The 5 P’s of Business I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When Starting

#6 - 12.12.22

How to grow an online business.
Who doesn’t want to grow one?

The thing is, after almost six years co-leading businesses you’d describe as this, one thing I have to say is it really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

To sustain, to retain, you have to think obsessively about five “P”’s -  otherwise, you just want entertain the idea.

And then there are things I wish people would have told me before I began.

Let’s get into it.

1. Profits

Before purpose, despite what Simon Senek says, your why isn’t as important as your “wow” (wow meaning healthy bank balance here).

There is nothing more critical than you have the space for your health, and family because finances are essential.

And don’t forget, the main objective of any business is to make money - that’s why you’re a business and not a Non-Profit.

And then there’s the inevitable uncertainty and struggle that follows a start-up - remember more than 90% fail within their first 5 years. 

Finances will bring you long-term freedom.

And yes, for sure, money may not make your world go round. But it sure helps.

2. Principles

One of the things that test start-up founders, especially as you battle to get over the “hump”, is sticking to what you believe in.

This might (and hopefully) are moral principles (treatment of people etc).

But quite often it can be financing, investor match or dare I say it, taking a client that you know doesn’t approach things the same way.

Sticking to your own creed. Your own formula, can be the hardest thing to do when you have no money in the bank to pay for your newborn child’s baby towel.

But if you can, it’ll help you develop a steeliness and authenticity that will help you be happy long-term.

After all, no one likes a sell-out. Especially selling out on yourself.

3. Persistance

Start-up’s require you to turn up again and again and again.

I’ve gone with persistence over patience because I genuinely think (and I’m super guilty here when I say this), that being persistent, turning up when you really don’t want to, is sometimes harder than patience in business.

Don’t get me wrong, patience, especially when infused with spiritual inspiration, is a deeply meaningful, rewarding and beautiful thing.

But as someone who subscribes to the Islamic creed and who looks to follow the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in his way of life, we’re taught to even not to ask for patience but what the Arabs call “afiah” which is a form of cure, or ease.

And I also feel, others also depend on your persistence more so. Your team and your family need you to turn up.

They depend on it.

4. Practice

I remember growing up in the heyday of high school playing football with a gent called Simon Schofield.

Unlike some of us, he’d struggled to get into the school football team.

Then out of nowhere, not only did he get into our team.

He became the best player.

There are no shortcuts to most businesses.

Yes, there is the odd, one-in-a-million hot shot who may have struck out in crypto.

But unfortunately, that’s not many of us.

Deliberate practice needs to be your best pal.

As a great business guru once said:

As Einstein defined:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

It’s the same in business. You’ll have to grow, deliver, and re-invent yourself over and over again to keep meeting the needs of your business until you find product market fit.

You may not be perfect immediately. But practice, does lead to it.

5. Purpose

I left a fantastically financially rewarding e-commerce in my 20’s. Where I had more money than sense. Then a gratifying and greatly paid humanitarian role to keep finding “my calling.”

In recent times, people have labeled it as purpose.

We’re all motivated in different ways. What gives you a chance to stick things out, is when you enjoy the process.

It won’t always be pretty. In fact, more times than it will be everything but that.

Pretty ugly even.

But what allows you to persist (point 3 for those of you who are still with me), is having your own North Star.

Clearly knowing what you’re aiming for.

And after the profits come (hopefully), the only thing I’d argue that keeps you re-inventing yourself is to feel a deep purpose for what you do.

Your wider mission. The vision you’re working towards. 

Because once everything leaves. And I can almost guarantee people (team members), profits (the inevitability of business unless you’re the top 1% of the top 1%), the only thing that will make you feel, actually, it was all worth it, is the objective, that ambitious aim that gave you a reason to get out of bed.

Even when you didn’t want to. 

Those spiritual of us may acquire that through a meditative state.

Through recognising why we’re created and why we have a presence in a moment.

But irrespective of your purpose, there’s no denying that the best businesses do one thing:

And that brings the most benefit to mankind.

And business. When done right. Will help you define your own profitable path to it.

Think about it.