Does Money Equal Happiness in Business?
Priority Question: Is a business’ main goal to make money? Or, do they want to help people?
Too many businesses have their goals poorly prioritized. One way it shows is in the misuse of social media. Their first goal is to make the business money, so they push advertisements in their feeds. Increasing revenue is critical to a business, yes, but how you go about it makes all the difference. And it shows plainly: Does a business want money first? Or, do they want to help people?
Many people want to be rich. Some “invest” in the lottery. (I don’t recommend it – very bad returns.) Some spend their time working, and they never get rich, so they blame money for their problems and their dissatisfaction. Some chose a career that is more lucrative, and even though they make large sums of money, they are left feeling unsatisfied and unsuccessful. Why is that? Could it be that money itself does not provide satisfaction or happiness? Really, it’s not the money itself, it’s what you do with what you have.
When inspecting the 10 Most Hated Jobs list, notice that the jobs at the top of the list are often more focused on making money. On the other hand, those most satisfied with their jobs focus on benefiting the lives of others. These careers include clergy, firefighters, physical therapists, and teachers. While these jobs aren’t necessarily entrepreneurial, business owners can take a cue from this. What can business owners, directors, and employees and all team members do to increase job satisfaction?
Satisfaction increases when a company’s goal shifts from money to benefiting people’s lives. It’s great to serve customers through constant innovation. Nobody is happy selling products that customers don’t want or value. When the focus isn’t on getting shareholders more money but on the happiness of customers — and helping the employees feel engaged and indispensable — everyone is happier, more successful, and more profitable.
Money is like food or breathing. It is necessary to survival of a business in society, but it’s not the entire point and purpose of life. Money isn’t the goal. Statistics show an important inverse relationship: The less companies focus on money and more on the customers, the more money they make. Just check out the history of Apple, Amazon, and Salesforce.
Money is a tool that we need to use wisely. It is a means to an end. To focus on the deeper commitments, ask yourself: What we would do with $100,000,000 this week? How would we spend it? And how would we spend that same amount of money next week, and the week after? Once we write down everything we’d buy/do with that money, our minds eventually become clear of material items and clutter. Here are some results of this exercise:
1. We see what is truly important to us.
2. We realize that money is not actually a goal, but a tool to help us along the way.
3. Our goals are flexible and can be adjusted to fit our financial circumstances.
4. Satisfaction is within our reach…we just need to plan for it.
It is interesting to note that those who become wealthy do so because they have visions that exceed money. Wealthy people rarely start out with silver spoons. In fact, statistics show that in less than 3% of cases, wealthy people are born into wealth. Most people who make fortunes don’t have super high-paying jobs, either. What is the difference? Could it be some know-how, common sense and long-term discipline?
The majority of successful businesses set out to change and improve lives — and to help people — not to get rich. When we strive to be the best at what we do, and try to make the world a better place as we go, then we are much more likely to find real joy along the journey.
See the original article that inspired this post: “Social Media: Forget Going Wide, Go Deep”