You are a business because everyone you are connected to expects you to yield something, in some form or fashion. Whether it’s your spouse or family with love and relationship or your boss and coworkers with on the job production and results –we are all created to produce.
The same goes for a business, its no different. A business is built to yield profits, yes, but businesses are not around to just yield profits. Although that is a large part of the end result.
My reason for this post is driven by an article I read in the February 2010 issue of Fast Company. In this issue was a great cover story with Steve Nash, point guard, for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. The title of the article is, “Rules for Winning: How Creativity Can Beat Chaos in Basketball and Business.”
Great title, right? Its actually a good article. But here is my disagreement with Steve. He makes a point to say in the article, that these days “…professional athletes think of themselves as a brand, but thats not my way of thinking.”
Why? What’s wrong with thinking of yourself as a brand or a business? He brings in $13 Million a year from the Suns (not including endorsements and business ventures) and I am sure he employs people. That kind of sounds like a business to me. Isn’t he a brand? Would he establish these business ventures or opportunities if it had not been for his reputation (brand) on the court.
I am not going to beat Steve up in this post, he’s definitely entitled to look at things this way, but it made me look at a bigger picture on why he may feel this way. To some people being a personal brand and business is still a progressive way of thinking. Some may feel a brand represents ego or chest pounding, a “THIS IS WHO I AM” syndrome. I think its because with this media-crazed advertising world we live in, we have managed to de-humanize the concept of a brand. We tainted it with corporate scandal and sensationalized branding to the point the concept seems very plastic and unreal. Or the thought process of, “If you are a brand, you are trying get one over on me, or you selling me something I don’t want.” Well people this is not always true. Those realities are there and it is the very reason our large corporations who have failed to care for their customers in a very human way – are collapsing right before our eyes.
I like Steve’s approach to the game of basketball and I like his off court persona. He works hard and he is about his team receiving limelight, not just him. He goes out and play’s the game well, produces day in and day out, and in result excels in many of the categories respective to his position. Sounds like a good brand to me. What do you think?