Business leaders – I know where your heads at.

After a brutal recession, you’re focusing on recovering revenue above all else.

Look, I get it. Nothing is more important to the health of your business than revenue and profitability.

But I urge you to take a second and think bigger picture for just a moment.

Are your profits “good” or bad?”

It’s easy to think everything starts and ends with profitability. It’s easy to chase dollars and applaud revenue no matter where it comes from.

Unfortunately, this is easily the #1 reason most businesses earn a bad reputation, lose out on profits, and ultimately close their doors!

If you’re thinking bigger than surviving 2021 and want to build a business that thrives for decades to come, you need a radically different perspective.

Allow me to explain…

The Difference Between Good Profits and Bad Profits

If you’ve been following my articles or attended any of my speaking events, you know how passionate I am about the role purpose plays in business.

In short, I believe that businesses reach their full potential when they have a purpose higher than profits.

Whether it’s making customers’ lives easier with a great service, providing exceptional products at affordable prices, or changing the world with new technologies, businesses simply do better when they have a driving purpose greater than money.

Another way to look at it is thinking about whether profits are “good” or “bad.”

If your profits come from hidden fees, pushing customers to buy services they don’t need, or selling low-quality products, those are “bad” profits.

If your profits come from delivering true value to your customers with transparent, ethical practices, then that’s “good” profits.

Now it’s easy to see how the latter will lead to greater long-term profitability. If you’re exploiting your customers, you’ll never build customer loyalty or expand your market share.

But the idea behind purpose and good profits versus bad profits is actually bigger than our relationship to customers.

It’s About More Than Your Customers

The idea of purpose is bigger than our customer base – it’s also about our communities and affects virtually everything about the way we do business.

As time goes by, more and more companies are being put under the microscope for the effects they have on their communities.

Customers increasingly want to buy from companies that they perceive as a force for good in the world, but they doubly want to work for companies that they perceive as having a higher mission.

If businesses aggressively pursue “bad” profits for short-term gains without considering the long-term consequences to their reputation, public image, customer loyalty, and employer brand, they are destined to fail.

Everything Comes Full Circle

It’s easy to write off ideas around purpose or “good” and “bad” profits as impractical to the world of business. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Companies like Apple and Tesla have dominated the competition in large part because they have a higher purpose and demonstrate a commitment to not just their customers, but also their communities.

When we put purpose front and center in our business operations, customers don’t just buy our product – they become lifelong supporters and evangelize about the brand to friends and family. Our communities become something bigger than customer bases and talent pools – they become partners in our success.

When you think of purpose and profits through this lens, it’s not hard to see why businesses with true purpose achieve the impossible.

Of course, it’s always easier to chase short-term profits and forget about the long-term effects of your business. That’s why 95% of businesses and business leaders will never truly commit to a higher purpose. But for the few that do, the rewards are spectacular.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can build a better business and lead for greater impact, be sure to join us at our next Leadership & Legal event.

These are live, monthly events for HR and business leaders to discuss their biggest challenges and brainstorm solutions – click the banner to sign up now!