Richard Branson said “Never go into business purely to make money. If that’s the motive, you’re better off doing nothing.”
In recent months I have come across a number of fellow business owners who are so obsessed with where their next pound is coming from, that they will do anything, including trampling over personal feelings and ignoring basic business etiquette to get it.
What’s your motivation?
Most successful entrepreneurs say that their primary motivation has been to build something lasting, not to make a lot of money. And I would agree, my motivation to set up, build and develop my social media business comes from the enjoyment I get from the work that I do, combined with the thanks and respect from my clients because of the great results that I can help them to achieve. Whilst I need money, as we all do to live, it is most definitely a by-product, not the main motivating factor to running my own business.
Making a difference!
And Michelle Obama had it about right when she said.
“Success is not about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
So why in the 21st century are people forgetting about the need in business to build strong and mutually beneficial relationships and instead focusing on the cost or price of their services and how many people they can possibly sell it to, regardless in some cases of whether there is an actual need or indeed a good fit.
Since I launched Footprint over 3 years ago, I have watched as people:
- Add extra product or service offerings to their original brand proposition, often unrelated, just to make extra money
- Steal ideas, content or presentation material to pass it off or sell it as their own original thinking
- Become so obsessed with winning an elusive project, that they have seriously undercut prices just to get the work
- Referred business to a competitor of mine, rather than me, because they paid a referral fee and I did not
- But perhaps most sad of all, is that I have witnessed people who I have referred work to, tell others about how they won the work themselves, all in a bid to make themselves appear more successful and in turn more likely to win more business
It appears that in some situations if you are busy chasing the money train; values, loyalty, integrity and honesty are effectively dead.
Check your values
Psychiatrists say that people who are obsessed with money are obsessed with power and the control that they believe it exerts over others. And whilst I do like money, don’t get me wrong who doesn’t, I would never put it ahead of a friendship or jeopardise a good client relationship. So I will probably never be rich, so what! At least I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I am a decent, honest person who believes in giving clients what I know they need for a fair price, rather than trying to sell them what they don’t want for an inflated cost just to meet my own greedy ends.