Martin Luther King: What Matters?

Martin Luther King was a great man. There’s no question about it. But, what does that have to do with building a business? Truthfully, I’m not sure of the answer-or at least of the scope of the answer. Dr. King fought for freedom, equality and maybe more than anything, respect. He was a man with a deep cause, a cause that took his life and changed our country forever.

Here’s what I do know for sure. Each and everysustainably successful business and business owner work from a deep sense of meaning around something that’s important to them-just as Dr. King did and his contemporaries do today. Our tagline for The Legacy Center for Entrepreneurial Development is Business That Matters. Clearly, what matters to you, your business and your customers, matters to us as well. YOUR success matters!

Dr. King gave the ultimate sacrifice for what he believed in. Not many of us would be willing to give our lives for the cause we work for yet the message is the same. Working for what matters to us is important to the ultimate success we seek. Identifying what matters is the first step toward lasting success. Here’s why:

  1. What matters to you, matters. It will matter to others as well. If your family understands how important your entrepreneurial venture is to you they’ll be more understanding when you miss an event or are home late for dinner—well, maybe, at long as it doesn’t become a habit! Your friends will be more likely to excuse you for your absence at their events. We had a Community Party last week. This morning I got an email from one of our members apologizing for not being there because her business needed her. NO APOLOGY NECESSARY! I know she wasn’t “dissing” us; she was paying attention to what mattered most at the time.

  2. What matters to you, motivates. Have you ever had a down day? Recently I was meeting with a client who was having difficulty staying focused. We began by working to identify what matters most to him and then, seeking ways to have that come through in his business. He works with families that have kids with special needs and…he cares deeply about them. I suggested that he put pictures of his clients on his wall to remind him of why he does what he does every day. When the work gets dull or tedious he can look up and see exactly why he does what he does!

  3. What matters to you, sells. The book, Success Built to Last by Porras, etal., talks about the importance of meaning to lasting success. The authors site the interesting observation that very shy, introverted people turn into chatterboxes when asked about something they’re extremely passionate about. Think about it. Can you talk more easily about something that matters to you? What sells? YOU SELL when you communicate, in a genuine way, what you believe in!

  4. What matters to you, attracts. If you can articulate your passion and purpose with conviction you will attract people who believe the same, or, at the very least, are interested in and respect what you have to say. Whether they’re customers, partners, vendors, advisors or others, you’re relationships will be deeper because you’ve communicated what matters to you.

Dr. Martin Luther King knew, without question, what mattered to him. He was a master at attracting others to his cause, selling the mission, motivating others and, in short, living a life that mattered. He’s an inspiration to us all and continues to teach us about what matters today.

Do you know what matters most to you? Why do you do what you do? Do others know what matters to you? I hope you can….

Say YES!

To YOUR success,
Peg Stookey