Make a Good Living While Serving a Greater Good

All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process.  I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable.  It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.

Small business is the engine that drives many of the economies around the world.  Small business doesn’t have the resources of large corporations.  However, if they network together – the sum of the whole becomes greater than the individual parts. Well-designed collaboration based on an effective system and strategy can lead to small business success.

However, in the final analysis, the true foundation for success rests in an organization’s culture.  In fact, I believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast.  An organization needs a sound strategy to succeed but, it needs a great culture to excel.  For me, that approach has been about creating core values around a culture of collaboration.

Core values establish culture. It’s never too late or too early to think about your core values in business and in life. Here are my core values:

  1. The Philosophy of Givers Gain®(What goes around comes around).
  2. Building Meaningful Relationships
  3. Lifelong Learning
  4. Traditions + Innovation
  5. Positive Attitude
  6. Accountability

I believe that it is possible to make a good living while serving a greater good. The core values I have tried to apply in my life and in my business have helped to create a culture of collaboration within the context of building a business. This approach is not only a great way to get business, I believe it is an even better way to do business.

Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.

I have a big hairy audacious goal (a BHAG) for businesses around the world. I believe we can “Change the Way the World Does Business” and we can do that by incorporating core values into our business that support collaboration and positive meaningful relationships.  

We are coming up on the 30th anniversary for my company (BNI) and I believe that our focus on these core values, philosophy, and vision are responsible for our 30 years of consecutive growth. Through strong economies and serious recessions – my organization has grown year in and year out for 30 years without exception.  Few organizations can say that.   I think that is a testament to our approach to doing business.

Have you given thought to your organization’s core values? If so, share your company’s core values here. I’d love to hear your comments.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Make a Good Living While Serving a Greater Good

  1. You speak right to my heart. That is exactly what I want to achieve. This line of thought helped me to come up with my name ‘SYNERGISM’ because I believe so strongly in working together for the good of others. My only problem right now is that I am not in a position to be doing any good as my business is really struggling and I am getting frustrated as I want to give back but am unable to at present.

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment.

      I have a few thoughts:

      Remember that it takes time to build a business. I like to tell people that I’m a 20 year – overnight success. It took me close to 20 years before I achieved any real success in business. Hang in there and keep doing the things that are working for you.

      Second, know that you can give back in other ways than money. A friend of mine Ron Kern, with Stand Up America, told me that he was talking to some young people about what they “needed most” in their schools. He was expecting to hear a response that included computers, books, etc. But instead, the young man said – “what I really need is an adult that I can talk to and who will listen to me and talk to me.” I was SHOCKED when I heard Ron tell me this story. This is a long way to say – your time can be more important than your money in the life of a young person. When I was younger and had no money or children of my own, I was a Big Brother. I couldn’t give money but I gave my time. It was very gratifying. Give some thought to that. You can still contribute.

      One last thought, take a look at the website: http://www.BusinessVoices.org. It is an initiative of BNI’s and it is about contributing to the community in many ways – including time.

      Ivan

      Hope this helps.

      Ivan

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