Make money or make meaning?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-03-16

Every company can have a mission and a vision. What are we about? What are we good at? But if you really want to think about your company’s direction, ask this very hard question…

If my company did not exist, why would the world be not as good a place?

This doesn’t mean you have to change the world, but this is the meaning that keeps you focused on what you do. I actually wrote this while at a breakfast diner. You might think that this isn’t meaningful. But if you ask the question above and look around, you see that families are sitting together and enjoying each other’s company. Sure, there are other options for breakfast, but they choose to eat here. And that made their day better.

If you ask this question, there are probably plenty of businesses that just shouldn’t exist anymore. And if you can’t come up with a legitimate answer, then maybe that’s you.

This question is important because it helps distinguish between making money and making meaning. Most vision and mission statements only determine in what way you plan to make money. We need to make money, but we WANT to make meaning.

This isn’t just for entrepreneurs, but all executives, managers, and employees. Employees need a paycheck, but want to create meaning. Have you given them a reason beyond the paycheck why their world is a better place because they work their?

If my company did not exist, why would the world be not as good a place?