If It Don't Make Dollars, It Don't Make Sense...Right?
"If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense"
"Cash rules everything around me"
Phrases popularized by our culture through music, media, and branding. We live in an interconnected world that circulates around the exchange of finances for goods and services, and much like gasoline keeps cars running, cash flow is the lifeblood of the world as we know it.
Want to get from point A to point B without owning a car or a bicycle? Pay an Uber for a Lyft. Need a roof over your head and you suck at carpentry? Contract a company to do it for you. Need some medicine and you don't know the first thing about the human body? Pay a doctor. When applied properly, money can be a great equalizer, allowing communities to sustain themselves via transaction.
But there are always multiple sides to every story.
Countless lives have been damaged, relationships ruined, and communities destroyed for want of currency. Be it homelessness, gentrification, or corporate greed, you don't have to look far to see the downsides to our current model. Those that play the money game and win are celebrated as the champions. The Warren Buffets, the Sean Carters, the Bill Gates, and even the Donald Trumps of the world are all considered by many to be heroes, because of their mastery of "the game". The rest of us are left to solve the puzzle in our daily attempts to climb the proverbial ladder. Take New York, for instance. The Big Apple is one of the biggest financial hubs in the world, surely the biggest in North America. Just walking the streets, you can feel the hustlers spirit. Everything from the billboards, to the fashion, to the cost of living compels you to "get it". So much so, that vitals like sleep take a backseat to the grind. "Sleep is for the rich"-and as such, it's not uncommon for people to work 3 jobs just to afford a matchbox-sized apartment that they never have time to relax in. Entire generations of children raised themselves because their parents spent most of their waking hours in pursuit of more.
Sounds kind of grim? Right? Well, yeah, a bit. But the most important detail that often goes ignored, is that it doesn't HAVE to be this way. All it takes is a shift in perspective.
Corporations nowadays are virtually REQUIRED to donate money to charity every year, and grants for social programs are always available. "Sharing economies" have spawned new ways of doing business, creating industries based upon borrowing instead of owning, AirBnb is a prime example.
Technological advancements like open source software, and app based economies have created a new wave of entrepreneurs. Broadband internet connection allows those with ideas to earn a living from anywhere with WiFi, simply by deciding to change the way they approach the hustle.
Social media has allowed us to connect with like-minded individuals the world over, and positivism and empathy are quickly becoming essential business practices. Social impact investment is currently slated to be the next business frontier, and organizations like TED and the Omidyar Network have positioned themselves to be at the forefront. Businesses like TravelNoire, The London Real, and Seed Spot have entire catalogs of pointers for aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as forums based locally and remotely for those looking to shake off their humdrum, 9-5's.
There is a very real, very attainable balance of passion, purpose, and profit. With the right planning, proper execution and a solid team, you'll be surprised at what can be achieved.
Omidyar Network: https://www.omidyar.com/
Travel Noire: http://travelnoire.com/
London Real: https://londonreal.tv/