Confusing definitions and purposes

“The purpose of a business is to make money.”

You hear this all the time…and it’s dead wrong. Just as the purpose of life is not to “breathe in and out”, the purpose of business is not to make money (nor is it to increase shareholder value either). Breathing and making money are mere definitions of life and business.

Don’t get me wrong – a business does need to make money, non-profits need donors, political parties need voters and churches need converts in order to exist. But just as the purpose of life must transcend merely existing by “breathing in and out” and encompass a deeper meaning of love, learning and leaving the world better than how you found it, so must organizations look beyond merely existing (making money) and focus on something much more profound and powerful.

Disney seeks to “make people happy”, the Container Store is “devoted to helping people simplify their lives” and Zappos.com strives to give “the absolute best service online.”

Without a solid purpose, life and business are unsatisfying at best and completely destructive and a waste of potential on the other end of the spectrum.

But don’t worry. If you have a simple yet meaningful purpose, the definitions will take care of themselves.

So this morning (right now!) cancel half your meetings devoted to making more money, getting more donors and seeking more converts and instead have twice as many conversations about enhancing and spreading the purpose of your organization.

Happy Monday!

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One Response

  1. i like the info you post..
    good work

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