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How to Give Back AND Be Profitable in Business

You’re a nice person who wants to help people and you’re a business owner, who needs to make a living.  You’re a businessperson who needs to make a living and a nice person who wants to help people.  I just repeated myself!  Why?  Because I’ve learned, as a business coach, a lot of how well you do with your business depends on what comes first in that sequence.

Here’s the practical takeaway, and then I’ll elaborate.

If your business isn’t making enough money to support you, you aren’t gonna be able to help the clients who need you … at least not for long.

So, what are the practical implications of that reality?

You have to be targeting a niche market who not only want and need the service you’re offering, but are able to pay for it as well.

Their want or need is strong enough that they’re willing to pay you what you’re charging to provide them with the outcomes they’re looking for … and that’s enough to sustain you.

Pretty obvious, I get it.  But here’s where the nice person who wants to help enters the mix.

Some service providers, especially coaches, counselors, and wellness practitioners, are so motivated and eager to help that the need for the business to provide a living either takes a back seat or is overlooked altogether.

Take the example of a coach who wants to specialize in working with single, working … but low income … moms.

That coach is someone with a giving heart.  And yet, those single moms simply aren’t gonna have the wherewithal to pony up for a typical coach’s fee, no matter how much they need and want the help.

So, what does that coach do?  Do the work for almost nothing … or even for free?  Not a sustainable strategy, unless you’re independently wealthy.

Pick another target market that can afford a “normal” coaching fee?  Good idea. Great idea.

“But … but … but …” the nice person responds, “What about the single moms who don’t get the help?”

Well, there’s a way you can operate a viable business AND help at least some of the folks you want to help.

Make enough income from your work with the folks who can afford you to offer “scholarships” … where you charge a nominal fee … to a select few people in the group who can’t.

By the way, they do need to pay something or they won’t value the service.

Is it a perfect solution?  Maybe not, but life is all about tradeoffs.

The bottom line is you can’t sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of others over any length of time and still be there to help anybody at all.

Where’s the balance between your full-pay clients and your scholarship folks?  You decide.  And it isn’t locked in.  The balance can shift over time.

Just don’t slip into the mindset that you don’t deserve to do well as long as there are others in need.

Truth is, the only way most of us are even able to help others is if we do well financially.

So, set yourself up from the get-go to do well, and, if you’re already established, but not making what you need, look to shift the focus of your target market to those who can afford you.

In other words, borrowing some wisdom from 35,000 feet …

“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”

That’ll allow you to help the most people … while helping yourself.

And THAT’S what makes the world go ‘round.

Best Wishes,



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