6 Ways to Balance Profit and Purpose at Your Business
Content was originally published on Inc.com on August 15, 2019.
In the past I have talked a lot about building a successful business while still staying true to yourself and your purpose. And I talk with entrepreneurs every day that struggle to find the balance between fueling their passion and purpose while still keeping their business profitable.
You have a great idea that gives back to society and positively impacts lives, but how do you translate that into a company that not only excites you but can support itself financially in the process?
Finding Your Passion and Turning It Into Profit (Run By A Team of Purpose Driven People)
1. Find Inspiration
Put yourself out there. Do something you’re not used to doing. Do something that sounds scary, interesting, different, and something you can learn from. Go somewhere new and do something different.
For example, Julian Levine, an athlete turned CEO discovered his business idea and passion when he volunteered with his family on a charitable dental mission, (and he’s not a dentist!), but he wanted to help the cause. That trip then lead him down a path that would ultimately lead to his latest business, Twice.
Howard Schultz found inspiration for Starbucks in Italy and Blake Mycoskie found inspiration for TOMS in Argentina.
So get out of your normal, day-to-day life and find new inspiration from these new inputs.
2. Be Open-Minded and Ready to Take Action
Think about what you’re seeing and experiencing. Ask yourself, how you can contribute to the cause? How can you create something that provides value? How can you tie it all together?
3. Share Your Story and Find Those Who Believe In It
Your team is everything and when you are building a company with a purpose, who you hire will be even more critical. Find those who are inspired by the story or idea behind your business, motivated by your purpose, and who are capable to put in the work, day-in and day-out, to turn vision into reality. Picking the right people to join your team and then equipping them to be successful will always be the most important investment of time and energy. Instilling a purpose-driven mindset is crucial. For my own business coaching business, we hire individuals that are driven to help others be successful and scale their companies. It is the underlying culture that drives us to do what we do every single day.
4. Define Your Vision & Empower Those Around You
Teamwork makes the dream work and when you are creating a business with purpose, your team should have a complete understanding of the context of their work and how their piece plays into the larger puzzle. Building a purpose-driven team should be fun and fulfilling! Make it such, but be sure to develop KPIs specific to their work, and use a weekly scorecard to measure their performance, ensure that they know where they stand, and observe how they progress.
5. Share Your Success
Now your business is up and running, you are selling product and learning how to improve all areas of your business it’s important to share your success with those that helped you achieve it. When your profits are tied to your purpose, your impact becomes real and tangible and your customers want to see the difference that they are making. This creates a virtuous cycle and allows you to build a company that matters.
6. Fund Your Growth
The final piece and one of the most important is financing your growth. Find the right partners, whether they are friends, family, institutional investors, banks, or alternative sources of capital. Find people who believe in you and your mission, align with your mission, love your product and want to help you succeed by providing all of the support that they can along the way. Be patient, ask all the questions you can, and build a team of investors (if you need) that will help you grow.
Creating something that you are proud of at the end of the day, should be a driving force within yourself and your business. These six tips can help you create something that brings together people, purpose and profits.