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Never Put Profits First

Modern entrepreneurship is based on this idea and makes a shift in the minds of modern business people more today than at any other time in the past. Steve Pavlina, a life coach I admire deeply, used this view in his personal development programmes and I shall use it here as a starting point for a rather interesting discussion.

The #1 assumption business books tend to make is that the purpose of running a business is to earn and increase profits. Some books really hammer on this point, as if you’re an idiot for disagreeing.

However, as soon as you walk into the office of a business that puts profits first, you can smell the oppression. It’s almost unbelievable that human beings would accept such a lack of freedom in places where everyone behaves like zombies. The vibe is so disgustingly creepy.

Profits-first is a great mindset if you want to destroy your health, self-esteem, motivation, and relationships. People deserve much better than to be treated like cogs in service of a machine. Surely you can come up with more empowering priorities than, let’s make a bigger number than we did last year. I rather like this one:

The purpose of business is to empower people to express and share their creativity, for the highest good of all.

It’s nonsense to believe that you can’t have a sustainable business if you don’t put profits first. Instead of putting money first, put creative challenges first. Put growth experiences first. Put fun first. Put the opportunity to work with cool people first. Put contribution first.

Generating income from your creativity is great. Let it be part of the challenge. But don’t make money the central purpose of your work. Don’t do things just for money that you wouldn’t otherwise be inspired to do. It’s better to stick to your path with a heart, even if it means getting kicked out of your home because you can’t pay the rent. I’m speaking from experience since I did that once. At the time it was stressful of course, but as a memory it’s something I’m rather proud of, and as a story it helps encourage others not to settle for zombie-hood.

Follow your path with a heart, especially in business. Do real work that you find dignified and fulfilling, and you’ll end each year with a feeling of deep satisfaction, regardless of how much money you make. If you trust your intuition, act on inspiration, and take the time to build experience and positive relationships, you’ll find a path to sustainability sooner or later.

Please send your comments and let us start a discussion on this topic, as suggested by one of our readers recently.

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