Money: Relevance vs Reverence

You have to be careful about how you look at money especially when you’re in business.

Of course in any business, money is always relevant. You have to generate money in order to successfully operate any company, but the trick is not to revere money. Do not allow yourself to become completely focused on trying to attain wealth.

Here’s an example:

We began selling autographed baseballs at Steiner Sports back in the 90s and it didn’t take very long for us to realize we had a product very much in demand for our customers. We had found a good niche, so, of course, we would try to capitalize on it as much as possible.

We discussed some obvious options: charging more per ball, athletes signing more balls for the same fees, cheaper shipping methods; all of the logical ideas you’d come up with in that situation.

After reviewing all of the options, we realized none of them would have a significant financial impact.

We began to think more about the balls, and the people who bought them. We did some customer role playing: “I just bought this great Derek Jeter-signed ball; now what do I need?”

Then it hit us. Cases! We were selling all these valuable balls that would be treasured by our customers for years to come, and the customers who purchased them had nothing to put them in.

So we invested in glass cases and began selling those. That decision did positively affect our bottom line.

It’s like I say in my book: “If you want more business, don’t pay attention to the money. Pay attention to the thing that makes the money.”

When we were thinking about the margins we made on each ball - revering money itself - we were perplexed. But as soon as we shifted our focus to hone in on our customers, and the product itself, we were golden. And that was the approach that led to the money.

Money will always be relevant to the equation, but it should never be the heart of it.

What about you? Are you revering the almighty dollar? Or, are you revering the parts of your business that lead to the almighty dollar?


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