Entrepreneurs today are working hard to combine profit and meaning so they can make a living, and use their businesses to give back to their communities. Money is air in business, but people need more than air to survive. When people do something strictly for the money, they find themselves hungry, wasting away because they lost their substance: a clear purpose.
Why Meaning Matters
People who have purpose, especially those who have purpose that affects others, are more likely to have the drive and motivation to make their businesses thrive. Those who find meaning are more engaged and empowered, and leaders who find purpose are likely to succeed. Businesses tend to die early on more often than not because of the fact that they had no clear purpose.
The purpose of business isn’t what is being done, but rather why it’s being done. The purpose should be clear and remind business owners (and all employees) of the end user. Too often businesses lose sight of the customer, of the people they are serving. How owners serve people will impact how a business is viewed for years to come.
Why Money Matters
People mustn’t be misled: businesses must make money to survive. Business owners should partake in goings on in their community and contribute in some way. Being good is good in itself, but it also sends a good message about people and their businesses. Business owners can get caught up in trying to turn a profit and forget why they started, thus falling short of their goals.
Money is important to a business, so owners should acknowledge and respect that. That being said, money is not necessarily the most important thing in business. Businesses are designed to be financially successful, but businesses with purpose engage with the community, some community. People can give back by using their business to fuel their purpose, but they should focus on building the business around a clear and meaningful purpose.
Human beings are meant to serve one another—few can do it all alone. People need to have an impact, and naturally prove to themselves that they have purpose. The business owner with a clear mission, but without purpose, will find him or herself working toward goals based on financial gain. People must find meaning in their work so that they remain driven to deliver meaning to others.