Someone recently asked me if I make any money ! It was a strange question which left me searching for an answer. How does one make money, I wondered. If the question was about me getting paid to meet my expenses then I do get it and the response would be straightforward. But surely, that is not what money making is about.
People who make money, real money, do not make it from 9 to 5 jobs, they don’t make it from inherited wealth or even financial capital. Sure, they can make good returns from any of these and most people who are engaged with any of these will generally be happy beating inflation in the long run, if they are lucky. Nothing wrong with it at all
But real wealth creation in the world as we know it today has only been done with ideas – with thoughts and perseverance with these thoughts. The returns on ideas are the ones we see when we see Apple, Facebook or Tesla. Someone thought about designing a phone or writing software to connect people or dream for humans to get to Mars!
These are crazy ideas at the time they are conceived but people who pursue their ideas with passion and commitment seem to live on another planet (or wanting to live on one!). Do these people think up these ideas with an ROI in mind?
I really don’t think so. The next time you feel a strong urge to make money and to have real impact- go deep into whatever it is you do – find new ways of doing the same or something different. Just promise yourself one thing – that you will never follow what everyone else is doing, you will never try to copy anyone and you will focus on developing a process for yourself which makes you better at innovation.
This last bit is the key to finding real success. Never ever focus on results – only the process. That is the only thing that you control and while it may not get the right outcome every time you use it, it will give you the best chance of success if you keep using it and keep improving it over time. Einstein also said “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
If you wish to find the right mentors and advisors, follow and connect with people who will show you the process – not the outcomes. It is really as simple as that and it is a formula which works for both – individuals as well as organisations.
Most organisations which I come across In my professional life, are looking for quick wins, for some kind magic formulas to make money, to increase revenues, to optimise costs and to have many other performance enhancements. Very few of them actually understand that it is a matter of figuring out the right process, to develop capability and to persist with building a culture of innovation.