Copyright 2006 Ike Krieger
What comes to mind when you see or hear the word profit?
Im a member of a couple of sales and marketing related discussion groups and I host one of my own. The discussions cover a wide range of issues, but invariably the conversation turns to subjects that seem to press certain hot buttons.
One of those hot buttons seems to be directly connected to the topic of profit.
Some people on these discussion groups are comfortable with profit while others seem to relate to the black ink on a companys balance sheet as something produced by the dark side of the force.
Ive been following one such topic called, Its not about the money.
That brings up the question, What is it all about?
My answer is, Profit.
What exactly does that mean? When you think of the word profit, what definition comes to mind? What does the word profit mean to you?
Why are we spending so much time on the definition of profit? We all know what is meant by the word profit. Or do we?
In the program I teach, The Language of Success, the definition of business is the ability to solve other peoples problems and make a profit.
Lets use the word profit in a sentence. William sold a security system to a retail store and made a profit of $1000.
Profit in this case is measured financially.
What if there is another way to measure profit? Lets look at the word profit through a different filter.
Abraham Maslow’s book Motivation and Personality, published in 1954 (second edition 1970) introduced the Hierarchy of Needs.
According to Maslow, there are three basic needs that motivate human beings. These three are, above all others, love, pride, and security.
When you examine the motivation behind nearly all activities of human beings, especially in business, these three are the driving force behind most actions taken.
Many people are in the business theyve chosen because they love it. Perhaps the business chose them. Fortunate are those whose businesses offer such an opportunity.
Pride speaks for itself. We want to feel proud of our work. We want to be recognized for our accomplishments.
Security covers a lot of ground. Providing lifes necessities is a driving force for nearly every one. Shelter, food, clothing, all these are required just to make it through the day.
The plans we make and the actions we take can usually be traced to the desire that we as a species have to fulfill the need for love, pride, or security.
Taking this a step further we can look at the concept of profit in a different light.
Look closely at the career youve chosen and ask yourself, In addition to monetary compensation, how do I profit from my business?
Through what combination of the big three, love, pride and security, do you actually realize your profit?
Can an artist, a volunteer, or a rescue worker, for example, define his or her business as the ability to solve other peoples problems and make a profit? According to Abe Maslow, and according to my way of thinking, the answer has to be, “yes.”
Although an exchange of money for services may take place, each of these professions would seem to produce different forms of compensation.
A feeling of accomplishment, or a positive review, may be enough to provide certain individuals with their particular form of profit.
Your answer to the question, In addition to monetary compensation, how do I profit from my business? provides you with an opportunity, through language, to look at what you do in a different light.
There is more than one way to profit and profit is good. This more comprehensive definition might help you see it that way also.
Heres the tip – Be clear on what types of profit you want and expect from your business.
To your success.