Profit must come first.
I can feel the annoyance from many of you at that statement through the screen! The seasoned business people are likely thinking "DUH!" The people-first crowd and environmental impact crowd are likely thinking "NOPE!"
Now, before you lump this in with Gordon Gecko’s "Greed is Good" speech from Wall Street, hear me out. I'm not saying profit is most important or that obscene profits must come first.
When I got into business in 2019 I was skeptical of the reality that profit must come first. I spent 17 years as a broadcast journalist focused on truth first! Yes, I worked for a business where profit was necessary to keep me employed, but in the newsroom the focus rightfully wasn't on profit.
One investigative story I did as a reporter in Charlotte, NC highlighted misdeeds of a company. In retaliation to that story, the company pulled $1 Million+ in advertising from our TV station.
I’m the guy who started and runs a business called Story on Purpose where we love to tell authentic stories of businesses focused on making an impact beyond the bottom line. Us creative storytellers ultimately want to just tell awesome, compelling stories…but profit must come first.
Without profit, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for a business to achieve its objectives for any sustainable time, no matter how altruistic, loving, and ambitious they are. The business will implode without profit, and the impact it aimed to make will be halted and potentially reversed.
As the owner of a business, it's something I have learned by necessity. I happen to be reading the book "Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz, which focuses on a money management system to ensure your profits.
But here's the thing. Yes, profit must come first, but it doesn't mean profit is MOST IMPORTANT.
I’m a partner in the growing business collective called, The People Centric Movement. Here’s our People Centric moonshot goal:
We believe… that if 3K business leaders commit to conducting business with a “people-centric mindset” by 2030, relationships will strengthen, financial poverty will begin to recede, and people will transform and flourish.
And no, that's not a bunch of corporate B.S. (as one of my seasoned business friends suggested it sounds like).
The People Centric Movement includes highly profitable businesses who are proving its effectiveness. See Cosmos Corporation, Cambridge Air Solutions, Duvari IT staffing, Undivided Wealth Management, and State Beauty Supply to name a few.
The leadership of those companies get together with us as the People Centric Movement on a regular basis to discuss how we can better serve and love our people. Reach out to me if this feels like a good fit for your business.
Here’s the thing, profit must come first. And all of those People Centric companies know that. They
also know that profit does not need to come at the expense of its people.
I’m currently working as Chief Storyteller for a startup with very authentic and strategic goals of empowering people in 2nd and 3rd world countries through business, health, and trauma healing. I hope to be able to share more as we grow.
Our Chief Advisor has been putting us as a team through the financial ringer. This guy has decades of experience running global operational organizations in some of the largest financial institutions in the world.
And I’ll tell you what, he’s been taking our whole team to the preverbal woodshed as we are on the verge of getting some serious funding. You see, he knows the authenticity the mission and the team's collective ability to achieve it. BUT… he also knows that profit must come first in order for any lasting impact to be made.
No matter how you slice it, in business profit must come first…whether my purpose driven soul, people first heart and creative mind want it to be the case.
Once profit is established and repeatable…purpose driven businesses can fulfill their mission. At Story on Purpose we believe storytelling is a key component to generating business, maintaining it, and multiplying the impact of the stated purpose.
Profit, purpose, people, and impact can all harmoniously work together! But, profit must come first so the impact can last.