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Compromise

Everyone wants to make more money. That’s the key to business. Why start a business if you don’t have dreams of making money?


I remembered one of my friends mentioned that when I was in the second year of my MBA. The point of business is to make money. Plain and simple. Why else would you be here?


I have that song from the Apprentice in my head as I write these words out. Money money money! MONEY!


Business is quite an experience. Everyone has their own rules on how to run an appropriate business. And over time, those rules can change.


Of course, there is the need for money (to make a profit). But there’s also the need for more market share. The need for more employees. The need for greater revenue. The need for internal health of the business.


The need for safer cash flow. The need to hit benchmarks. The need for personal development. The need for relationships.


So, profits are not the one thing that rules them all. It’s not as simple as the game of basketball, where everyone agrees that in order to win, one team must score a higher number of points than the other team (I still love basketball though).


But most games are not like that in life. It’s not as cut and dry as basketball, as baseball, as football, or even as chess. Not everyone agrees to the same rules of play and there is no specifically defined winner nor loser.


Everyone is kind of playing by their own rules. Using their own style. Their own beliefs. And their own ideals on how to conduct business the “right” way.


So the game of business is not set in stone. But that’s what makes the concept of compromise so important. Compromise allows us to come up with an integrated solution to our perceived differences.


If both parties wanted to simply maximize their profits, then business would lead to a chaotic dog-eat-dog zero-sum game. And many people still view business as that type of direct competition.


But if both parties want different things, then that’s where the beauty of business lies.

It’s okay if someone makes more profit than I do. At least, I have market share. It’s okay if someone’s revenues are larger than mine. At least, I developed the connections and recognition for the future.


Business is kind of like a snapshot of life. It’s so fluid and moving, and there’s no one right way to do things.


So is the purpose of business really just to make money - like some of my friends during my MBA tenure believed it to be?


It’s just that business sometimes can’t be learned through textbooks. We need to go out there and experience it for ourselves. And everyone is measuring success by a different standard.


Just like in life, in business everyone wants different things. Different ideals of success. It’s hard to say that the purpose of business is to make a profit.


That’s kind of too simple of a way to think about it. Business is more than that (although I have to admit the allure of a huge profit can be very attractive).


It’s about making deals. And the only way to make a successful deal is if people want different things. Otherwise, it just goes back to the primitive dog-eat-dog, zero-sum game where there’s one winner and one loser.


Life doesn’t have to happen like that. There can be two “winners” if we compromise and are aware of our standards of success. It doesn’t have to be an “I win - you lose” scenario.


If that were the case, nobody comes out of that type of business deal feeling good. It’s more like a prize fight where the winner of the fight comes out still covered in bandages and bruises.


So, human individuality can be seen as a gift of compromise. Everyone is so different. With their cultures, backgrounds, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and so on. Their own wants and desires.


But thru difference comes the opportunity to build a world of inclusion. A world where there is no defined loser (nor winner). Where people can find a way to come together because of their differing viewpoints and flourish on a mutual level.


The winner of this is not significant. The loser of that is not significant. Everyone simply thrives in their diversity.

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