Are you proud of your role in your business?
Are you proud of the role your business plays in your country?
You should be. I will explain more in a moment. First, another question:
Have you ever considered what separates wealthy countries from poor countries?
In large measure, it is the ease of business formation and growth. Certainly, history, geography, and natural resources also play a role. Complicated forces are at work. As always, the numbers spell out a story:
The US economy (people and machines) produces $56,000 each year for every man, woman and child, the biggest economy in the world.
The DR Congo in Africa economy produces $800 each year for every man, woman and child. For context, that number is the third lowest in the world.
Those numbers begin to tell a story of misery for the 70 million Congolese people.
How can one explain why the Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in natural resources yet so poor in economic production? The answer is easy – the World Bank says DR Congo is the sixth most difficult place on the planet to do business.
The follow-up question then becomes “why is it so difficult to do business in DR Congo?” The answer to that question is more complicated and beyond the scope of a single blog post.
These facts and numbers are personal to me. For over a decade, I have traveled to DR Congo with teams of business people to help Congolese people start and grow their own businesses.
So why should you be proud?
Here are 6 reasons why business formation & growth is good for people and communities:
- Provides a place for people (employees) to innovate without owning a business
- Makes innovation available to everyone in the community
- Hires employees and create goods and services that build communities and countries
- Pays individuals who can then pay taxes to support the government and community
- Pays taxes as a business, which also supports the government and community
- Supports charitable organizations to make an impact in the community and the world
If you happen to live in a country where the World Bank states that it is relatively easy to do business, you are fortunate. And if you are taking advantage of that fortunate opportunity, you should be proud.
Being a Christian, I used to think that business was not as important as “spiritual” matters. After many years of reflection, I no longer feel that way. Business and spirituality are connected. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are dying to have entrepreneurs start businesses there, literally… and Jesus and I both hate death and needless suffering.
I keep this picture of these children on my iPad as a reminder of the goodness of business formation – both here in America and in DR Congo. Our humanity is tied together. The picture reminds me of the importance of forming businesses to benefit communities and countries.
By choosing to form and grow a business, you are contributing to society. You are lifting other people up. You are making your community a “richer” place to live, both literally and figuratively.
Let me leave business owners with another question:
If you have employees who are truly proud to work in your business, how do you think that pride might influence the company’s culture, productivity, and profits?
And a few questions for the managers:
Do your employees see your pride in your work and business? Do you see evidence of pride in their work and how they speak? Do they know how important their role is providing goods and services to your community (and even our country)?
If you have time, feel free to send an email and let me know:
How do you remind yourself and your employees of the importance of your business?