Don’t Build Something to Make Money. Build Something to Change Lives.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my short tenure on this Earth, it’s that when your goals are primarily monetary, you’re destined to fail. Today there are a lot of people trying to blaze their own trail and begin a new life as an entrepreneur. However, their strategy seems more hellbent on how to make money instead of how their product ultimately impacts people’s lives. This isn’t how innovation happens. This isn’t how sustainable models are created. This is how businesses flame out and die.

You can spot a business with no moral compass from a mile away. They don’t care about their users or their products. All they care about are the numbers at the end of the day. Did we make money or didn’t we? These companies don’t have the staying power that other companies do. Look at Apple and Microsoft, for instance. Both companies single-handedly revolutionized their respective markets of the tech world. Microsoft changed the face of modern computing with its Windows platform, and Apple has redefined the entire market of mobile computing with its iPad lineup. While I’m sure Gates and Jobs both had one eye on the bottom line, both of them ultimately gave a damn about the products that they were producing, and the lives they would affect as a result. If you take a look at the companies now, both of whom are missing their original leaders, they seem to have both drifted toward a more number driven agenda.

Personally, I’m not a business owner. However, I do take ownership of every product that I ship as a part of lynda.com, and I can honestly say that I’m driven not by the compensation that I receive for the work, but by the satisfaction that comes from someone having watched and learned something from the videos that I produce. I think that type of passion is instilled within most of the authors at lynda.com and that comes through in our teaching. That is what gives us staying power and ultimately determines our level of success.

No matter what your business or chosen profession, don’t strive to make money. Strive to change a life. You may think that an impossible task, but really it’s not. All you have to do is care enough to make it happen.

Justin Seeley is a graphic designer, author, and online content creator. His work can be seen on platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, Lynda.com, CreativeLIVE, and Pluralsight. Justin loves helping both individuals and businesses reach their professional goals through education, creative services, and social content strategy.

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