Profit is Not a Dirty Word – But Broke Is

| April 20, 2012

I consider myself a very spiritual person. I pray in the morning when I rise and before I shut my eyes for the night. But all day long, I’m talking to the Lord, asking for guidance and signs that I’m following His will. And believe it or not, most of the times, it’s about my business and His will for it.

I also believe that He does not want us to be deliberately poor. This isn’t going to be a sermon, but it might come close.

Some people are against the teachings of prosperity and financial abundance in the church. I respectfully disagree. I agree that money isn’t the focal point and shouldn’t be used to rule or lead the heart and soul. But God didn’t intend for us to always live in lack. I just refuse to believe that. Prosperity scriptures tell us that we can live wealthy, prosperous and live in abundance as long as we live by His word. It’s not enough to believe this, but you have to have faith and trust in Him, as well as use the tools, or as Steve Harvey recently said, the gifts, he’s given you to carry out what you’re called to do, so you can live in abundance.

MATTHEW 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink: or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

So then why is it so hard for us to apply these principles to our own businesses?

I’ve seen countless small business owners paralyzed by the market, fearful of the economy and stymied by the perception they think clients will have of them if they raise their prices to what they deserve. I’ve heard excuses from well the market is tight so no one is paying that to if I raise my prices I’ll lose customers to I just don’t know how much to charge. People are leaving money on the table out of fear. We can’t have that.

If you were raised old school, you probably had someone tell you that money isn’t everything or that it’s the root of all evil. I disagree. The lack of money is evil. And before someone comes in and says Jesus was poor, also remember Jesus didn’t need money. If you went to your landlord or mortgage holder and told them you don’t need money and you can’t pay, you’ll be put out on the street. If you walked into WalMart to get groceries and went to the cashier and told her you didn’t need money so you would just be taking these few items, security would haul your butt off so fast. We all need money to survive. We just should make it our master.

Businesses, even non-profits and churches, have to make money in order to survive. The lights have to stay on, the water needs to flow and vendors need to be paid. And you, as an expert (designer, creator, maker, or whatever you want to consider yourself) need to produce revenue. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to survive and thrive, your business has to turn a profit. It’s not enough to break even. You have to turn a profit.

Now I want the work at home moms and small at home businesses to really hear me. It may be tempting to say as long as my bills are paid and I have a little money in the bank, I can get by. But that is self-defeating talk that will keep you living below your worth. If you’re content with getting by, then you need to go back and get a 9-5 (or 8-4 or 7-3 or whatever shift you’d work).  You’re in business to make a difference, but also to make money. If you’re looking to build a legacy to hand down to your kids, it’s vitally important that you ensure the business is profitable. I don’t know about you, but I’m building a future empire here, and I work hard to do it. I’m worth every penny I charge, and in some cases, more. I’m a capitalist in every sense of the word. A business has to be profitable to thrive.

Don’t be afraid to set your prices based on your (or your products’) worth. If you don’t know what your worth is, take a moment and calculate all of the time, money and energy you’ve put into learning your craft. Think about all the hours you give and what they’re worth. Set a financial goal, a targeted annual revenue, then figure out what you need to do to hit that target. Then commit to doing what it takes and pricing your services and products that will allow you to get the best prices without having to kill yourself to make the numbers. Running a business isn’t about working 90 hours a week to break even. It’s about perfecting your services and products, and delivering excellence that people aren’t afraid to pay for.

It’s OK to give away some stuff for free, and to offer discounts. But it should be at your discretion, not someone else’s direction. And remember, free don’t produce fees™. Don’t let outside factors influence how you set your prices. Don’t compete with other businesses on price alone. You should be focusing on value. And if a potential client complains about your prices, then guess what? They weren’t meant to be your client in the first place. Set your prices with profitability in mind, not just getting by.

If you don’t have the stomach just yet to set or raise your prices, perhaps you should attend my upcoming course: Profit Isn’t A Dirty Word- Creating Pricing Strategies for Your Business on May 1, 2012 at 12PM EST. Attend this livecast event and walk away with a better understanding of and the confidence to set your prices to make PROFITS.

Who’s ready to make money?

Til next time,

Adrienne Graham
I’m worth every dollar!

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Adrienne Graham

Adrienne Graham is the Founder & CEO of Empower Me! Corporation (www.empowerme.org), a Growth Strategies consultancy with brand extensions in media, publishing and small business & entrepreneurial education. She provide Strategic Business Growth consulting services to small business owners with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively run, grow and position their business for success. She helps clients get paid more by giving away less for free, allowing them to be more profitable and NOT be a broke brand. She is the host Views From the Top Radio Show the publisher of Empower Me! Magazine, and the creator Empower Me Institute, Empower Me! Radio, Empowered for Growth TV & Next Level Business Strategies. Her writing and shows focus on Career Management, Networking Strategies, Entrepreneurial Success and Small Business Management.

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Category: Career & Money

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  1. Thank you for sharing my article. I’m glad you enjoyed it and found value in it.

    Adrienne Graham
    Empower Me! Corporation

    • AG Magazine AG Magazine says:

      Thank you for writing it! You are an inspiration and I love reading and sharing your work.