When we are doing business, whether it is in the property industry, investments, technology or any other industry, what is our objective? What is our impact? Obviously we are in business to make money, you may say “we closed a great deal today, it makes X amount of profit!”. This is great. But the question I pose today is. Who cares?
To truly answer this, we need to start at the very beginning.
For the first time in history we have an opportunity to leave the world in a better state than when we entered it. We have the technology and resources that are evolving and growing daily, from Virtual Reality and Renewable energy to the Blockchain. We see in the news every day, we are on the precipice of real change once more where we can make huge leaps as a race. Industries, some of which have stood for hundreds of years are set to be disrupted and it will be, very much in the Darwinian sense - survival of the fittest. To win out, I believe it is purely down to creating a movement of like-minded driven individuals coming together in partnership to achieve amazing things, for benefit of all.
This is a grand statement and I don’t want to make it sound like it is easy. Quite simply, it’s not. Before we race to the finish line we have to consider how we as individuals currently live our lives and if there is room for improvement, which for nearly all of us, there is. It is not possible to achieve a mission of this magnitude without being in peak state or ‘flow’ so we need to look at ways to improve ourselves, first.
What do we stand for?
How intelligent is our decision making? On a small scale, questions such as, ‘how did we travel to that meeting today? Diesel car or electric? What did we eat for lunch, McDonalds on the go or something healthy prepared the night before?’ These are examples of how we can have an impact on ourselves as individuals and the environment and depending on the answer it can start to build a picture of the effectiveness of a person and the decisions they are likely to make in any given circumstance in business, not just in life. Dare we take that vision a step further…
On a larger scale, if we multiply the bad behaviours by billions of people in the world we have a pretty grim future painted for all of us. Multiply the good behaviours, however and we have the exact opposite – a seismic shift of opportunity and improvement. I believe our true impact as investors in the current climate is how we improve society and the environment - not just the economy. The familiar narrative I see most regularly from entrepreneurs in the public eye is what they have achieved for themselves, how well their business is doing etc. That’s great to hear, we all like good news and should celebrate it when it comes. However, what I feel society is missing in the capitalist space is, what are we achieving for someone / something else other than ourselves. Entrepreneurs who focus on this message stand out. Think about the most influential people /investors on the planet right now – Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. Look at what they do with their money and time and there is a common thread of philanthropy.
I’m not necessarily talking about charity here, more how we structure our business to achieve as good, if not better, return on investment through sheer resourcefulness and by default leaving a positive impression on society, the environment and the economy. This is called Impact Investing – it’s about to go mainstream and we are 100% behind this movement.
Where do we begin?
So how do we even start to contemplate our place in this movement? The people who invest wisely in themselves first, to manage their mindset to constantly deliver daily on the smallest things - who dedicate themselves to a higher purpose beyond their own needs are the people we remember and live on forever, creating a true legacy to inspire generations. Names such as Princess Diana, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and the living Richard Branson are all legends - Why? Because they all possess(ed) clear, certain and simple values and disciplines.