Enterprise Half-Life

Day 291 Week 42 Q4 Thursday, October 19, 2023

Monitor and manage your enterprise half-life. Many of you may be thinking, this does not sound like it has anything to do with me, as I am not some high-tech businessman. Let me explain why it has everything to do with you. The dictionary in the Mac I am writing this on has definitions relevant to creative outliers. Here, combined with thesaurus input, are some of them:

A project or undertaking that is typically difficult, requiring effort, initiative, resourcefulness, or entrepreneurial economic activity. An endeavor, venture, pursuit, exercise, activity, operation, exploit, mission, deed, act, action, move, measure, task, business, affair, proceeding; scheme, plan, plan of action, program, campaign; project, proposal, proposition, suggestion, idea, conception, initiative, resourcefulness, resource, imagination, imaginativeness, ingenuity, inventiveness, originality, creativity; quick-wittedness, cleverness, native wit, talent, ability, capability; spirit, spiritedness, enthusiasm, dynamism, leadership, drive, zest, dash, ambition, ambitiousness, energy, verve, vigor, vitality; boldness, daring, spirit of adventure, audacity, courage, intrepidity gumption, get-up-and-go, go, push, oomph, pizzazz, pep, zip, vim.

Do these words seem to describe what you are doing or need to do in order to thrive as a sustainable creative person, which I define as one who can be adequately compensated for their creative efforts to survive. 

If you would like to be able to support yourself through creative activity, you probably need to be a small business person, which means you are operating an enterprise. 

Half-life is a term borrowed from science for the time taken for the radioactivity of a specified isotope to fall to half its original value. It is now colloquially used to describe the life expectancy of other entities like businesses. Companies used to last a lot longer than they do now. A recent study by McKinsey found that the average lifespan of companies listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 was 61 years in 1958. Today, it is less than 18 years. McKinsey believes that, in 2027, 75% of the companies currently quoted on the S&P 500 will have disappeared.

By extension, your creative enterprise may also not last as long as it once did unless you continually reinvent your business and yourself. We and all the enterprises we create must innovate or die. This is not a dire pronouncement. Humans have been adapting or innovating to circumstances forever. It is our strong suit and why we persist.

Creative outliers, with their powerful ability to come up with new ideas and approaches, are where tomorrow comes from, perhaps making them the most human of all.

Enterprise half-life, if monitored and maintained, can help the creative outlier prevail instead of perishing at the hands of the ubiquitous naysayers.   Make sure you understand how the world is changing, that you do have competition, and that you will need to continue to create and innovate to maximize your enterprise half-life. Being creative is not enough, the context within which you are creating has to be understood for you to manage your creativity.