photo-1414690165279-49ab0a9a7e66Recently I had the good fortune of being invited out to speak to a local business owner who sought counsel regarding how to maintain and improve his successful enterprise. Because I had grown accustomed to such meetings over the years, I was under the impression that the meeting in which I was about to participate would go like so many others had gone in the past. Naturally, we would speak about my areas of expertise: leading, branding, marketing, building, maximizing, earning, and exiting. But before I knew it, our conversation had veered off onto a unique and fascinating course. In the end, I was reminded of the core reasons why entrepreneurs and business leaders choose to run their businesses.

We exchanged stories about key moments in our life journeys, specifically, the deaths of cherished loved ones. For me, it was my father, and I explained to him how the unexpected tragedy had set off a chain of events that would go on to determine my future. For him, it was also the passing of a relative, which resulted in his taking over the family business. He told me that he felt a massive responsibility to not only successfully lead the company, but to protect and enhance the family legacy.

I was struck by his poignant words, and I realized that business owners and leaders come to their roles in many different ways. In addition, their raisons d’être also can be quite individualized. Some people start their businesses simply because they have great passion in a particular area of interest; others because they are trying to fill a gap within a certain market; others hope to provide services and opportunities that otherwise may not be available; others intend to solve problems, both large and small; others intend to earn a lot of money; and still others hope to carry on a family business. There are many more reasons as well, and each is legitimate and worthy of respect.

When I started Sumus, in many ways it was a reaction to my life of running companies with hundreds of employees. With Sumus, I envisioned a small “face to face” enterprise, where I would get to know people and their business challenges—and assist them in overcoming them. Whenever I have the opportunity, I conduct meetings in person, and enjoy the interaction. It allows me to hopefully ensure both my employees’ successes as well as my clients’ successes.

So as I left the meeting with the local business owner, I thought about how business leaders need to match up their life plans with their business plans. We all need to decide what drives us, and take that energy and pour it into our everyday lives. At Sumus, if you inform us that your chief motivation is to maximize net profits, we are more than qualified to provide specific solutions. But we are also here to listen to all of your aspirations, so if your goal is to maintain success while spending more time with your family, for example, we can also help you devise such a plan. We will help you achieve symbiosis in your life and business.

Jim Baker

Jim Baker

Sumus was founded by Jim Baker, an entrepreneur with 27 years’ experience bootstrapping and growing his business organically and through acquisition, to share his experience by providing advisory services around Board representation, Organization and Branding Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Value enhancement and Exit strategy.

Leave a Reply