Here is a very cool map, accurate of mid-August 2023.
Let me know what you think it represents?
A prize for guessing is a flat white coffee, on me.
It’s a map of the countries my clients operate from, or are based in. You can easily name a few quickly, but for those not so good at geography, they are:
- South Africa
- the USA
- the UK
- the UAE
- South Korea
- Switzerland, and
Why is this important and worth mentioning?
It’s not that important, but it’s part of my time when I “work on my business, and not in my business” that I do these exercises and reflect on the people I work with, where they are based, how big their businesses are, what industry they are in, how long we’ve worked together, what currency they pay in, what their problems are (that I aim to solve), and a host of other things. Sometimes you need to see the big picture, and the picture doesn’t get bigger than this. Of course, I could show a photo of our galaxy, but that won’t help with anything.
Empires and Maps
I think that ever since I read Asterix and Obelix as a child, I have found the SPQR thing fascinating, and it has shaped my life – perhaps. I have no way of knowing this. Anyway, the idea that this SPQR was stuck into a map, and then the size of the roman Empire expanded in red, and covered Europe (and some of Africa and the Middle East) made an impression on me. I’ve always found the British Empire fascinating, and empires in general. Everyone probably does to some extent, and I am not here today to try and say they are good or bad, or neutral, but to point out that they exist, get mapped, and influence our lives – the seeing of them, not the knowledge or experience of them.
All that to say, when I bring it back to my business, is my business an empire? Does it expand? Does it control things, or influence culture? General Motors (GM) may be an empire of sorts, or 3M, or BP, and certainly Apple in a way could be an empire – it’s all how you view it, much like you would language. What would I want my empire to be, and why? Much like a cultural empire like the Brits or the Mongols or the Huns effected change for centuries, could I have an office or business culture that had that effect? Probably not with the time I have left, but a Steve Jobs may have.
From my side, I just enjoy taking each day as it comes, and getting into map making, or reading, or walks in nature. I have huge ambitions, but not the typical ones you see touted on LinkedIn. To be a stable family for children, to not be greedy, to experience life but not let it be an idol, to pay for someone’s education, to invest in a small business that changes that entrepreneur’s life, invent a board game, write a children’s book, renovate a home, take a 3-month sabbatical on a farm for our kids’ sanity – these are wonderful, not-on-the-cv type fo things that make life richer.
How would it relate to business? Well, the wonderful thing about owning a business is it can be a stepping stone to these. An enabler. Everything is a business in a sense, or connected to it. Love. Emotions. Grieving. Prisons. Travel. Solitude. They all connect to the economy somehow. So no matter what you do, see that within business you can help others, across the world – maybe not always financially, but with a kind word, an encouragement, writing a reference, giving someone a chance, even just giving them five minutes of your time to listen.
So see the whole gamut of life, and don’t narrow-mindedly just centre on wealth, health, and the consuming of online media. As much as we want more, bigger, faster, cleaner, smarter, impressive-er – it’s all just a trap that every person and empire falls into. Empires collapse – every single one – for various reasons but a good life, lived well and for others echoes on for 1,000 generations, literally.
The map in the featured image (when you clicked on the blog post) was taken from here. Thanks!