Greed is Good

From Nothing to an Empire
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“Money is the goal.

Hard work is the means.

But the purpose is the power.”  Unknown Author

This philosophy was critical to Andrew Carnegie, the greatest philanthropist of his era. He started as a poor immigrant and worked his tail off, building The US Steel Corporation and then selling it, ultimately giving away the equivalent of $11B+ and building over two thousand public libraries to help future generations succeed.  It has been adopted by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and many of the other richest people on the planet, those who have created their own wealth instead of inheriting it.  And in the process of building massive fortunes for themselves they have created a thousand times greater wealth for others: employees’ stock options, investors’ returns, products that professionals or artists leverage to create businesses and beauty and other assets whose impacts then ripple through the economy.

Money is not evil.

The desire for money or success is not wrong.

It is the unfettered lust for money or power that creates problems.

It is not the reason, just the result that ultimately is a tool for an even higher calling.

Few would say Steve Jobs was evil for trying to create an incredible company that has changed the face of technology, personal communication, music, and multiple other fields.  He was an arrogant jerk, and self-centered, and a task master.  But he busted his butt, laid the foundation for immense value for other people (per Business Insider 164 publishers made a million dollars for the first time through Apple in 2018, joining 88 on Android that year and thousands more that were already at that level of sales), and it was from focusing on creating superior products and experiences for consumers.  The money and its trappings are the side effect of excellence.

Making money making lives better for people is not wrong.  Do not feel bad about being well paid for helping others.  Doing well for doing good is an alignment that more professions should have, because ultimately our drive enhances the financial well being of others while taking care of our families, allowing us to fill all levels on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Few other professions can do so on such a grand scale as we can while simultaneously connecting on an individual basis with our clients.

DO NOT be ashamed of wanting to build a great life by helping others build theirs.  If you make someone a million dollars, and you make ten thousand or twenty thousand off of it they should be ecstatic.  If you prevent someone from making a quarter million-dollar mistake, paying you $2,500 should be their pleasure for your wisdom.  If you can make sure that they have total financial security for their entire life no matter what, the value is so high that the “price” should be irrelevant.

“Oh, I don’t deserve Introductions!” “ I don’t want the client to think I want to make money.” “I just want to be ok.”  HOGWASH!  Be great.  Drive yourself.  Create success and enjoy it, because the nice things you acquire are the side effect of the good work you do, not the reason why you do it.

Making a lot of money gives you freedom. Freedom to grow into a better person. Freedom to donate time to your community and causes you believe in. Freedom to pay more taxes and help others, to fund scholarships or other opportunities, freedom to give back in the manner that makes the most sense to you and what you believe in.

A great business is the goal.

Introductions are the means.

But the purpose, the purpose is to help people.

Think like a Carnegie and get to work.

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