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Is It Ok For Entrepreneurs To Make Lots of Money

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One of the concerns I hear from fellow business owners is about making money. While many entrepreneurs definitely want to build wealth, there’s many others who don’t feel so good about making lots of money from their customers.

Some business owners want to “help others” and/or “save the world” (as I do) and they feel bad about making money (I don’t).

One’s relationship with money is often solidified as a child.

Successful business owners find customers who value the solution they provide for them. If you identify customers who want to pay a premium for good service or a good product you want be in a raise to the bottom, as Seth Godin says so often.

For sure there are market dynamics that will affect pricing. My caution to entrepreneurs is to not sell “cheap” don’t be the business owner selling products as cheap as you can. Read Seth Godin’s blog posts about pricing.

The best way to make a difference in the world is to build a successful business. This should be VERY profitable and generate wealth for YOU and your employees. Take that money and go help others.

Ramon Ray

Dr. Gena Gorlin writes about the money concerns startups have and she’s given permission to share it here.

“Is it Bad if I Want to Make a Lot of Money?”

Many tech founders wonder if it’s wrong to aspire to wealth. This question surprises me. Wealth creation, when it’s genuine and not fraudulent, should be a valid and healthy goal. Wealth can fund a fully-lived life, yet many founders feel guilty about wanting it. This guilt often stems from societal stigmas against wealth.

Founders and Wealth Creation

The potential for making a lot of money is unique to founders. It’s the reward for rapid growth, market capture, and dealing with venture capitalists. If you want autonomy, you can be a contractor. For social impact, start a nonprofit. To innovate in tech without the startup stress, be the head of product or engineering. If you want to build a company culture, start a lifestyle business.

Startups are about rapid scaling, which is closely linked to money. It’s normal for a startup founder to care about money.

The Benefits of Wealth

Having money is a huge advantage. It’s liquid economic influence. With more money, you can embark on ambitious projects, fuel companies, advocate politically, and support art and research. Why wouldn’t a builder want lots of money? Money helps build your life across many dimensions. Ambitious builders should be excited about making lots of money.

Yet, many founders don’t openly admit that financial motivation drives them. They often focus on “mission” and “impact,” as if these could be separated from financial returns. This stigma affects how they approach wealth and their startups.

Political and Ideological Stigma

A bar plot by David Rozado shows that OpenAI’s content moderation filter flags negative statements about wealthy people more frequently. This indicates a cultural bias against the wealthy. Many founders feel guilty about their financial ambitions, affecting their approach to creating value. They either downplay their ambitions or engage in unscrupulous practices.

The Builder’s Mindset on Money

Money should be viewed as a tool to build the life you want. It’s a medium of exchange that enables and improves human life. People with money can influence the economy and shape the world beneficially. Founding a company isn’t just about money but about the company’s activities and purpose. Money is essential but not the primary aim.

Founders should recognize that money is vital, even if it’s not the main goal. It’s like how nutrients are essential for a meal, but the meal is about more than just nutrients. For example, a seasoned founder didn’t label his company as “mission-driven” despite solving significant problems. His end goal was wealth creation, driven by both passion and the desire for generational wealth.

The Importance of Wealth Creation

Wealth creation is essential. It allows founders to pursue ambitious projects and create real value. Many founders prioritize virtue signaling over generating measurable economic impact. As Casey Rosengren says, “To do meaningful work in the world, you have to care about margin as much as you care about mission.”

“Is it Bad if I Don’t Want to Make a Lot of Money?”

Some people feel they should want to make a lot of money, even if they don’t. Status or fear often drives this belief. Instead, consider the life you want to build and the resources needed. Deciding how much money you need is personal. It depends on your goals, circumstances, and what makes you happy.

If you enjoy working on pursuits that don’t pay well, like writing or service projects, that’s fine if it brings you joy and sustainability. Think about the tradeoffs and make active choices that align with your life goals.

The Costs of Getting Rich

Making a lot of money often involves sales and management. Founders should consider how much time they’re willing to invest in these activities. Some technical founders find themselves miserable in leadership roles. They may eventually move to more specialized positions.

The key is to understand the personal costs and decide if the tradeoffs are worth it. Only you can determine if the path you choose aligns with the life you want to build.

Conclusion

Founders should have a healthy relationship with money. Wealth creation is not inherently bad. It enables building and achieving ambitious goals. Recognize the value of money, consider personal costs, and integrate these factors into your life-building project.

Relate articles:

How To Create Lasting Generational Wealth from Your Business(Opens in a new browser tab)

Why Selling Your Business Is a Good Thing – Understanding the Benefits(Opens in a new browser tab)

5 Ways To Take Your Startup from Vision to Reality(Opens in a new browser tab)

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