Recently I read the following sentence in Whole Foods Market-Founder John Mackey’s excellent book “Conscious Capitalism.”
“As happiness is best experienced by not aiming for it directly, profits are best achieved by not making them the primary goal of the business.”
It is an interesting observation which I have experienced over and over again – when you focus all your attention on profits, you tend to lose sight of what matters (and drives your earnings in the first place): Your customers, employees, and community.
Never forget that without solving a customer need you do not have a business in the first place. Revenue and profits are just the way for your customers (and market) to say “thank you” for your product or service. Losing sight of this fundamental relationship is the surefire way to drive your business into extinction (maybe not in the short-term but for sure in the long run). Particularly today where customers are only one click or tap away from someone else solving their problems and tending to their needs.
Focus relentlessly on bringing value to all your stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, partners, shareholders) and profits plus long-term sustainability will follow. Take the heretical position and focus on the long-term instead of trying to optimize for the short-term.