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Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


What Keeps You Going In Your Business?

The penguin perspective ...


Posted by Jacky Sherman on 19/07/2023 @ 8:00AM

Over the weekend, someone shared with me a poster that compared running a business with an iceberg. The author wanted to make the point that all other people saw was the success ...

If you're ever asked what keeps you going in your business, tell them about the Penguins!

If you're ever asked what keeps you going in your business, tell them about the Penguins!

copyright: vladsilver / 123rf stock photo

However, underneath the water, this was built on a much larger edifice of hard graft, discipline, disappointment and failure. Now, why on earth would anyone want to do that for a living?

"Do the ends really justify the means?"

There is a better way to be in business if you look at the iceberg from a penguin's point of view. The iceberg remains the same, most of it is hidden from view. And yes, all those disappointments and failures are still there along with the need to always be on top of your game if you're not to be swallowed up,

But now, think of these difficulties as the rolling waves of the Southern Ocean. To a penguin, the tip of the iceberg is somewhere that gives you a break, some respite from the sharks, a platform to spy the next shoal of fish to feed you, a launch pad for your next adventure and, yes, somewhere to just have some fun leaping in and out of the water.

This platform is the part others see and often the only part you see too. However, it is what is under the water that gives it the necessary buoyancy. That is much larger and goes much deeper and is, I suspect, the part that penguins see first and that which draws them to the platform in the first place.

In business, this deeper structure is that sense of purpose behind your choice of business and what makes you operate the way you do. It is what sustains you in the choppy seas of commerce.

Asentiv® have a name for it, it's your 'Emotionally Charged Connection®' with your business. Let me give you some snapshot examples from my clients:

  • A tax advisor who likes to bring calm, peace and a sense of security to her clients, in the same way her mother did for her as a child in a sometimes turbulent childhood.

  • An accountant who felt the pressure to conform at school and not be too adventurous who now works with clients to enable them to dare to be different and to succeed.

  • A business advisor who, as a teenager, experienced the disruption when his family's business went bankrupt and now works with small businesses to prevent that happening to other families.

  • And myself who, as a child, moved around a lot and knew what it felt like to be isolated until I joined the Red Cross and found a community that shared my ideals. Now I work with people to build around themselves a community of like-minded individuals who help each other succeed.

So take a leaf out of the penguin's book. Here are three good reasons for letting your real sense of purpose bob to the surface:

  • It's worth it. It will sustain you when the going gets tough. It's when you are honouring your deep sense of purpose that you feel fulfilled rather than any particular end result. You might get physically tired after a long day, but you feel mentally exhilarated.

  • It matters. This will give you the courage to plunge into the deeper waters, when, as inevitably it will, your usual solution just doesn't fit the bill anymore.

  • It inspires. Sharing this with others will encourage like-minded people to want to work with you and attract clients who want what you can offer to help them with their journey too. Suddenly business becomes so much easier and more fun. When did you ever see a penguin on its own?

When choosing the words and images for your website and brochures and trying to get across what you do it's easy to feel you're indulging in over-the-top marketing hype.

I see it, like the penguin, as enjoying the journey across the Southern Ocean and paying homage to my sense of purpose every day.

It is the iceberg that keeps me afloat.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to understand what keeps you going in your business and how you can discover your true purpose, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.

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