As entrepreneurs working on a startup, shouldn’t we keep trying to make as much money as we can?
That’s the question posed to Seth Godin, founder of Squidoo and best selling author of ten books, including Tribes. Here’s an edited transcript of his response.
I don’t know anybody who says, “I want to make a big business so I can make money.”
I’m pretty sure there are people like that, but in my experience, the people who make big businesses and make money, are passionate about something. They’re trying to change something for the better. They’re trying to make an impact on a marketplace, or on individuals, or on users, or on a community.
And that is where business success comes from.
So the guys who started 1-800-GOT-JUNK didn’t say, “we can start anything we want, what should we start?” What they saw was an opportunity in the marketplace and they became evangelical about it. They became passionate about it.
They understood that they could empower people to start local businesses and make money from it.Â That they could make people’s lives more efficient.
And by becoming passionate about their cause, then they could find people who were willing to talk about it. They could create a message that spreads.
And so if you say, “there’s a marketplace out there, how do I make money from it?”Â well I’m not surprised at all that you can’t get people to follow you. But if, on the other hand, your goal is to help people–even if it’s to help them make money–there’s a message there to spread.
And it is heretical, because the status quo message is, “Go to work. Do your job. Go home. Die.”