What is the purpose of your business?

By Brian Reese

Hint:  It shouldn’t be to maximize shareholder value…

This LinkedIn post is the big “WHY.”  Now my fifth company since 2009, why the heck would I start another one?  Well…the easy answer is, why not?  After all, the best time to start a company is NEVER and ALWAYS.

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The more detailed answer is that this is the first time in my life that I’ve had the network to create an event that could launch and scale in a short period of time, reach hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, and impact the world in a big way.

And it’s also neatly aligned with my greatest strengths as an entrepreneur, connector, and visionary.  Simply put, theStrategic Philanthropy Global Summit is potentially world-changing, and the concept is being adopted by an entirely new generation of business leaders around the globe.

“Today, business leaders are not only trying to address community and global problems earlier in their lives; they are also questioning the traditional divide between commerce and philanthropy.”

World Changing Ideas

Over time, I’ve adopted a “founders mentality,” which means that my eyes and ears are always open to the possibility of backing a world-changing idea.  And, of course, the chance that this idea would present itself to me, and I would be the one to plant it, and help it grow.  If you’re a “wantrapreneur” or “entrepreneur,” you know exactly what I mean.

And so a few months ago, in December, I met a bestselling author and serial entrepreneur named Tom Matzen at a conference in Las Vegas.  His entrepreneurial spirit, willingness to help me, and all around “world-changer” type attitude drew me in from the very first conversation.

After a series of emails (in which I didn’t think he’d respond), we met for breakfast in Austin, TX, about 45 minutes from my home in San Antonio, TX.  We cheered mimosas, shared entrepreneurial war-stories, and began to collaborate on an entirely new level.  I was hooked.

It didn’t take me long to realize this guy was the real-deal.  He’d started 53 other companies, and has made and lost millions many times over.  I was grateful to be in his presence.  But, I wasn’t satisfied with cocktails and stories.  I wanted to take action.  So my partner, John Ramstead, and I, jumped at the opportunity to form a Joint Venture with Tom and his company.

The Counter-Intuitive Strategy for 21st Century Entrepreneurs

Similar to the Harvard Business Review concept of a “blending” between philanthropy and commerce, we’re proponents of something we call “Strategic Philanthropy.”  It’s the idea that business is about much more than making a profit.

If you’re not doing good in the world, then you shouldn’t be in business.  Business is about doing good in the world ANDturning a profit.  By operating this way, you will actually make more money…and we have the data to back it up.  Profit is the result of doing business on purpose, not the other way around.

Still a little confused?  Watch this video from strategist and Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter.

The basic premise goes like this: “Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems?  Although Porter admits he’s biased as a business school professor, he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water.  Why?  Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit, which lets that solution grow.”

As Tom shared with me his vision for what it means to embrace Strategic Philanthropy, it hit me like a ton of bricks—just like the article in HBR and Porter’s TED talk, an entirely new generation of business leaders, just like you and me, are embarking upon a global revolution.

Purpose!

And not for fame or fortune, but for something bigger…something that will change the way we live and work.  The “get-real” part of this is that business is the only entity that operates at a profit.  Thus, it’s the only way that society’s biggest problems are solved in a meaningful way, and at scale, because at a profit, the impact is shared and multiplied.  Government organizations and non-profits cannot have nearly the impact that business can.  Google the numbers and you’ll see what I mean.  Business creates wealth, which can be used to amplify impact.

So now I’m going to ask you to embrace this new norm in business.  Get real about being a social entrepreneur.  Get real about Strategic Philanthropy.  Get real about making a difference in the world.  If you do, you’ll do a ton of good and you’ll actually make more money, too.

If any of this connected with you, please join us April 5-9, 2016 at the Strategic Philanthropy Global Summit.  All online.  100% free to register and login.  And if you decide to upgrade, ALL of the money raised will go to Unbridled Acts and Kiva Microloans, two incredible non-profits.

20 world-changing entrepreneurs and business leaders will explain how to create the life and business you’ve been dreaming while doing a ton of good in the world by utilizing Strategic Philanthropy.  But there’s only one way to get access.  You must take action.  ACTION leads to CLARITY.  See you soon!  Get FREE access here.

 

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Brian Reese is a Co-Founder of the Strategic Philanthropy Global Summit and Gen Y Ignite.  He has been coaching entrepreneurs and business owners, speaking to large audiences, and consulting since 2007.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multifunctional teams in challenging international environments.  He has founded and scaled five successful companies ranging from tech startups to consulting firms.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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