Reconciling Pursuit for Money with Purpose

“In a capitalist society, the pursuit of money precedes purpose but reconciling the two is the centerpiece to a fulfilling life.”

Living in a capitalist world, we all on a journey to make as much money as we can and it’s not because we want to but because we need to. In fulfilling our needs, we are already accustomed to our inherent pursuit for more and therefore we tend to lack a compass to guide us on where we intend to go in this journey. As radarless as we may be, we need something to root us in our pursuit for money regardless of our circumstances. In different circles, it’s been stated that to be successful in any particular craft you need to be passionate about it, dedicated to it and use it to address a market need then money will come to you. I don’t refute this for I know it has worked for some. However, I believe there are different approaches to looking at it.

Today in a conversation with a friend, we were keen on exploring how to reconcile our altruistic aspirations/inclinations with the convention that we have needs/wants/responsibilities that depend on us having to make money whether it’s the core driver for what we do or a means to an end. In this discussion, I got to reflect on some personal experiences and insights I’ve gained from reading, listening to different talks among others and realized that beyond the pursuit for money, there’s an underlying piece. In this case it’s our emotions which are a reflection of the things we hold dear to us in some way or the other. As an individual I believe, I am more inclined to spend on the people I love and care about (family) especially in their hours of need. I owe them that much and as such, in my everyday hustle and bustle I am always working to be able to provide for them. On this account then I’m not about making the money but satisfying their needs. The value of money is not in how much I have but in being able to provide for my family as much as is necessary.

In other domains in pursuit for money one key thing that I’ve come to acknowledge is that there are individuals who venture into business with the aspiration of making money in the process. However, at the same time there are people who venture out to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve. As I wrote about earlier in the People Business, Howard Schultz was about making the experiences of the people they served at Starbucks count for them. This is one thing that I believe is critical for anyone venturing into doing any particular business. Can you get to empathize with the client to the point of understanding what would be their ideal experience? Can you create this for them? If you make it to, they’ll definitely see the value of your service or product and pay premiums for it. That’s the essence of it all. If I serve a plate of food for $500 and you pay for it, the value of that money is in the experience I’ve created for you. I want that meal + eating experience to be the best you’ve ever had in your life. Creating a mini-heaven for you in my domain to ensure there’s optimal value add for you. Serving you isn’t a means to make money but an opportunity to realize my aspiration of creating heavenly experiences for my customers. Ultimately, they’ll pay premiums for the services. That’s good business rather than pushing substandard products and services to clients with the sole focus on the money.

I think and believe that if and when we get to reconcile our pursuit for money with our purpose then we will get fulfillment even if we are not doing our ideal job for we see the value of the job in what it enables us to achieve that’s of essence to us. On the other hand, if we venture into doing what we love we do it in a spectacular way that we leave our mark on the lives of those we encounter in the process. That’s all that really counts in the end.

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