The nature and details of my business interests have changed quite a bit over the last five years or so, but I've always kept them linked to this mission: to be responsible for getting how-to-succeed education into the hands of more people than any other individual or enterprise.
At one time I saw the implementation of that mission limited to the mail-order marketing of books, cassettes, and courses. Then it expanded to include speaking and seminars. Then television. Then developing products for other publishers. Then consulting with publishers, direct marketers, even multilevel marketing companies. And, in the last few years, I've probably been responsible for selling success education materials to well over a million people, and exposing many more to the ideas.
All of this gives most of my business activity some meaning greater than just getting money into the bank accounts. From that comes, I think, a different, superior level of creativity, inspiration, and persistence.
Many moons ago, one of the much-made-fun-of Merv Griffin "theme shows"—a technique more recently copied by Geraldo, Oprah, etc.—featured a panel of self-made millionaire entrepreneurs: in this instance, Colonel Sanders of KFC, the inventor of the Lear jet, and several others. Merv asked them: "What was your goal—to make money?"
Each guest answered by describing a mission bigger than just making money. Each had a goal, what Think and Grow Rich author Napoleon Hill called "a burning desire." Each wanted to do something and to be someone.
It's interesting that years later, a fabulously wealthy man by most standards (thanks to the sale of his game-show company), Merv Griffin chose to plunge into new, risky businesses rather than just sitting back and enjoying early retirement. He certainly couldn't have been motivated by money itself.
I'm not necessarily saying that you have to have some hidden, ulterior motive or some saintly charitable motive behind your business activities. And I'm not one who feels any guilt about making large amounts of money. But I do find that the business owner who is at least as enthusiastic about the values and mission and processes of his business as he is about its bank balance does best
Walt Disney was thrilled when he finally achieved significant financial success, but he was much more committed to his ideals for his theme park than he was to piling up personal wealth. Once, driving home, he noticed an attractive new car in a showroom window and thought to himself: "Gee, I wish I could afford that car." He drove a few more blocks before realizing, "Hey, I can afford that car!"
I think you'll find the challenges of successfully crafting and conveying great marketing messages easier and more fun to meet when you are on a magnificent mission!
Was this article helpful?