Sometimes it just helps to see your own thoughts written down. I've been known to write my thoughts down when it feels like there's just too many active ones going around in my mind, and this always helps me to think more clearly and assess things properly. But, what's even better is when you see your own thoughts written down, by someone else. It's like a sense of validity to your own thoughts. To know that someone else is thinking the same way, and someone else understands you and feels the same things you do - strongly enough to write an entire book about it - is incredibly settling. And for the author to be so confident that there are people in the world who actually need and will read such a book, makes you feel like, although you thought the same things before seeing them written down, they're actually common concerns that plenty of other people are dealing with too. When the thoughts sit inside your mind, you're not sure anyone else thinks the same way you do. So to see it written down by someone else, for many of someone elses, and to know so many other people will be reading and nodding along too, is a sweet clarification that your own thoughts and concerns are not only with you but with other too, and confirms that they are not as irrational as you might have thought.
As starting my own business was something that just happened to me, I didnt spend a lot of time researching or considering, well, anything to be honest. In the beginning, most people start with an idea, and then spend a lot of time mulling it over, assessing the risks and oppertunites and generally scaring, and stalling, themselves. I didn't read up on anything, and still the only knowledge I have of running a business is my own experience of doing so. But this book, this is one thing I wish I had discovered. Not before embarking on my start-up sole trader journey, necessarily, but definitely sooner than I did. For anyone running a small business, or considering to do so, the sooner you bring this book into your life, the better.
Do Purpose basically breaks down and exposes all the mindful struggles and barriers of having your own business. It admits everything you constantly think about but that you rarely voice, and that other people rarely discuss. The things that really get under your skin, make you feel useless and hopeless and even at times, a bit of a joke, or a fraud. Below is a selection of my favourite quotes taken from the book, which are applied to business scenarios but which I also think apply to the general struggles of day-to-day life.
SANE PEOPLE DON'T QUIT
(The moral here is, don’t be sane. don't play safely, don't be too sensible, and ultimately don't quit just because it seems easier than carrying on. In the end, your love and passion for your business will become so powerful you'll become ignorant to the worries and the stresses).
THE COMPETITION HAVE MORE OF EVERYTHING THAN YOU
(More staff, more distribution, more stationary, more patents, more sales, more money, more followers. Their coffee budget is bigger than your marketing budget. Their CEO doesn’t have to put the bins out as well as lead the company. But in my opinion, they lack the truly important things, such as passion, meaning, authenticity and purpose. Think about it, and then decide what you'd be prouder of. Good stationary, or good morals and good ideas?).
YOU CANT GET TO WONDERFUL WITHOUT PASSING THROUGH ALRIGHT
(Ain't nuthin truer).
PATIENCE MATTERS. IT TAKES TIME TO GET GOOD AT YOUR THING
(Let it happen. The more you plan, or aim, or want to get to a certain point, the less likely you are to get there. Allow time to do its thing, allow yourself to grow and allow your thing to develop naturally, and exactly as it intends to. There is only so much we can do, but I believe that a lot of things already know their path and their direction, and they're gonna take whatever time they need, to get there - so don't rush them).
YOUR TIME IS LIMITED. REMEMBER THAT.
(OK, I know I just said don't rush things, but time is also precious, so use it wisely. There are a couple of pages in this book which outline how everyone's given the same time from the ‘time bank. Once you withdraw it, you can spend it however you want. Time poorly spent will not be replaced. Time is more valuable than money. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. One day you will go to the bank and you won’t have any time left to withdraw. And you never know when this day might come. You wouldn’t waste money, so don’t waste your time).
BEGIN BEFORE YOU ARE READY. THERE IS NO RIGHT TIME.
(This applies to just about anything in life, and is something that really resonated with me. Qnola basically set itself up. I never planned to start a business, and I was certainly not ready too, but I truly think that growing and learning on the job made the entire journey more enjoyable, more natural and ultimately more successful. I'm pretty confident that if I'd waited until I was 'ready', or until I thought I was ready, I'd still be waiting now).
(Small budgets require big ideas. you don’t need a big budget to succeed, just a big idea).
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS
(Do it all and do it right. Don't expect to do only the good bits, or only the successful bits, and don't expect there to be ways to avoid the bits you don't enjoy, or that don't go right. Don't expect there to be a fast pass, and don't depend on there being an easy way around things).
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING
(basically, take it easy yeh?).
DO ONE THING WELL. IT IS ENOUGH
(again, take it easy, you are a single human being, don't try to do too much. This is the easiest advice to give, but possible the hardest to take, especially if you are creatively inclined and just want to do do do more more more).
ENJOY THE RIDE
(The ride is yours, and no one elses journey will be the same. Starting your own business will make you question yourself, doubt your abilities, compare your business to others and just generally make you feel ridiculous and in some cases hopeless. But one thing to remember is that you are doing what you love, and even if you are doing a terrible job at it, at the end of the day there is a life outside of it, and the purpose of that life is to enjoy it. Do your best until you know better, and in the meantime, enjoy the ride. This is your thing, and it was never supposed to make you feel shitty).