Instead of living overseas as I did in my 20s and 30s, or being in a university setting as I was in my 40s, I’m now a member of the entrepreneurial class, with all the wonderful freedoms and fears that brings.
As such, I’ve been exposed to the dialogues of entrepreneurs as they occur on Facebook, at networking gatherings, and in articles. An area of near-daily preoccupation is what it takes to be successful. Of course, this preoccupation is highly justified, given the delicate, precarious, and unpredictable nature of our way of life.
Within these conversations and writings, there’s a lot of talk about the elements of success. Predictably, the comments focus on things like passion, perseverance, honesty, relationships, and other such critically important things.
The thing I see far less often—almost never—is a discussion about the ability to make money.
I want to believe that everyone who starts a business or works for one has a passion for what they’re doing. Of course, it’s not the case, but I like to believe it. I like to believe that honesty, relationships, and perseverance are part of successful businesses.
But that one thing that every single one of us has to do is make money—more money than we spend.
Frankly, it’s taken me a long time to say that to myself, to convince myself, to shed whatever guilt and awkwardness I may have had in talking about money so brazenly.
I’ve come to this conclusion: The money is all that matters.
You have a whole different set of issues if you’re not passionate about what you do, or are developing relationships, or are honest, and on and on.
Assuming you have all of this, or even just some of it, it still comes down to the money.
The fact of the matter is you have to set fees that make sense, decide how much money you need to make a year, how many days you have to work in order to make it, and what kind of work you’re going to do in order to make it. You need to decide how to get the word out and then you have to get the word out.
The money is all that matters because that’s the best way to measure results and results are all that matters.
The money is all that matters because when you go out of business you can’t help anyone anymore and that’s all that matters.
The money is all that matters because you have two kids in college and your family is all that matters.
The money is all that matters because your spouse or partner is counting on you to be part of the team and the team is all that matters.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a love-of-money rant. I’m not the kind of person who believes money is an end in itself. But it is the thing that makes it easier to get everything else.
While I’m very far from perfect at executing this, I’ve reached an appreciation for it. It’s critically important—as important as passion, honesty, perseverance, relationships, and all the rest that goes into making a success.
Why do you do what you do? How will you be successful? What results are you getting?