My friend Karen Swim
, who is one of my favorite people on RB, recently wrote a blog post entitled Paying The Bills, Feeding The Soul
about humanity and connectivity in business, a topic which is of the utmost importance to me. I hope you'll all read it. My comment ended up being a post all unto itself, so I've pasted it here, with some additions.
(Comment to Karen)
That was deeper than whale turds... and so spot-on with my business philosophy. My mission, while not simply accomplished, is simple stated: I seek to infuse humanity back into business.
The corporate entities which man has created has become master. In our search for wealth and betterment, we've created The Matrix, so to speak. Corporations - which we hoped would serve us - are now controlling
us. They even have more rights now than human beings! In establishing and running these corporations, we need to re-prioritize. Communicate. CARE about one another. Bring integrity, morality and human connection back into power. In short, put people before profit.
Recently, I was tapped by a VC firm here in Chicago to find a CEO for their holding, a biotech startup in Washington state. This started will provide a quantum leap toward the cure for a certain type of cancer. Still, they are nearly bootstrapping in terms of funding. Yet, somehow they were all completely shocked when I showed them my cost estimates for my services. WHY?!?
This is a startup!
- they must control burn rate in order to stay afloat
- they must conserve funding for R&D
- if they succeed, I will have much more business from them down the road
- most importantly, they will help humanity
Knowing all these things, why would they be so shocked that I wouldn't charge full price, or even that I'd do it for half what the market charges?
It saddens me to think that such a thing would be so rare. It's not like I'm giving away the store here: I'll still make around $50k for this. With the right people on the team, and combined with their sacrifices, that other $50k will go a long way in ensuring this drug makes it to market. We're not putting monkeys on the moon here, people.
Here's one undeniable truth: we're all in this together... and nobody's getting out alive. It's high time we started acting like it, not just in church on Sunday, but in every hour of the day, ESPECIALLY in business, where our daily decisions have the potential to impact millions of lives down the road.
I refuse to do business with people who aren't like-minded. I don't care how little I make - I'm not about to feed the machine. I have found, after being severely jaded by what I was witnessing for over a decade(I even left the industry for a few years over it), then coming back and staying true to my internal compass over the past few years, that all refusing
bad business does is make more room to surround myself with truly good people and good client companies.... and together, we will succeed.
Now, you all might think I'm some kind of leftist hippie. I can assure you, I'm a bonafide fiscally-conservative independent from the republican side. However, I will NEVER accept that money is more important than people. We should not serve money or its interests; they were created to serve us and we should fight to keep priorities as they were intended to be.
I also refuse to do business with companies and people who are more interested in money than people. I actually lost a job because I worked in an office full of people who were racially profiling--hardcore--and make nasty racial comments. The company was in the home nursing business and there were clients who refused nurses of certain ethnicities and it shook every moral fiber I had to work there. If it were me I would lose the client before I lost a good nurse, no matter what she looked like! However, it wasn't my company and I took it to HR and battled with them for a month before we parted ways. It makes me sad to think about how many good nurses I interviewed that never got work because of their race.
Good for you and I hope you find that CEO, Christian!