Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why we shouldn't measure success in Profit - and other wacky ideas...

I may get burned at the stake for saying this - but I believe we shouldn't meaure success of a business by looking at a Profit and Loss statement. Matter of fact, that goes for the whole system. It's what is breaking the entire spirit of the free market system, and its killing the entrepreneurial blood line that built our country from nothing.

The entrepreneurs that built America, and for that matter the world - didn't care about financial risk, or financial projections... they set their mind on changing the world. And many of them died broke doing so. Profit was not how they measured success, but rather the ability to make the world a better place - whether it was curing a disease, exploring new horizons or opening our eyes to new technology - the mission wasn't money - it was discovery.

The free market system works if the power is in the hands of the entrepreneur who can create new markets, build new revenue and grow our economy through innovation.... but it does not work when the free markets are dominated and controlled by banks, lawyers and brokers. And the only thing the financial system cares about is profit... and not only do they measure it - they manipulate it and distort it - to the point where is an abstract measurement of the future - and tells us nothing of the present.

The irony here - is that entrepreneurs create the future, and the financial "horde" sell the future. But what happens when the entrepreneur is no longer empowered.... what exactly is the "horde" selling?? ... nothing.

There is a clarity of judgement in an entrepreneur that few people understand. It is the idealism within an entrepreneur that allows them to risk everything for a vision - not based on financial gain, but of something greater. A purpose. 

4 comments:

Tricia Foster said...

Rich - spoken like a true entrepreneur! You and Michelle Nelson certainly come out of the same mold - fearlessly independent, creative and driven. I comment on the similiarity given her presentation to Congress last week and the many conversations she and I have had...good luck with everything although while luck may have a bit to do with it, it is a pleasure to follow your companies to see the ballsy initiatives you guys tackle!! It is flat out fun watching you guys! As Always, Tricia

Jeff Hazelton said...

Well said Rich! Money should never be the "product", it is simply an inconsistent by-product of the actual success you have described;)

AlexDavisShaw said...

Very nice. I think in today's society we have lost complete sight of that. We use money as our motivation, our measure of success and happiness but true success and happiness come from something much greater, they some come from within and you have stated that wonderfully.

freshtampa said...

I agree. When you create a business your focus should be on the customer and finding a way to improve their life. If your looking at something as, how can I make this profitable, you are taking the wrong approach.

I wrote about this point in my blog today:
http://freshtampa.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/top-10-things-a-start-up-entrepreneur-must-focus-on/

I see you're from Florida as well, which part?