It’s Not About the Money. But it’s ALL about the Money.

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I want to thank everyone who got involved in last weeks discussion – I love that the Digital Marketer community is full of thinkers – of people who enjoy discussing and debating ideas.

One of the comments on that post really got me thinking – and got other people talking – and I felt like it was something that required an entire post to discuss.

“And I wait for the day that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t have profit as their number one value… that would be punk rock!”

It’s not about the Money …

I have been very blessed to have spent the last few years around people who have done very well for themselves financially. Millionaires, multi-millionaires.

And the funny thing is … none of them actually care about money. It seems to me it’s almost a pre-requisite for getting there – removing the emotional “stuff” you have around money.

When I talk to people who make anywhere beyond $500,000 a year, their values are not about money. Sure, they have a financial goal. But their values are around personal freedom, and often around family.

In my experience, the wealthy entrepreneur is the first to pull their wallet out – whether it’s to buy dinner, shout drinks or help others.

But it’s ALL about the Money …

Now, don’t get me wrong – money is important. It provides impartial third party feedback on how well you’re doing. And it should be treated as such. No more or less important than any other analytic on your dash.

Okay, maybe slightly more important than your Facebook ads CTR, but you see my point.

The money is nothing. And it’s also everything.

Entrepreneurs enjoy the thrill of the game – but money becomes simply a way to keep score. As in any sport – the numbers only indicate if you’re winning or losing. They show you where your offence or defense is lacking. The point of the game is to WIN – and the numbers let you know if you have won. But they’re just a way of keeping score, not the whole point.

Anyone who’s ever had what they always thought would be a big financial win – whether from a launch, a seminar, sale of a business, whatever – would be familiar with the feeling. That thing that you always thought would make you happy – those 6 figures in the bank account … they’re just a bunch of numbers on a screen.

That’s the moment for most of us, I think, when we realize money doesn’t really count for anything. It’s fluid, it’s energy. It comes and it goes. It has no inherent meaning. And at that moment what becomes important to us is what we create. It’s legacy. But it’s also winning the freaking game. Because God knows, we are nothing if not competitive …

Oh and on a side note re: Punk Rock …

I slaved my ass off at the age of 16 to buy albums by Bad Religion, Pennywise and the Sex Pistols. I don’t recall a single one of their albums or their gigs being free.

If you think Punk Rock doesn’t have a profit focus, go speak to Malcolm McLaren – arguably one of the best music marketing minds of the last 40 years.

There’s this thing you’ll find the longer you’re around the internet marketing “scene” – and that’s that you need to learn to decipher context rather than scribbling down the content.

Listen to what people say – but then look at what they’re actually doing. Because often the two are different.

Punk rockers might bitch about money and capitalism – but they’re hustling every day, working their butt’s off to get recording contracts, write songs, sell albums, fill clubs and sell merchandise. Working hard doing something you love and making a lot of money along the way? It might not be the content they sing about – but it’s the contextual SOUL of punk rock.

About Leela Cosgrove

Leela Cosgrove (AKA the Marketing Brat), is the founder of Strategic Anarchy and Australia’s top Identity Marketing Consultant. Tattooed roller derby queen, punk rocker and Internet Marketing Geek, she swears she’s not nearly as scary as she looks.
View all posts by Leela Cosgrove ➞


  • Chelyz Marx says:

    thanks for this awesome post Leela, you rock! i also enjoy reading Ramon Dees’ comment.. 😉

  • Ramon Dees says:

    Great article!! This is a point we need to be reminded of from time-to-time.

    I do believe money is one measure of our success. You and I have been called to use our gifts, talents, and passions to make a significant contribution in the world, and make a living in the process. Anyone who’s successful in doing so has discovered God’s purpose (as least in part) for their lives.

    As a born-again Christian, I’m a firm believer in the Biblical value of entrepreneurship. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 makes it very clear.

    We’ve all been given talents. Some more than others. What’s most important is… God expects us to take what we’ve been given and profit from it. What makes profit “godly” is two things.

    Motive and fruit.

    We should be motivated by service because of it’s inherent goodness. Jesus taught us, “let him who is greatest among you be servant of all”. (Matthew 23:11 & Luke 22:26). The lesson to be learned in eavesdropping on that conversation among the disciples is… our primary desire should be to serve.

    Secondly, Jesus also told us, a tree would be known by the fruit it bears. (Matthew 7:16; Luke 6:43)

    If we’re MOTIVATED to add value to the lives of those in our communities (wherever we work, play, eat, and live) by SERVING them with our greatest gifts… we OUGHT to profit in proportion to the value we add. Why? Because the laborer is worthy of his wages. (Luke 10:7)

    What we have to be careful of is… keeping first things first. Let’s guard our motive to serve, and examine the fruit of our service. One will tell on the other. Once we get it right, the money flows without a problem. Lack of cashflow tells us “something needs attention/fixing”.

    In the words of a great man, Roy T. Barrett, “Man may determine your paycheck, but God determines your income”. I believe that to be a true statement whether a person is a traditional employee, or self-employed entrepreneur.

    Blessings to everyone who reads this!

  • Leela says:

    Thanks Gbenga – I agree. It’s ALL about the freedom. That’s all any of us are looking for – money is just a way to get there.

  • Thor says:

    So true! I get up in the morning to change peoples lives, I happen to make 6 figures from it!

  • Gbenga says:

    This article hit the nail right on the head and I must tell you the Title Got my eyes to bulge out and I could wait to read through… I personally believe if you have the main drive for freedom, the money will surely come in to support that. most entrepreneurs started because they were simply tired of being bossed around or could not even stand having a boss because of their kind of person.

    for me freedom to do whatever I like at whenever i wanted was the drive to start a business for me but I knew it was the money in it that will afford me that kind of lifestyle..

    Lovely Post…..Looking forward to great post like this