“If there is no pain, there is no business.” ~ Attributed to a prominent regional, (meaning around Singapore), Venture Capitalist. ~
“Before you build a better mousetrap, you’d better see if there are any mice out there.” ~ Has been attributed to Yogi Berra, rightly or not. ~
Have you had the above and/ or similar statements quoted at you at some time or other? I have. Most quotes are true in the main, otherwise they wouldn’t last very long as quotes. However, there is a characteristic of quotes we need to be aware of, which is:
Just because there is no pain there is no business? What’s the opposite of pain? Pleasure? Can giving pleasure birth a business? What if the clients or customers feel no pain but have great needs nevertheless? This can arise because they have, figuratively speaking, contracted a disease called leprosy. Before we go on, I’d like to point out that the quote about mousetraps above, attributed to Yogi Berra, is also quite valid. Sustainable businesses create or heighten awareness of needs. Sustainable businesses add value to their clients when their clients buy from them. Their clients feel more energized, more productive and more fufilled after purchasing goods and services. Non-sustainable businesses concoct wants. Those who buy from such businesses feel temporary relief from cravings brought on by hidden addictions. They have to keep buying in order to maintain the “high”. Sustainable businesses, on the other hand, cause growth in their clients. Their clients keep coming back to them because sustainable businesses grow more than their clients and are thus able to meet different needs as their clients grow.
Now, back to leprosy. One thing that sustainable businesses do is to help clients with leprosy. The client feels no pain and often has no mirror to see their real condition. Sustainable businesses help these clients see that they need treatment and medicines. Once restored, the client continues prosecuting their business with renewed vigour hitherto undiscovered.
Leprosy manifests itself in many different forms in a client. The most virulent is that which causes rottenness in the leadership. As long as leaders are there for their own self-interest, leprosy is present. In extreme cases, if amputations are not conducted, gangrene and death can set in in real life. The good news is, that in business, leprosy can be cured and the business restored if leaders are willing to have it so. The vital question is whether or not those leaders are willing.
Ponder this. Do your clients have leprosy? How can you help them?