When I discuss topics for Supplement Perspectives with my editors, we do it months in advance. Typically, we talk in October or November of the previous year. During that time, some ideas inevitably sound better in this subcommittee phase, when theory has yet to be put into practice.
This month’s topic is Going Public/Going Corporate, and I suspect that readers might be confused by what this means. Those two phrases—linked by that ever-so murky slash—don’t exactly co-exist with the attitude of the natural products industry, which is rooted in pluck and conscientiousness. Corporate is the Koch Brothers and slush funds and serious-looking people wearing fancy suits in offices whose furniture costs more than your first car.
I understand that viewpoint too well. As someone who has not worked in a traditional office since 2006—and has loved every minute of it—the word “corporate” makes me bristle.
The intent here is more about attitude and approach. Let’s start with this post. You read these words, and I hope you believe that the person writing them is confident, proficient, and has at least showered recently.
This topic applies to the day-to-day operations of your company. It’s in how you deal with clients; how your research is presented; how your press release is written. It’s about carrying yourself with the confidence of a major company, and having the high-quality service to match. It’s about incorporating all the lessons that have been discussed since May 2011, with a few new ones through in, such as Mark Becker’s excellent post last week on IPOs.
We are all in the business of business, whether we like it or not. The ultimate goal is to make money so you can pay expenses, build a better future, or reach whatever goal you have in mind. How far you want to put the theory of “going corporate” into practice is entirely up to you.