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Piggyback on Saddleback | part one

The best book on building and growing a business wasn’t written by an acclaimed consultant or esteemed academic. It was written by Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Community Church.

The best book on building and growing a business wasn’t written by an acclaimed consultant or esteemed academic. It was written by Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Community Church.

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If you are one of the 25-million plus people who’ve read THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, then you’re familiar with Rick Warren. But you’re probably not familiar with his first book, THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN CHURCH. In it, Warren shares the methods used by Saddleback to grow from its first service with seven people to being a church with over 20,000 members.

To illustrate how business-relevant Warren’s advice is, this three-post series will be a mash-up message from Rick Warren’s THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN CHURCH and marketing musings found in my TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE.

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Businesses seeking growth today are asking the wrong question.

We businesspeople tend to ask, “What will make our business grow?” But that’s the wrong question to ask. The better question to ask is “What obstacles and hindrances are preventing our business from growing?”

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A business is an organism more than it is an organization and lack of growth is an indication that something is wrong with the business. Since a business is a living organization, it is natural for it to grow … if it is healthy. Unhealthy businesses wither (and eventually die). Healthy businesses grow and prosper.

Healthy businesses are visionary, passionate, and purposeful. Being visionary isn’t about predicting the future—it’s about being alert to opportunities. Being passionate means always over-deliver on implied and explicit promises made to customers. Being purposeful is about striving to make a difference with your business. Whole Foods Market is a healthy business. Starbucks is a healthy business. WaWa is a healthy business. The Container Store is a healthy business. Chipotle is a healthy business.

On the other hand, unhealthy businesses lack vision, are passionless, and devoid of purpose. Gateway is an unhealthy business. Radio Shack is an unhealthy business. Kroger is an unhealthy business. The Gap is an unhealthy. AOL is an unhealthy business

Maybe we businesspeople should focus less on business growth and more on business health. After all, healthy businesses do not need gimmicks to grow—they grow naturally.

[NOTE: portions of this posting were lifted and mashed-up from Rick Warren’s THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN CHURCH.]