Earning money with your business is great but feels empty unless your business outcomes make a positive impact on the world.
Meaningful work and meaningful relationships will lead to a fulfilling life. If you provide a good product or service that make a difference in people’s life then you’ll get any byproducts you want.
So, relax and make the world a better place.
You can have all the achievements and money in the world, but if you don’t have positive relationships in your life or feel like you have a true purpose then you feel continuously terrible. Your problems don’t go away when you have more money. In fact, unless you solve some of your key stumbling blocks having money can actually make your problems worse. So, for me making money can’t be a primary motivation.
I notice that I don’t feel motivated to do work in the long term if it doesn’t make a difference in people’s life. I notice that if I am doing something just for myself I can’t motivate myself. If I am doing something for someone else that I really care about and who’s opinion matters to me then I feel really motivated and focused on positive outcomes.
Focus on solving problems for other people rather than making money. The other people point is important. Sometimes it is difficult to find problems in your own life to solve. Regardless of how smart you are everyone has blind spots. It sometimes takes other people around you to clue you into a new perspective. It is easy to get stuck in doing the same thing and getting the same results over and over again. Additionally, the only way to have a business is to sell something that people want. So focusing on other people is your best bet.
Be transparent with people. Let them know what is actually going on. However, be civil. In my life I have been what I’ve considered to be rude under the ideal of transparency. Until I learned to disagree without being disagreeable I had difficulty succeeding in my goals. This is a balancing act that I still requires ongoing maintenance but having the mindset of being transparent in an agreeable (or at least in a way that doesn’t make someone completely angry) way has lead me to more of what I want and less of what I don’t. It is usually pretty easy to tell if your are talking to your end customer on a regular basis to see if you product or service is making a positive difference. If you don’t everyone knows it. Don’t become a caricature by lying to yourself and lying to others. Tell the truth or at least don’t lie.
It is more important to stick to your beliefs. There shouldn’t be any reason why you should give them up for anything – especially profit.
Don’t mistake all of what I’ve said above for not making profits. Just don’t make it your primary focus as if you do you probably won’t get them in the first place if you create a product or service. You do have to balance your costs to generate profit to make your business grow and you shouldn’t completely give away everything for free. At the same time don’t cut corners that hurt your end user and may even make the world a worse place to increase profitability.
Focus on doing what is best for yourself and others as balanced as you can. If you add value your should get equal value returned to you. Initially, if you want to be successful in life provide that value upfront and you will most likely get it back in return in the long run. Don’t make the return your primary focus.
The reason why you want to balance making money and adding value is to avoid getting taken advantage of. If you only focus on making the world better and not asking for anything in return someone will be most likely profiting off of you and you’ll become resentful. When you become resentful then you won’t want to continue to make the world better and you won’t achieve either of your goals.
Create goals that make the world incrementally better. Make the future better than the present for everyone including yourself. To do that though you must take care of yourself so you will be in a position to take care of others. Don’t forget that.