Should you focus on money or service to others?

Which priority makes you more successful in the real world?

Dan Kennedy believes the right mindset is to see yourself in the “money-getting business”. Not the jewellery business, not the book publishing business, but in the money-getting business. I’ve come to trust the man when he speaks of success…

On the MFCEO podcast, however, Gerard Adams and Andy talk about how your efforts crumble if you’re only in it for the money, that a much more powerful priority is impact, growth, and serving others.

So which is it? Does prioritising profit make you a greedy douchebag, or a pragmating business-person on your way to greatness?

The trick is this: Both money and service to others can be prioritised at the same time.

How? Because they don’t really overlap. They’re very different things.

It’s like being asked to choose between your brain or your heart. Which is more important? You need both! And the health of one strengthens the other. Same thing with money and service.

The Money Game

Imagine LeBron James wasn’t into basketball because of the love of the game, the joy of winning, or the raw challenge of peak performance.

Imagine if he was in it because he really liked putting balls through hoops.

He was at home as a kid, dropping a little ball through a bent loop of wire over and over for hours. One day, when he was older, he learned he could do that for a living! He was overjoyed!

Of course not.

In sports, it’s obvious. Of course athletes care more about actually scoring than about the thing-you-do-to-score.

In business, though, it’s not so clear.

Why is it difference? – Because you can’t take goals to the bank. You cannot buy a dinner for two with 60 “balls gone through hoops”. Therefore, this “mixup” is never an issue for sportspeople. But it comes up all the time in business, precisely because the point scoring system of the game of business - money - is so valuable in its own right.

Obsess Over Profits, AND Impact

LeBron is obsessed with getting as good as he can at putting balls through hoops because it is the scoring system of the game he’s chosen to master. He prioritises that at the same time as he prioritises all the “right” things, like love of the game, of winning, and of achieving excellence.

If you have chosen to master the game of business, then your scoring system is profit. End of.

You can play a great game with good form, and get talked about in the commentary box (by building a great culture, making interesting things, etc etc), but the actual scoreboard is in your business’s books.

The truth is, being utterly focused on making as much money as you can will support your commitment to making an impact and creating value through business. Just as LeBron’s focus on scoring goals supports his commitment to basketball.

Train yourself in the skills of money-getting.

Be obsessed with honing those skills, like LeBron is obsessed with his, because this is the game you’ve chosen.