Profit with a Purpose / by Brock Manheim

In my view, there are two distinct ways one might go about running and growing a business, or on a personal level, a career. One of those ways is relatively shortsighted, driven solely by profit and financial success with very little focus on the external effects of that success. The mindset is essentially, "as long as I'm making money, I couldn't care less about how my process of doing so is affecting others" -- positively or negatively. Naturally, those who think and act this way are most often unconsciously pursuing this path, seemingly oblivious to the potential positive impact their personal economic success can have. They're not necessarily bad people or wrong in their thinking; just thinkers with an unfortunate case of myopia. The other way is exciting, it's refreshing and it's with a view focused on the long haul. It's about achieving financial success, but doing so in an ethical way, with an utmost motivation to make a difference, to help others and to do one's part in making the world a better place. This is what I like to call "Profit With a Purpose".

At the early stages of building Magna, I could have decided to do what many others have done -- keep the infrastructure as small as reasonably possible and position our investments to make as much money as possible; rinse and repeat. How boring? How uninspiring? How much of a wasted opportunity would that have been? Instead, I chose to build. Of course, doing well on our investments has been the fuel that has allowed us to build the firm over the years, but from day one, I was committed to building something special; something that was bold and powerful and that could eventually effect serious positive change. I was determined to Profit With a Purpose. Without a doubt, the determination to build and create things comes with an increased level of risk. But those who have been at this critical juncture before understand that this underlying risk only fuels you, and those who believe in the greater vision within your organization to work harder and smarter, ultimately yielding exponentially greater levels of success and fulfillment.

Today, I look back to the past and forward to the future with so much excitement about what we're building at Magna; how we're using our success not to pat ourselves on the back, but to reinvest heavily in our own company, in our communities through philanthropic endeavors and in exciting investment opportunities, partnering with some of the most exciting people I've ever met. I encourage everybody to take just a moment of time and think about who they really want to become. Commit yourself to success but also commit yourself to a purpose, to a mission; to something bigger than yourself that inspires you every day of your life. That greater purpose fuels the fire of my existence and once you find it, will certainly fuel the fire for yours as well.