To a certain extent, I agree with the author. There’s still that popular misconception that all business owners are greedy ‘fat cats’ who live off the toil and sweat of their underpaid, beleaguered workforce. In a few, usually large businesses, or businesses in certain sectors, that may well be true. In reality, of course, in most micro and small businesses, the owner is often last in the queue when the money is being apportioned.
In all three businesses, I had plenty of ‘vision’, was positively brimming with creativity and was stuffed full of so-called ‘entrepreneurial drive’ … what was missing, at least in my first business, was the understanding that there was a constant and unrelenting need to make sales! (Profitable sales, too, because you could have £ thousands in sales but if you’ve also got £ thousands in costs… be afraid, be very afraid!)
In my own ventures, like many start-up businesses, I got caught up with the excitement and adrenalin rush of being my own boss: doing things exactly the way I chose, making our products the best they could be (even it that mattered little to my target market) and paying my employees well, because it was the right thing to do. Those ideals led to sleepless nights, lower income for me and my family, ridiculous working hours and stress, stress, stress (and more stress).
By the time I reached my second business, the penny had finally dropped – through painful experience – that I needed always to be thinking about our profitability. Something that entailed difficult decisions and yes, compromised ideals, at times. Business is a hard business, if you see what I mean.
However, what you do with your profit is another matter. The business owner can waste it on bolstering their ego and acquire the trappings of wealth. They can invest it back into the business, building reserves for future lean or straightened times (which always come, no matter the size of the business — look at Microsoft and Nokia!). They can share it with their employees, or they can take it out in dividends and crowd fund other businesses, or make loans to family members’ start ups.
So, respectfully, I beg to differ with that LinkedIn author. Business and money go hand in hand. Business is always about money.
I have, at times, wished it were otherwise. Life would certainly have been easier.