Profit without Purpose is Pointless

In March, I wrote, “For any strategic objective to have a chance at success, the organization must have some sense of purpose.” As Ann Tardy wrote in the April 14, 2022 issue of her MentorLead newsletter, “Everything in nature is either growing or dying. So, naturally, we are attracted to that which will help us grow.” Pointless? Certainly unproductive with respect to creating generational sustainability.

Microsoft (Gates), Virgin (Branson), Amazon (Bezos), and Tesla (Musk) are modern examples of success achieved by individuals attracted to a purpose greater than themselves. The founders of these game-changing companies each had a vision that would have never been achieved without like-minded people working together to fulfill a common, shared purpose.

Their successes were possible because of their ability to create clarity of purpose and gather a group together in its pursuit. Therein lies one of the beauties, and 7some of the power, of purpose.

Without purpose, there can be no strategy. You are left with nothing more than tactics – unimportant, uncompelling, and unpersuasive reasons for staff to go back to work every day. Vacations were a tactical approach to relieving the monotony and pressure of constant work.

I am not delusional. Whether through profit, donations, or taxation, every legal organization needs some form of operational funding. But profit, donations, nor taxation are end goals. They are not reasons for being. They are not indicators of success. At best, they measure limited aspects of short-term performance.

At the end of the day, if we live only for ourselves, we’re self-centered. If we live only for our family, we’re unconcerned about the world they live in. Only when we care about fulfilling some purpose bigger than ourselves can we experience a reason for being. A reason greater than profit. A reason rooted in purpose.

At the end of the day, without purpose, we have little of value to strive for. We end up living for today and tomorrow loses all its promise.

And thus, profit without purpose is pointless.

The opportunities to be part of my clients’ journeys are how my clients and I grow and learn. Growth is just as critical to long-term survival of a business as it is to nature or any human. Nobody knows what the future holds. The path forward for every organization is fraught with myriad options and decisions to be made, each of which impacts its course–sometimes pushing it away from its purpose, sometimes nudging it back on target. It’s like a maze with two types of options; wrong ones and “…maybe this will work…” ones.

Of all the things I can tell you about business survival, I can’t tell you what’s right. I can tell you what works.

Do you want the successful organization you’ve built to survive? To thrive in good times and bad? If so, you better find your purpose and focus on achieving it.

I’d love to share some of the stories I’ve been a part of and talk about your company’s purpose. If that sounds good to you, email me at or call 916-798-0600 and we’ll set up a no fee, no commitment conversation.


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