Focus on the Right Principles

Channel Your Energy

A cursory survey of the world's advice for starting a successful business boils down to three specific principles: education, capital, and a business plan. When Anne Beiler founded her company she lacked all of these. As a result, she developed the three "p"s that have guided her business into the success it continues to enjoy around the world today.

Anne founded Auntie Anne's in 1987 to support her husband's vision to offer free counseling services in their community. Today, Auntie Anne's Inc. is the world's largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise with over 1200 locations worldwide. Anne is among an elite group of women who have founded national companies in America, and is one of an even smaller number who have owned an international franchise company. In 2005, she sold Auntie Anne's and authored her book, Twist of Faith.

Anne started her business with three bedrock principles:
- Purpose
- Product
- People
These helped her understand where to devote her energy in leadership and also crafted the vision of her company.

What is the purpose that drives your business? In what ways have you seen it direct your leadership? How does it focus the work of your people?
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What kind of product do you offer? How does it help in meeting the needs of others?
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What are some of the personal qualities you look for in your people? How do these qualities help to direct your purpose and product?
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As Anne shared, "Our purpose needs to be bigger than we are." Does your company's purpose reflect this conviction? If not, what is one way you could begin to think through the vision of your business this week?
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Though these principles may seem small and simple, if done well they will eventually lead to a profitable company. Achieving sustainability in business allows even greater opportunities to invest deeply in your larger purpose. As you reflect on Anne's story, focus your energy on principles that endure. In doing so, you will serve as a motivator to your people and an influence in the marketplace.

To purchase a copy of Anne's book, Twist of Faith, click here.