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Profits vs. Purpose: Why We're Focused on Conscious Capitalism

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Recently, while evaluating our next nonprofit pro bono project, a friend said to me, “Should you really be focusing on that right now? You have a lot going on already."

One reason I started my digital marketing agency less than a year ago was to operate with a higher purpose. I was tired of hearing companies pay lip service to philanthropic initiatives and never truly make an effort. Sound familiar?

How many times have you sat in meetings where “community involvement” or “donations” were mentioned as a  means to  differentiate the company or create a better culture? These conversations take place all the time  only to be  forgotten  five minutes later. Why? Because serving others isn't a core principle the company lives by. Other priorities like maximizing profits dominate the conversation. With profits as the main motivator, why would the topic of giving back  be remembered  or prioritized?

When starting out,  we built our core principles on  the  Conscious Capitalism framework. Regardless of your position, I recommend everyone from assistant to CEO read "Conscious Capitalism."  Here are the 4 principles of conscious businesses: 

  • Conscious Leadership 
  • Stakeholder Orientation 
  • Conscious Culture
  • Higher Purpose 

Start Living Out Your Purpose

In this post,  I'll be  focusing on the  “Higher Purpose  portion of Conscious Capitalism.  To answer the  opening question posed about “free work, it took me about five seconds to respond with a resounding and enthusiastic, “YES! This is exactly what we should be focused on!” And let me tell you why.  

1. Corporate responsibility attracts like-minded clients and employees

Most business owners, clients and  employees  want to be involved with a company that serves a purpose beyond profit maximization, does what it says and validates  its  values with actions 

2. Integrity is a powerful differentiator for your business

As a small or established  business, you also  need to stand out. If you tell customers, recruits, employees, friends and family your company is different and this is why, you better live up to that promise. Abandoning your promise won't immediately backfire  on you. But  at some point, failed promises or frustrations stack up and someone like a valued employee takes a step back and recognizes  the disparity between company values and actions.  

Perhaps you  set out to “be different” but found yourself buried with work or suddenly  strapped for time. A great CEO once told me “not enough time” isn't a reason something didn't get  done. Rather, it  simply wasn't a priority. If you don't carve out time  or prioritize your purpose over other revenue-generating  projects, it  won't happen. Many people could  do great things if they had unlimited time. But time is precious and short. Let’s prioritize what matters most and fulfill our promises and purpose.  

3. The intrinsic rewards make work more enjoyable

Most importantly, you're helping others with your most valuable assets (time or money). You didn't get to where you are today without someone lending a hand. Now it's time to return the favor.  

We recently  hosted a local nonprofit organization at our office, sat with the CEO and conducted an inbound marketing kick-off meeting just as we would with a paying client. It was  truly fulfilling to put  this company above  other potential  paying  clients and help elevate its  online presence. In doing so, we're helping this organization help millions of less fortunate people around the world.  

4. The benefits of helping others always circle back.

As long as you're serving a higher purpose for humble  reasons, you’ll always end up ahead. While you may be  investing time upfront, the benefits of helping others will come back to you 

For instance, when meeting with our most recent pro-bono client, his final questions caught us off guard. He said, “How can we help you? What kind of referrals can we send your way?  What kind of press might you be interested in?" We hadn’t even considered these questions. But when you are genuine  and passionate in your efforts to give back,  success tends to follow. In fact, conscious companies outperform the market by 10.5 times! 

Enjoy life and help others. That’s our internal primary purpose  at Human Marketing. If we're helping others and enjoying the journey, everything else comes easier. Customer success, revenue  and  profits all come with the territory.  

So yes, your purpose  is a priority. This is what I choose to spend time on. I hope this encourages you to consider how you can work toward becoming a conscious business.  

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Topics: Marketing Strategy