Why Does Your Business Exist?

At the end of the day, every business is trying to make money. But what is your ultimate purpose – why do you exist?

Before you think we’ve been smoking the patchouli, John Warrillow of the Globe and Mail recently explored this issue with Randy Komisar, venture capitalist and best-selling author of The Monk and the Riddle.

In his interview, Komisar asserts that there are but two types of entrepreneurs: mercenaries and missionaries. According to Komisar:

Mercenary entrepreneurs – are typically younger and ambitious but missing a larger goal. They possess excellent qualities to succeed but may not be focused on delivering any genuine value: “getting a product out… a lot of hype… raise a lot of money and sell out.”

Missionary entrepreneurs – have a bigger cause beyond just making money. They are building “something sustainable to have the kind of impact (they) want and accomplish a greater purpose.”

Komisar goes on to explain this goes beyond black and white – it’s not necessarily a philanthropy vs. profit discussion. Most highly successful companies have clearly outlined missions explaining their greater reason for being.

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