Purpose 1st – Profit 2nd

I used to be a car salesman. In car sales, the profit of a car deal was commonly referred to as “gross”. At sales meetings, the General Manager of the auto group where I worked would regularly lead all managers and salespeople in a sort of rallying chant. In full voice, almost as a sort of crazed battle cry, they would chant, “Gross is King! Gross is King! Gross is King!”

I’m not kidding.

I never participated.

The only reason I was in the car business in the first place was because I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I had read a couple times that to be a successful entrepreneur, you had to know how to sell. Selling scared the crap out of me. But car sales was the first thing that came to mind, so I left my gig as a railroad conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad and went into car sales.

But this chanting? It made me sick.

It was such a blatant representation of the company’s self serving attitude and complete lack of interest in what was good for their customers. Not surprisingly, that auto group no longer exists. Dozens of locations across three states are shuttered, out-of-business, and involved in a ridiculous number of lawsuits.

I might have participated if instead they chanted something like, “Gross is Secondary! Gross is Secondary!”

Because it is.

What do you stand for? Why do you exist? What’s the point? What do you believe in?

Now…do you believe in promoting that purpose MORE than making money?

For example, if you passionately believe in helping people live debt-free lives, would you choose to feature and promote another business that was doing incredible work helping people rid their lives of debt, even if they happened to be a competitor?

If not–if you struggle putting your claimed purpose first–ahead of your own business interests–you’re probably not as purpose driven as you think. It sounds like keeping a firm grip on the keys to your little castle is more important to you than pouring your whole heart and soul into a higher purpose.

Do good. Focus on good. Promote everything good that supports your purpose. Take a stand for what you believe in–even if you fear doing so might not boost your own business.

Take a look at the true leaders in your industry. The people and organizations that you deeply admire. What do they believe in? Do you think they’d be willing to forego personal gain and profit for the sake of promoting their cause? I bet they would.

It’s like service. Doing good for others with zero desire to get anything in return for the service rendered. No matter how much you give, you always end up getting more in return. You don’t ask for it. You’re not even seeking it. But it comes.

Decide you’re going to fight for a worthy cause.

And then fight.

Especially when your pesky instincts try and tell you to raise the drawbridge and keep your castle safe.

Especially then. Keep the drawbridge down. Then drop the back drawbridge as well. Open yourself up. Make yourself vulnerable. Serve the purpose you believe in. Put it first. Above your own profits.

Banish your scarcity mindset and not only will you survive, but new visions of abundance will become your reality.


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