A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business, indeed!
What do you think makes a business successful? Many people, when asked this question, would probably say something like, “When it has a ton of loyal customers who make regular purchases!“, or they might say, “When it’s able to constantly attract new customers who are happy to spend their money on what the business has to offer!“. Essentially, they view a business as being successful only when it is bringing in a significant amount of money. However, the good financial standing of a business is not the only measure of it’s success.
Renowned automotive innovator, Henry Ford is quoted as saying that “a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business“. He felt that it is not only a business owner’s duty to create products that people want; it is also their duty to give back through good deeds and goodwill. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea that it’s not only about how much change you make, but how much change you bring about in the world that makes someone successful.
I firmly believe that there comes a point in every successful business owner’s life where it should no longer be just about the money. I mean, honestly, at some point if you start making more money than you actually need to survive, it seems like the only decent thing to do is to try and figure out what you can do with that money to make a positive difference in other people’s lives, in your community and in the world at large – to give back in some way in order to show your appreciation and gratefulness for the many people who are a part of the reason why you are so successful. After all, you would not be successful if it were not for others.
There is a saying by Jonn Donne that “no man is an island“. It refers to the fact that no man can thrive on his own and that his survival is dependent upon his being able to rely on others to some degree. The same can be said of a business. No business is able to survive, let alone thrive, without others. If you have a successful business, it is because you have customers and team members who have helped you become successful. Without them there is no way you would have gotten to the level at which you now find yourself. Some people forget to recognize this. And when they do, they fail to do their part in helping other people and businesses.
I strongly believe that once you have achieved success, you should practice reciprocity by sharing your good fortune. And I am not talking strictly financially, although that is a great place to start. You should also be willing to donate time and energy to a cause that is bigger than you. Try to find a cause that motivates you even more than financial stability does. For example, a mom may initially get into a home based business so that she can afford to stay at home with her kids. That mom’s passion might be to help other moms do the same by sponsoring a struggling family each month and helping them pay their bills. Or perhaps a woman who once struggled to even buy her child a birthday cake is passionate about making sure that no child in her community ever goes without having a memorable birthday. Maybe another person who is passionate about education will set up a free tutoring service for the adults and children who need it within their community. In each of these examples you see that their passion is not just about money – it’s about the many things they can do with that money to affect positive change.
So, what is YOUR real passion? What charity or cause do you have that drives you even more than having a substantial income? Do you spend time with the elderly or knit gowns for preemies? Do you volunteer at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen? Personally, I have many, but my heart is for the hurting, homeless and abused. Before I ever made a dime through my home business you could find me spending time with those who were without homes, the dirty and overlooked. You can come to my home at any time and find an animal that I have rescued from abuse or starvation. In fact, you might even find one of the homeless that I have brought home to give a warm meal to and offer a hot shower and a wash of clothes.
Whether you have reached the point in your business where you have more than you need or not, I feel that giving back is of utmost importance to our success. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
~ Carrie A Medford
Did you enjoy this post? Did you learn something new or have something to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below and tell me what you think!