What makes a great business?

Adele Barlow
2 min readJan 15, 2022
Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

It makes a lot of money, but it’s destroying the planet.

It has so many intelligent people working there, but they’re all miserable.

It’s experiencing rapid-fire growth, but its business model is unsustainable.

Over the years, friends have worked at many different companies, and I’ve heard variations of the above from all kinds of industries.

Eventually, those observations lead to more philosophical questions.

What good is earning all the money in the world if you hate your life?

What’s the point of working alongside super-intelligent people if, ultimately, they’re depressingly selfish?

Why climb aboard a rocket ship if, eventually, it’s just going to explode?

As Derek Sivers says, “When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.”

It’s subjective. But I was thinking of my own definition when I started Copy & Co a year ago.

To me, this is what makes a great business.

It makes money. Enough for everyone involved to acquire and maintain everything that makes their life meaningful.

It helps the planet. It has a zero-carbon footprint, supports a sustainable supply chain, and reinvests in clean technology.

It attracts intelligent people. Who are not just book-smart but also have high EQ and AQ (adaptability quotient).

It keeps those people happy. They might not be jumping for joy among sunshine and roses every day, but they’re fundamentally content and feel psychologically safe and protected.

It experiences growth. The dreams are big but attainable, the goals are clear and realistic, and this gives each week meaning even when things get tough.

It has a sustainable business model. It’s not designed for the next year or two; it’s designed for the long-term so that it can grow and evolve with the community within which it is embedded.

It sounds so simple, but it’s amazing how difficult the simplest things can be to achieve.

This post was created with Typeshare