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Shedding the bottom-line mentality

Out with profit-obsessed; In with purpose-driven

purpose insights

by | Jun 25, 2024

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For many businesses, for many years, the bottom-line has reigned supreme. Every decision, every action, has been tethered to the pursuit of profit. Axiom of Purpose is built on the belief that there is another way. That success can be measured not just by dollars and cents, but by the positive impact we create and the lives we change for the better.

We are on a mission to build a coalition of believers. People who believe we can shed the bottom-line mentality and embrace a more holistic approach to business and government. We are shifting the focus from profit to purpose, from scarcity to abundance, from fear to fulfillment.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Impact is the new black

Move beyond “does it make money?” to “does it further our purpose?” Let purpose be your guiding star, driving decisions that create positive change for your community, customers, and the world. We shed the bottom-line mentality when asking about purpose is the first question and primary decision driver.

2. Profit is not a master

Ditch the industry standards for profit margins. They’re benchmarks, not bibles. Define what “success” means for you and set your financial standard accordingly. Covering your expenses is important. Cash flow is important. Taking care of your people is important. Is having a specific percentage on top of all that really as important? What is that percentage? Decide what is comfortable for you and don’t worry about what some book, some expert or some spreadsheet says is the ideal margin.

3. Equitable pricing for equitable outcomes

Reimagine your pricing model. Could you offer tiered pricing based on the budget of those you most want to serve? This makes your offering accessible while ensuring sustainability. Is the market pricing out an audience segment? How can you serve them at a price point that makes sense for them and you and fill in a service gap? For example, small business start-ups don’t often get accounting help until they are in a better position financially. However, then it costs more because their books are a mess. If you are an accountant, can you set up a scalable system for a small business to take advantage of and offer it at a price point that solopreneurs can afford?

4. Measure beyond the bottom line

Profit matters, but it’s not the whole story. Are you creating impactful work? Are you making a positive difference? Are you proud of what you do? These, too, are metrics of success. You have the power to create your own metrics and decide what success means to you. Maybe it’s employee well-being, community engagement, client relationships, social impact outcomes or environmental sustainability goals. Build your spreadsheets and dashboards to include these metrics and look at them together.

5. Value what matters most

What truly matters to you? What values do you want your business to embody? Communicate these values clearly to your staff and create a work environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. I once read that if you are living your values, you do not need them all over your walls. Everyone will already know them because you embody them in your actions everyday. That has always stayed with me.

6. Fear not, abundance awaits

Allow purpose and mission to guide your decisions rather than fear. We often let fear-based decision-making drive us away from opportunities. Fear of scarcity, failure, or judgment can hold us back. Instead, approach decision-making with a mindset of abundance; trust that there’s enough success and opportunity for everyone. Faith in our purpose and our future are the antidote to fear.

Shedding the “bottom-line mentality” isn’t about ignoring financial responsibility or throwing away profit. It’s about creating a new business model rooted in purpose and shared well-being. It means we are expanding our definition of success, prioritizing purpose over profit, and building businesses that leave a positive legacy in the world. It’s about cultivating abundance, not just in our bank accounts, but in the lives we touch and the impact we create.