Is the Purpose of Your Business Selfish?
This week we want to think about the idea of whether or not a small business is a selfish thing, especially when you’re running the small business for you to just make money from it.
Anthony went through a phase where he was looking to make his supplement companies purely automated in order to generate cash flow. After hitting milestone after milestone, he quickly realized that there was very little satisfaction in just getting bigger numbers of sales each month and having a larger bank account. After awhile, it was essentially meaningless.
He switched gears and realized that he could make his businesses into something beyond just a way to generate profits. He could employ other people in a great work environment, he could use his revenue to positively affect the healthcare industry or develop a new product or testing method to improve human health (like cheaper, more efficient ways to do certain blood tests).
Thinking about your business like this can be hard because usually, if left unchecked, it all boils down to the thought of, ‘I want to make as much money as possible to be super rich’. It’s so easy to fall into that trap.
Solving big problems and making a positive impact on people’s lives and the world around us is a purpose that will have longer lasting impact. And one positive side effect of doing something bigger that helps more people is that it actually leads to greater revenue than just trying to make money for the sake of making money.
GET AFTER IT!
Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back to the Health Fit Business podcast. This is episode number 30. Just a quick reminder, if you do not already have a Daily Domination Journal make sure to pick one up at the healthfit.biz/journal to systematically change your life in 28 days. This episode, episode number 30, Anthony and I share our thoughts on “Is your business selfish? Is your small business, is the purpose selfish? What is your focus with your business? Is it to enrich yourself or is it to grow it to enrich others through your own growth and through basically building a place for other people to have an income, to impact others, et cetera, et cetera?” So, Anthony really shares in this episode some of his own internal struggles with running several of his supplement companies and how the vision and the purpose had to change rather than having this to be an automated money making machine for him. How to make it to a larger business where he can employ other people and enrich their lives. So, without further ado let’s tune in to episode number 30.
Anthony: Are we live?!
Ryan: We are live Dr. Anthony Gustin!
Anthony: We are live on Dr. Debell story! Hello!
Ryan: And on the Health Fit Biz
Anthony: Oh! Yeah. Hi! Welcome to another episode.
Ryan: Are we like?
Anthony: Is this how you record?
Ryan: What are we talking about in this episode?
Anthony: You got me distracted with the story thing. Anyway, what we’re talking about is something that I think people will think is pretty backwards when we first talked about it but I think and I think that you guys too that small businesses are essentially very selfish.
Anthony: Yeah. It’s selfish to have a small business.
Anthony: I think a lot of business here probably aspire to have one or do you have one and try to make it better. This is the way to think about things as far as like who are you benefiting? Who are you benefiting? Is it small business set up small so you can profit or is it set up small because you are not thinking big enough? What is the size of your business and why aren’t you growing it? Because if you are really doing it for the intent of helping other people, I think that you should grow it to be larger and have more impact.
Ryan:Now, why is that? Is that because someone who owns a clinic can then see more people or is there you know are there benefits beyond that?
Anthony: What benefits are you referring to doctor?
Ryan: Well, I am thinking of you can gainfully employ many people.
Anthony: Yeah. That’s great.
Ryan: Because you grow business, you can employ others. You can provide them with a stable
job to help you know support their family versus if you set up a small business where like it’s just you who is trying to make as much money as possible like the space I am making.
Ryan: And you are making as much money as possible and all you are thinking about is Like for what?
Anthony: I have no… I have no idea.
Ryan: So you can have a larger number in the bank account? That should not be the sole focus. Like obviously, you have to be profitable to stay focused on the business. Like, I mean. I was thinking about this when I was working out yesterday Anthony. I was thinking if you boil down business. Is it not providing value for somebody at a cost that is lower than the revenue?
Anthony: Yeah. Duh!
Ryan: Right? Duh!
Anthony: Yeah, duh!
Ryan: Trying to say it in a way that sounds profound…. It’s providing value… Oh my gosh! Doctor! That was so….
Anthony: You went to the business school, aren’t you?
Ryan: You must have gone into the business school! He must have gone to the the Foster School of Business. Incredible! Anyways, the point being like… The point of businesses is obviously to stay in business and be profitable but if that if the sole focus is “How can I make more money? How can I cut the margins? How can I make more money for myself?” You have so much more potential of doing good in the world than just making money for yourself so you can buy a Range Rover.
Anthony: Yeah. We are not saying… We are not saying that making money is a bad thing. It’s actually very very necessary but because if you don’t have it, you can’t hire people, you can’t grow, you can scale, you can’t do really interesting things. But if you are optimized only for…
Anthony: Making money for yourself, there’s a bunch of problems. One, you are going to be chasing a moving target. So, let us say your goal with your clinic or your gym “Oh! I want to grow $50,000 a month.” And you hit that. Okay. “I want to grow $60,000 a month!” Okay. Well, when you hit that. What’s next?
Ryan: It’s all about the Benjamins!
Anthony: That’s just a made up thing. And so, instead of thinking about that which I think is a selfish thing because you are thinking about how you are extracting value for people. I mean you are going to coy that backwards to “Oh! I think I provided this much value.” Instead of
thinking about that, thing about how can you accomplish new and different things?
Ryan: So yeah.
Anthony: I mean, we’ll talk some real talk right now.
Ryan: Do you want to talk real talk?
Anthony: Yeah. Couple of different businesses and last year, in 2015, well over a million-dollar mark in to millions and people are probably going to be shocked when I say how much I pay myself which is $2400 a month.
Ryan: So, you had revenue of over a million dollars.
Anthony: In to the… Yeah! Definitely into a good an amount past million.
Anthony: That’s all I can say.
Ryan: And you paid yourself $2400.
Anthony: $2400. I did not take any draws. I did not take any bonuses.
Ryan: So that all stayed in the business essentially beside from what you needed to live a relatively comfortable life
Ryan: And go eat good food. That’s not like… You are not doing the Elon Musk thing that we’re talking about earlier. Not on podcast but trying to exist also off $1 food per day seemingly possible.
Anthony: Yeah. And so, when I was growing these companies in the beginning I was kind of thinking how it’d be nice to have this freedom of making this money so I can do whatever I want to do and blah, blah, blah…However, when I got to a certain point, I realized the that end game is not satisfying and it’s kind of really uncomfortable thing. Like I said, when you hit a goal and you go to another one, there is no accomplishment.
Ryan: I’ve noticed that transition in you.
Anthony: Yeah! And so, I don’t care at all about numbers or revenues in the sense of making money. I care about “Will this allow me to do really cool things. And so, can I hire more people to do this? Can I explain this is a retail project I’m doing in San Francisco?” If I didn’t have revenue, obviously I would not be able to do that. But my goal is not to make this for myself. My goal is to make this for to do really really interesting things that I think should exist.
Ryan: And I think that, is the transition that probably ever made in the last 8 months I’ve noticed in you. Because I remember, you used to have this conflict internally of like you know “Oh! Should I really make this really big so I can sell it and then get a large sum? Or can I make this like, make this auto-recurring revenue for myself?” If I remember that, it was kind of more of what you’re talking about and now, you’re talking like “I want to hire someone full-time and pay them like above the market salary. I want to have these people employed. Like I want to do this and this.” It has turned so much less in like you know how much money can I make with this and it completely transformed to “How many people can I help with this?” Whether that’s the end consumer or people that you are able to employ.
Anthony: Right. And so, I think you are caught in the number’s game for yourself.
Ryan: It’s easy to get caught into that though because that’s like the world that we are brought up in like we talked about over Poke today
Anthony: Right. And so, I mean, again I think the mentality should be not necessarily “I don’t
need to make money” but “How is revenue allow me to do different things?”
Ryan: Yeah. I think if you’re not trying to make profit, you’re doing it wrong.
Anthony: Right. You needed obviously to work in a capitalism-based society and be able to do
things within that. But I think the end goal should be not be measuring how much money you make. It should be measuring how many people you can have an impact on. So again, I always go back to why we started this podcast. The whole 10 or 10,000 type of thing. What are you truly doing as far as impact? What change are you trying to make? Right? I think more money allows you to make more change but if you are just doing it for, like I said, to buy a Range Rover or whatever, that is an insane. It’s an insane thing to me.
Ryan: What? Buying a Range Rover?
Anthony: I guess, just extrapolating money or extracting money.
Ryan: Range Rovers are, I mean, they are cool.
Anthony: I think I have cool Mazda for the next fifteen years.
Ryan: It’s a nice Mazda.
Anthony: I think I’ll ride it all for a while.
Ryan: Can I tell another Elon Musk story?
Anthony: Oh please! I love this! I need them!
Ryan: Do you know what the story is that I’m going to talk about?
Anthony: I hope it’s good though.
Ryan: You know what it is! I told you earlier. People probably, I think we Poke every
Anthony: We kind of do when we are together.
Ryan: Yeah. We’re going to have Poke tomorrow?
Anthony: We’ll go to different places.
Ryan: How many wants permission to do that? I’m just saying we Poke every day. So, the story of Elon Musk. I was watching his interviews, well several interviews while sitting in the airport.
Anthony: So, you’re killing time now?
Anthony: So, you killed time watching Elon Musk interviews?
Ryan: How do you kill time?
Anthony: By listening to those podcasts?
Ryan: What? First of all, why would I want to kill time? I’ve never understood that when people like “Oh! It’s good you know, time killer. It’s a good like past time.” I’ve got stuff to do. I don’t want to kill time.
Anthony: One more time.
Ryan: The only thing I’m killing… Yeah! Exactly!
Anthony: I want to birth time.
Ryan: The only past time I have, I guess, is watching like West World.
Anthony: Well, you’ll get an intimate value out of that. That’s recharge time.
Ryan: Yeah. If I want to kill time, I go, “Rawr! I’m going to kill time!” Why don’t you do something that… What are we talking about? You are either doing something productive or you are doing something that allows you to relax and rejuvenate.
Anthony: Recharge those batteries babies!
Ryan: Yeah! You got to recharge that thing.
Anthony: So you are recharging your Elon Musk…
Ryan: Speaking of batteries. Elon Musk, obviously!
Anthony: Oh! Great segway!
Ryan: Ooohh… Is that in the script? Do we script this?
Anthony: Amazing! Anyway, continue.
Ryan: So, he was doing a press conference in New York. You know, all these reporters, financial reporters are asking him like you know “Do you think that these other car manufacturers are not making ecological vehicles. Do you see that this is being a threat to Tesla?” and his answer was “Well, we need more electric cars on the road. So…” And they were like “But if they are going to make… If other companies are going to make a lot of cars, that’s going to eat into your sales.” And he was like “I think humankind needs more electric cars on the road. So, if they make more electric cars, I think that’s good. So, I’m not really sure, I understand. Like if they make them I’m happy. That makes me happy that they make them.” So, I think that is a totally different mindset like in a certain level where it’s like… It is not about how much money Elon Musk make for Tesla. How can he use that company to do something good for the humanity? And I think that we should kind of think similarly about that like…
Anthony: Yeah. A good example of this kind of last year’s Paleo Effect. I was going around and meeting other companies because they are starting to be similar kind of whole food based. The stuffs of my company are more natural stuff.
Ryan: Yeah! We did this in the games, I remember.
Anthony: Yeah. So, there’s a certain…. You can really tell from the first five minutes of the conversation when somebody, especially the business owner, if they are this kind of scarcity-selfish minded person or if they are super like awesome- just care about growing his base. So, I go around, meet these people, have a conversation with these guys “Oh! Yeah! It’s super awesome. Where are your products?” We are looking sampling stuff, back and forth. “Oh! How do you do shipping? How do you do for fermented?” kind of like helping each other out. Because in our minds, if we could just grow the domain for people who want whole food products, the customers have better options. It becomes easier for us to make products. The whole pie grows. Everybody wins. Just like Elon when he has more electric cars on the road.
Ryan: That is winning to him.
Anthony: However, then I go to another table. Company doing kind of similar thing there. The first thing they say is “Oh yeah! We did 4 million dollars in sales last year when we don’t have neither employees. It’s just us and we’re not going to hire anyone. How much are you doing?” Isn’t it weird competitive like “I don’t want to grow because all these revenue is for me” type of thing. “How much money are you taking home?” Like…
Ryan: What is that? Why are you doing that? How long can that last?
Anthony: Yeah! It is bizarre! And I was like “Okay! See you later.” Like you were saying, you’re going to have two different things. It is either you have a business that is focused on yourself and growing your own pie or you can have a business that is focused on asking impact and growing that pie.
Ryan: Isn’t kind of selfish to like not to help other people grow a business that’s trying to achieve a similar thing? So, here’s an example. I’ll get like text sometimes from people “Oh! Did you see so and so made a video? It was similar to your video?”
Anthony: Good! You are probably reaching more people.
Ryan: And I’ll go… I’ll say… Maybe I’ll just respond, “Oh I didn’t see that” but in my head, my goal is I think it’s a fundamental human right for people to know how to move well and live pain-free. So, if someone makes a video that helps other people know how to move their body and be pain-free, like good! That’s good! Why would I be mad about that? That’s similar to something like “I’m the only person in the world allowed to talk about how to take care of your hips or shoulders or something.” But I hope other people are doing that and I think that’s good because that aligns with what I want. So, if someone else is doing it I applaud that person.
Anthony: And so, this goes back to an exercise we were doing at the beginning of the Daily Domination Journal. I just pulled up mine and my sketch book I did when I was in Europe over the holidays. My purpose is to help other people figure out their health and independence by increasing their knowledge and encouraging them to think for themselves and learn. So, helping other people minimize suffering and increase their health, if that’s my purpose and that’s really what drives me. Helping another company have reach that’s kind of similar to mine very clear that I, I will be very happy to help them because it fits into my purpose. Does knowing your purpose could be having a Range Rover? Right? If that’s your purpose, that could be your goal. Fine! I don’t care if anyone wants one. But if it’s like your life’s purpose.
Ryan: “Oh! Finally, my life is complete I have a Range Rover!”
Anthony: Yeah! And then what?
Ryan: The you got to go Lambo…
Anthony: I’m never going to like… My purpose is like… I’m never going to accomplished everybody in the word having perfect health. That is something that will not fade, I will never accomplish. That means I will continuously drive me and so I’m very happy to help anybody else on this space. Some guy emailed me the other day, “Hey! I’m going to be a direct competitor of you. I understand if you don’t want to. I’m launching this all natural pre-workout thing in the CrossFit space so I understand if you don’t. I know you’re busy. If you don’t want to talk to me that’s completely fine.” I said, “When works for you, let’s chat.” Why do I care? I want many people getting reach for this stuff as much as possible.
Anthony: That helps my purpose.
Ryan: Easy. Good! Great! So, you know don’t be so small minded to think that your success depends on other people failing.
Anthony: Is that another shirt?
Ryan: Your success doesn’t depend on someone else’s failure.
Anthony: Sure! Sure! Yeah. That’s true.
Ryan: You can even think about this on a larger stage. Look at something like, you know, if one car company succeeding meant that every other car company failed, why are there multiple car companies in the world?
Ryan: You know. What? Why are you laughing like that?
Anthony: I am just trying to vocalize my thought process by going hhmmm…
Ryan: Oh! Thank you for that! Or how about this? If Talking Rain and LaCroix. Is that how you say this?
Ryan: LaCroix. Like they are very similar.
Anthony: Three tubs of Perfect Keto, two…
Ryan: No. Four tubs of Perfect Keto.
Anthony: Four tubs, two bags of greens, two Daily Domination journal, seven pens and five empty cans of LaCroix in front of us right now and two open sketchbooks.
Ryan: And a Perfect Keto postcard that was printed without permission.
Anthony: Anyway, that’s our podcast for today but… Then the COW for this week could be, if you have a DDJ, go back and look at your purpose and think “Does my business action and goals reflect my purpose?”
Ryan: And maybe reevaluate, what do you really trying to accomplish?
Ryan: And then reevaluate are you only really benefiting yourself and to benefit yourself, you must do something like trick somebody?
Ryan: Trick somebody. If that’s all you’re thinking about “How does that benefit me? How can I make more money? How can I do this?” I think it’s yeah. Go look at purpose, reevaluate yourself, and get after it!
Anthony: Get after it!
Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.