It’s okay to make a profit. In fact it’s a good thing.
Even if you’re following a vocation of some kind, or running a charity, or doing something that helps someone.
Because if you don’t make a profit, you can’t run your business (or charity) and you can’t help the people you want to.
I saw an example of burning stupidity the other day, which prompted me to remind you that it’s a good thing to make a profit. And I think you need reminding – we all do from time to time – because it’s something that seems to make many business owners feel uncomfortable.
The burning stupidity was on Facebook (surprise surprise, it seems to bring out the stupid in many people) in a ‘discussion’ about Dignitas. It was on the British Humanist Association page, where they’re campaigning for the right to die. They were talking about how deeply unfair and inhumane it is to force people to go abroad to end their lives when they might not be ready, because here in the UK the goal is keep people alive for as long as possible, regardless of quality of life. The BHA think people should have a proper choice, and they’re right.
My ex-mother-in-law would have had a more peaceful last few days. As would my nana, and my grandad, because they all spoke about what they’d have chosen.
Anyway, that’s beside the point.
Someone put forward their reasons for not liking Dignitas:
“I support assisted suicide but I don’t think those that are against it or are concerned about it are compassionless. They are concerned that people could be persuaded that it’s best to end their lives (greedy relatives or people who believe the elderly, disabled, ill etc are a burden). It’s not as simple as just saying people lack compassion if they don’t want the UK to be like Switzerland re this. There have to be controls put in place to avoid abuse if we have a suicide law… and remember dignities is money making. They’re not necessarily doing this out of ‘compassion’.”
I was actually with her right up until her last idiotic statement. There are concerns about assisted suicide. There should be. Not everyone who opposes it is selfish, compassionless, or a religious nut. But she undermined all her points with her last nasty little jibe about making money.
and remember dignities is money making. They’re not necessarily doing this out of ‘compassion’
What utter rot. How dare she suggest that anyone running a successful business isn’t doing it because they want to help others? And how the hell does she expect a company to keep running a (very expensive) service like that withoutmaking money?
The answer to that is: she doesn’t think. Because most people don’t.
It’s the same argument the hard of thinking trot out about charities paying top dollar to CEOs, fundraisers, and so on. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys – and I don’t know about you, but I want the charities and goodwill businesses I support to have the best people they can afford in place to run them.
Let’s look at the equally daft argument that politicians get paid way too much, too. Really? There’s a lot wrong with many politicians, but they’re not doing an easy job. They’re running the freaking country. If you pay a pittance, do you know who you get in power? Rich people who can afford to accept a pittance. Is that who you want running the country? Or do you want a cross-section of people from all sorts of backgrounds?
So remember: it’s not only okay to make a profit; it’s a good thing. In fact, it’s essential. Especially if you run your business from a compassionate platform, because if you don’t make a decent profit, you can’t do good work.
If that’s you, and you haven’t got my book yet, you should buy it now. Because yeah, I want to make money. As much of it as I can, without it being my only goal. But that’s not why I do what I do. It’s not why I wrote my book. I wrote my book because I believe that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the future of this world. They’re innovative, they’re exciting, they change things, they create jobs, hope, wealth.
What are you changing?
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS You should buy my book, you know. It will help you. It will help you to really nail down why you’re doing what you do, whom you’re doing it for, and it will help you do better. Make more money. Give yourself more time away from the business. Enjoy your business more.