Entrepreneurs: Is it wrong to want to make lots of money?
Everyone feels (or should feel) slightly wary of the desire for money. It’s what keeps us in check. But the desire for money, to grow your business, help your family, and give back to your community is of course a positive thing.
It’s just when that desire gets out of check that the problems start.
So let’s look at why it’s not wrong to want to make lots of money, and how entrepreneurs deal with the whole ‘money as a goal’ issue.
- The freedom of money
- The problem of inflation
- The desire to do good
- Retirement & legacy
- Your business
The freedom of money
First up, money gives you freedom. It gives you the opportunity to create freedom for your family, to have more choice in your life, and to gain some peace of mind. On tough days at work, where you may be questioning why you’re doing this at all, it’s this freedom (rather than actual monetary amounts) that can really help motivate us.
Because while sometimes for entrepreneurs it feels like everything is about the business, it’s what the business creates for us outside of that world that really has value. So the pursuit of money, when that money is going to be spent on ensuring your children have a better life (for example), is not only a good thing, but a great motivator when times are tough.
On the business side, which will look at later, the freedom of money means you can experiment with new products or services, explore new avenues which don’t immediately have to become revenue-earning, as well as make investments.
The problem of inflation
Each year, inflation is moving and your day-to-home day costs (whether that’s food or petrol or insurance, etc) are increasing. The costs of running your business are also increasing in that incremental way that’s often hard to spot because of the ‘invisible’ nature of inflation.
All of which is to say – earning more money is a great antidote to inflation. As prices go up, your earnings match or exceed those prices, and you don’t feel the pinch to the same extent.
The desire to do good
There are some charitable acts that don’t require any money at all. Then there are those that need huge investment. Perhaps you have a charitable project that’s close to your heart and really want to help – whether that’s medical research or giving to a particular country or region. Having money in order to do that is a good feeling – and again, it’s a great motivator when work is tough.
Having money gives you a sense of control – to first help your own family but then also to do some good in the wider world. Seeing a particular charitable project start to take shape also motivates to earn more money in order to further the endeavour. It can be an exciting and rewarding aspect of earning enough money to be able to fund these kinds of projects.
While ‘doing good’ isn’t something that should be left until you have bags of spare cash lying around (after all, it’s possible to make great contributions with little or no money), the opportunity to make positive change with what you have earned is a good reason to shoot for the stars when it comes to your business goals.
Retirement & legacy
Having enough money for retirement not only makes retirement easier, it makes the years leading up to it much calmer. Retirement isn’t cheap – there can be a number of expenses and often things can get tight. Having that extra bit of cash handy means peace of mind.
Pushing to make as much money during your time as an entrepreneur can mean you’re creating something of a safety net when you have stopped work. And it can mean you have the funds in order to spend that time as you wish – whether that’s travelling, spending more time with the family, and so on.
But more than that, it can be about legacy. What do you want to leave behind for your children or relatives or community? Having money means that long after your time it might be benefiting the next generation or generations.
It might come in the form of leaving property to them, or investments and savings. But this pairs nicely with the first point on freedom. Because money not only gives you some freedom in the present but it also has the ability to create freedom in terms of your legacy. Leaving behind money can make life easier for those who come after, and this can be a powerful motivator for many entrepreneurs.
We have touched on this a little already, but the desire to make lots of money can of course be a huge boost for your business. While careless pursuit of money may lead to bad business decisions, careful and assertive planning to maximise profits can help take your business to the next level.
Areas of business which you want to explore suddenly become more possible when you have money. The ability to hire the top talent also comes into play. Being able to plough profits back into the company helps growth and sets the table for a long-term business proposition, rather than a flash in the pan.
It’s also a great motivator to continue to work hard for your business, given all the points mentioned above. In the end, it’s about your intention behind the desire to earn a lot of money. If the intention is good, then the outcome is more likely to be good. If the intention is bad, then a few wrong decisions, risky ventures, and everything can come crashing down.
As the famous quote goes: “Money is a great servant but a bad master.”