Money: A Means or an End in Itself?
At the presentation I made two weeks ago to Tec students, the candidness with which a student asked me if an entrepreneur’s motivation should be money really caught my attention.
It’s interesting to see how many people think that money is an entrepreneur’s main motivation, when it actually is not and cannot be. Money is totally secondary; to a certain point, it is only like the scoreboard in a game. On the other hand, it is obvious that a business that doesn’t make money cannot stay open. In business, money is like the blood that flows through your veins; obviously, if the blood dries up, the body dies.
However, the body does not only exist to pump blood through its veins; it lives, dreams, and creates. That’s what business is like; it exists to serve the customer, to execute visions, to make what your vision a reality; and money is only a single ingredient that can help a business live and grow.
When we analyze a business opportunity, we do it with the intention of making a dream come true. For example, Banco Azteca has the vision of taking progress to families at the bottom of the pyramid by offering simple access to economical world-class financial products. Our vision at Azteca is to inform and entertain Latin American families: to speak to them with the truth, but with hope. In addition, these two companies are also good businesses, and that makes it possible for us to reinvest and continue growing, providing more goods and services and creating jobs throughout the entire continent.
There comes a time when money in and of itself cannot give you any more personal satisfaction: you’re not going to eat another plate of food because you could die of obesity; you can’t take extra vacation because you’re busy; you’re not going to buy another pair of shoes because you don’t have room to store them. Accumulating things cannot be your aim in life; as the saying goes, “You think you control things, but actually, things control you.”
Money is simply a means, never an end in itself. A person who seeks money as an end in itself will end up very unhappy. On the other hand, a person who earnestly seeks making his or her vision a reality will be amply rewarded.