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The Heart Of Your Business Plan

| May 28, 2011 | 14 Comments

heartYou are under 30, living the dream and officially an entrepreneur –  a word you will embark to define on your own terms. You’ve identified the market gap and need which will make you a millionaire. Oh heck, why stop there, multi-billionaire and Time Magazine’s future Person of The Year.

You’re living on a prayer as you work on this dream – typing and skyping from cafés and other WiFi hotspots around the country and around the world.

With all the success you’re determined to achieve, ask yourself what the true human end goal of your pursuit is. The answer is not a condominium on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or vacation home in Miami, west coast home in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Nor is it a private jet or five star holidays with matching luggage, partner and children.

As entrepreneurs, we all have a high ‘dreamer’ element within our personalities and self-belief that against whatever challenges we individually face upon company establishment – whether financial, time, infrastructure or resource, that we will be dually rewarded with daily fulfillment and one day, financial pay-off.

Although success must always be defined in your own terms, global media hypes and shapes our perception of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, constantly ranking and re-evaluating based on wealth, revenue, product sales, stock value and other empirical and non-empirical justifications. There is only one certainty though, as reinforced by Steve Jobs’ inspirational 2005 Stanford University commencement speech; the reality and certainty of our mortality. We may currently be invincible and unbreakable, but with age, our mortality becomes suddenly real, exactly as Jobs faced when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Therefore, what potentially separates an entrepreneur from a truly great human may not be the amount of money she or he acquires in a quarter, year, company tenure or lifetime. However, it may be the amount of time, money, effort and resources injected into a philanthropic cause or personal crusade enabled by that core entrepreneurial pursuit. Case studies include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Azim Premji, Li Ka-shing, Andrew Carnegie, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and The Rockefeller Empire.

The number of global U.S Dollar billionaires stands at 1,210 people today and a combined total of 10 million millionaires and deca-millionaires.

Your ambition is your passport to possible future inclusion within that league of super affluent citizens. However, beyond creating employment, which is necessary for your company’s growth and a social contribution in its own right, the exact spark which lit the heart of past and present entrepreneurial philanthropists needs to be ignited and accelerated in your life pursuit. Not at career’s mid or sunset, but at the start of your business, or at latest, today.

The course of world history has proven that problems only marginally improve over the course of a generation, hence our continued link with poverty, inequality, the widening gap of wealth and income, disease, infant mortality, unemployment, literacy and life expectancy. As the Gates Foundation invests significantly into HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and research, we can help and hope that the foundation’s contributions plus our global efforts will eradicate the world of this disease within the foreseeable future. However, old and new diseases as well as global socioeconomic problems evolve and entrepreneurs are both playing and are expected to play an increasingly important social role as catalysts of global change, cures and kindness.

Currently, the orthodox and prescribed first step for new entrepreneurs is to populate a formulaic business plan featuring an overview, growth strategy, SWOT analysis, market research as well as definitive distribution and marketing strategies, team structures, alliances, management systems, a risk reduction plan, profit, loss and cash flow forecasts, capital expenditures and a detailed break-even analysis.

Today, I encourage you all to take time to truly optimize the human value of your entrepreneurial pursuits by placing a philanthropic goal at the heart of your business plan. This, I believe, is the missing statement that will be the final measure of your professional success when your pursuit as an entrepreneur ends.

The philanthropic statement should be simple and mirror the magnitude of your ambitions and aspirations, for example: to eradicate leukemia within the next decade. Assume responsibility, establish the mission and set a deadline.

Wempy Dyocta Koto is the CEO of Wardour And Oxford, a global business development agency working with entrepreneurs and companies all around the world to grow their businesses nationally and internationally. Wempy has lived in Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York, devoting his career to some of the world’s most famous brands such as American Express, Sony, Samsung, Nokia, BP, Citigroup, HSBC and Microsoft. Follow @wempydyoctakoto and @wardouroxford

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://twitter.com/JasonBaudendist Jason Baudendistel

    I think adding a socially responsible goal or a charity element is a great way to differentiate your company.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    I loved “philanthropic goal” which is  so great to follow and taking responsibility to solve problems of our society is a great thing to  achieve.

  • seo maartin

    Business plans are a clarification of the objectives was the hope of doing business. Business Plan
     

  • Dien Anshari

    Does creating world peace can be considered as a philanthropic goal? Nah, that’s a joke. I’m in yhe health comminication bussiness, and I guess my philanthropic goal is to eradicate influenza pandemic next decade.

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  • http://www.wardourandoxford.com Wempy Dyocta Koto

    Thank you for your comment, Jason. A socially responsible goal or charity element is certainly a great way to differentiate your company and create a difference in the world. Entrepreneurs who are just starting their businesses and do not have the financial resources should seek to substitute financial contribution with other acts of corporate and personal kindness such as volunteering at a hospital, community beautification programs, youth mentoring programs, supporting homeless shelters and the like. Identify a problem in the world around you and be the solution. Best wishes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wempydyoctakoto Wempy Dyocta Koto

    wff

  • http://www.facebook.com/wempydyoctakoto Wempy Dyocta Koto

    Yes, let’s change the world together, with our individual business plans.

  • http://www.gbmaccounts.co.uk Nick Goddard

    It’s a great thought, although I think philanthropy comes later.  I’m pretty sure Bill Gates went into business wanting to make a few dollars rather than giving billions away!

    However, that said, the business plan, a fundamental document to the growth of the business, should be reviewed regularly, so this element of it could be ramped up as financial security is reached.

  • http://www.wardourandoxford.com Wempy Dyocta Koto

    Nick, thank you
    for your comment. I agree with you that its highly likely that Bill Gates’
    focus for entering business was to ‘make a few dollars’ rather than ‘giving
    billions away’. In fact, Bill Gates himself acknowledges this and stated: “I
    only started meaningful philanthropy in my forties”
    upon commenting on younger Mark Zuckerberg’s recent philanthropic pledge. Gates
    then reinforces your point and says: “This
    is a very big change from what I was doing earlier (at Microsoft), and it is in
    terms of how we measure the results. There is no longer the measure of how many
    copies we sell but of how many lives we save and how many children don’t get
    sick”. So, in essence, I agree with your statement Nick, but we continue (often
    ignorantly, blindly and without human empathy) to live through a world crisis,
    with the United Nations stating that 25,000 people everyday die from hunger or hunger-related causes. I believe that
    entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination and whilst I’d like to wait
    till I’m in my forties to pursue a philanthropic cause with how much ever money
    I’ve acquired, there is a daily global price to accruing and/or the hoarding of
    money. Deaths. Imagine how many more lives the great Bill Gates could have
    saved if he entered philanthropy in his thirties? On another note, I believe
    that your point about financial security is highly valid. Most young
    entrepreneurs are struggling with liquidity and security. If you cannot
    financially lead or donate towards a philanthropic cause, then a highly admirable
    trade-off is your time. We all have 24 hours a day and the fact that most
    entrepreneurs are time-poor makes this an even more wholesome and valuable
    contribution to our world. One hour of you time, or more – but at least an
    hour, devoted to a local community cause – supporting the elderly, the sick,
    the disabled, youth mentoring programs, feeding the homeless, soup kitchens,
    hospitals, teen crisis and counseling support services. There are a lot of
    problems in our world at global and individual levels that can be urgently
    solved. Entrepreneurship is a journey and the chain reaction of kindness is a
    human force that no scientist or analyst could ever quantify. Thank you Nick and best wishes with all your pursuits.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Very influential post and always get motivated posts from Under30 CEO blogs and thanks for the share…

    Shilpi
    Singha Roy

    Facebook fan page – http://on.fb.me/i9Oifw

    http://www.online-business-virtual-ssistant.com/

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