There’s a strange problem with stock exchange investing – the primary, and often only, motive is to make money. But we all know that the best businesses, those that flourish, survive the bad times, and outperform the rest in the good times, are businesses that have a real sense of purpose; that resonate with their customers and community.
When Steve Jobs started Apple, it wasn’t to seek corporate profits and become a billionaire. No, he wanted to change the world. The profits and riches were a by-product of his zeal and passion for getting it right.
Elon Musk was rich already when he founded SpaceX and Tesla – and they almost bankrupted him. But his determination to conquer space and reinvent the auto industry obliged him to risk it all. Now he’s reaping the rewards, and he’s not done yet.
If you’re a financial business or investment house, managing funds to provide a return to shareholders, what’s the underlying purpose of your business, other than to make money? Is it to provide for widows and orphans, uplift those who came from humble beginnings, and provide capital to the next Google or Amazon?
In the 2020s it’s increasingly obvious that cryptocurrency frenzies and investment schemes, designed it seems, to make the rich super rich, just don’t have the social value and visionary qualities of an Apple or a Tesla.
And without that personal buy-in from your customers, from your staff, suppliers and partners, investors and stakeholders, from everyone who wants to see your business flourish and thrive – it’s just business.
And just business doesn’t cut it anymore – it’s got to be personal.