“At its heart, business is not about formality, or winning, or ‘the bottom line’, or profit, or trade, or commerce, or any of the things the business books tell you it’s about. Business is what concerns us. If you care about something enough to do something about it, you’re in business…” – Sir Richard Branson
The above quote is from Business Stripped Bare (affiliate link), which I’m reading on recommendation from Chris Brogan as part of his 2011 Business Book Club. Less than 1,000 words into the Introduction and I’m already confronted with an important question:
What do I care about?
Family: I have been truly terrified only twice in my life. The first was when I’d done something I know my wife would not approve of and was ashamed to tell her about it. The second was during my first tour in Iraq. I was not scared of getting hurt, or worse. No, I was terrified at the prospect that I’d come home and my baby girl would not know who I am. Thankfully, both fears were unfounded. That said, they taught me how much I value my family. I cannot think of any relationships on this Earth that I would trade for my family.
What about you? What relationships matter most in your life?
Games: I am a blessed man. I not only have a great family, but I get to support that family by working in an industry I love. In college, my infatuation with games drove me to start a publishing company with two friends. And even when I left the industry behind to get a ‘real job’, I was always yearning to return. When I saw the opportunity to help Wolfgang Baur with Kobold Quarterly, I grabbed it – jumping at the chance to return to the games and gamers I love. For the last three years, my passion has become my profession.
What are you passionate about? What do you think about when you’re ‘at work’?
Faith: I have not always been a very ‘religious’ person. I grew up with church and church stuff all around me, but I turned my back on these things for a number of years. As I’ve grown older, however, I’ve developed a faith of my own – a faith that is very personal to me and that I hold dear. It’s a faith in a God that loves me and a faith in the men and women around me who try to make life better for the people they meet. My faith is that thing I care about that is bigger than myself.
And that’s what I care about.
The unwritten question in the words Mr. Branson wrote isn’t ‘What do you care about, Mr. Healy?’, but rather, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ That is my take-away, so far, from Business Stripped Bare, that if I really care about something… I’ll do something about it.