Profit doesn’t have to be a dirty word
2015-07-01 15:38:30 -

Shalini Sinha: The Accidental Businesswoman


I have a romantic view of an entrepreneur: someone who is inspired, imaginative and has the ability to re-create the world. However, an entrepreneur is still in business, and the aim of business is to generate profit. That leads me to a big question: is profit a dirty word?


The first three decades of my life saw my focus and actions dominated by the concept of ‘non-profit’. I saw non-profit as meaning benevolent: saving lives, doing ‘good’ and fighting injustice. By implication, I saw ‘profit’ as hurtful and synonymous with greed and causing injustice.


Non-profit initiatives become credible, and ultimately trustworthy, because they proclaim, or imply, that no one is making any money. By implication, ‘making money’ is deceitful. We get the message that an initiative designed to make money – or profit – aims only to line someone’s pockets and is morally wrong.


We’re overwhelmed with examples of systems and people who accumulate wealth and behave in greedy and fearful ways. They hoard, squander and act as though material comfort is a pursuit which defines success. In the process, they have caused great hurt – to themselves and others. 


These behaviours instil a confusion that the problem is the wealth. However, the problem is not wealth. It is lack of wisdom. Without wisdom, we can believe attracting wealth is itself our life’s purpose. Like when we were kids and we thought: “When I grow up, I want to be rich...” Our model is the aspiration of sitting on piles of wealth, expecting this will make us feel valuable, and deluding ourselves into believing that material comforts produce happiness.


For those who have suffered the other end of that hurt – the great pain of not having enough – we become equally confused. We stop knowing our own value, and shun wealth as the problem. “I don’t need wealth to feel valuable” is noble enough, but when your mind-set repels it as a rule, the fact is that we may not feel value at all, so don’t realise it’s natural to attract wealth.


We all know that humans not having enough causes pain, but is there actually a problem with attracting excess? This is where wisdom is required.


Nature is full of excess and waste, just as it is full of abundance in all its glory. Nature always provides more than we need. ‘Enough’ is simply a measure of what’s required to sustain our selves, but nature doesn’t do ‘enough’; there is always a surplus.


We are beings of value, and wealth is naturally attracted to those who know their value. It will not be ‘enough’ wealth. It will be an abundance of wealth. If we deny our value – if we avoid and repel wealth – we deny our own magnificence in the world.


The trick is not to get deluded, not to believe that material wealth defines us. Not to stop the flow of that value by hoarding and holding on to it. Rather, harmony comes when we both attract it and let it go. The secret is to attract, nourish ourselves, then pass it on.


A few years ago I was invited to practice the Bowen technique in the ‘Healing Field’ of the Glastonbury Festival in England. I looked up the website to learn more, and found this in a statement of objectives by the festival’s founder, Michael Eavis: “In addition to all of this, the company actively pursues the objective of making a profit. And in so doing is able not only to make improvements to the site, but also to distribute large amounts of money to Greenpeace, Oxfam, Water Aid and other humanitarian causes which enhance the fabric of our society.”


Imagine that you planned to attract abundance – more than you needed, surplus, a profit – by providing a genuine service in your business. Imagine that after accepting what was needed to sustain you, you actively pursued a plan to pass on the abundance in ways that would make a big difference. Imagine that you chose a path of wisdom, to free yourself of delusion, fear and comfort, and came to know your inherent value. In this way, you will actively bring a spirituality to how you do business.



Shalini Sinha is a writer, speaker and business coach with a strong interest in equality and natural health. Connect with Shalini on Facebook and Twitter at ShaliniBizCoach or email shalini. sinha@

TAGS : Entrepreneur Profit Glastonbury Festival
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