried there. Ideas. Discoveries. Technologies. The work of all those, past and present, on whose shoulders we stand.

The forest floor teams with life – and it’s where most of us are happy to live.

The surface benefits not only from the abundance beneath, but from the perpetual renewal from above – the wealth that falls from the plants and trees above.

Yeah – in the 21st century, the surface is pretty fucking great.

But for some of us … It. Just. Isn’t. Enough.

We want more.

Something – some change in our life – causes us to raise our eyes from the forest floor, way up past the plants and trees above, and see something beyond.

In my work, this is The Origin Story.

It may come from triumph or tragedy, hope or rage or frustration or crisis.

But when it comes, and it’s the seed that powers the business we will build … and the change (value) we will bring to the forest.

At least, that’s the dream.

The forest is abundant, but it’s also brutal. From the moment we send out our first root, we are in a competition – the infinite game.

For a time, it’s okay – we can survive on the seed energy and the treasure in the earth. We can push out new roots, draw on the abundance created by others, and start to grow.

But in the end, we have no choice.

We have to make something new.

We have to make a leaf.

And then another, and another.

Because all around us, other weirdos are reaching up too. They have their own stories, their own dreams.

And most of us won’t make it – or won’t make it far.

The forest floor is a riot of lookalike plants, fighting for the same space, the same attention … the same weak light.

They serve only themselves and die as fast as they flower.

But not us.

We celebrate the treasure beneath us, but we don’t just copy it, we combine it with our insight, our story … the treasure that we bring.

So that we might serve our tribe in a way that no one else can.

And every leaf on every branch is a chance for us to grow, to capture the light of attention and bring it to our deepest value.

The core of what we do.

You already know mine – people who tell better stories get better lives.

(And in case you are wondering … yes, this is a leaf.)