I had a great discussion with some people this morning at a local Rotary Club meeting this morning, which also tied in with another discussion yesterday.

It’s all about having businesses which deliver more to the world than just money.

The nice thing about privately held companies is that you get to choose how you balance profit against the other goals you have.  That might include:

  • Providing great jobs which help people to contribute their best
  • Delivering value to the community, directly or indirectly
  • Changing the world by the way you do business

It’s incredibly exciting to see people who are taking these kinds of goals seriously.  When you do, you find that money just becomes one of the assets you have to support doing something REALLY important.

Sure, money is good.  You’re not going to be able to stay in business for the long term unless you at least break even.  But in fact, you CAN’T take it with you.  So if you want to make a true difference in the world, one which has impact far beyond just giving money back to investors, you need to start looking at WHY.

Why do I want to make money?  What’s the point of all this anyway?

That’s where it’s good to think about your Big, Hairy, Audacious Vision (BHAV).  When your company thrives and makes a difference to the world, what exactly is that?

And when you make money along the way and use that to grow your business, you have the privilege of growing your impact on the world.

That’s cool.  VERY cool.