A question I receive often from many small business leaders is this: Which is the MOST important when it comes to growing and leading a small business, people or profit? The reality of this question is you cannot have one without the other.

A small business does not operate without people, period. People play the part of representing your company, your brand, and your promise. People interface with clients, vendors and the community you serve. A company is nothing more than people serving people. Through this service and interaction, participants leave a mark on each other’s stories and paths. People invest themselves and pour into your company, your clients and the community, which will in turn produce profit.

Profit is the lifeblood of a company; a fuel that propels your company forward. Profit creates runway for your business vehicle to travel down. Run out of runway and your vehicle crashes. Profit must be retained and guarded with ultimate concern, as this profit pours into your bank account as well as the bank accounts of the people who ultimately helped produce it.

So, which of the two is the MOST important? Which of the two do you ultimately pour into and invest in growing?

People, hands down.

I spent the first decade of my entrepreneurial journey focusing on and ultimately placing the most importance in profit, and as a result, I was very profitable. I climbed a mountain of financial success very quickly, achieving the goal of becoming a millionaire before the age of 30.

However, the celebration was not so sweet. When I arrived to the top of my million-dollar mountain, I realized I did not elevate, inspire or lead the people who helped me get to the top. I did not focus on people like I should have because I did not know how; I was never given a blueprint. At this point, I had two options. Keep climbing, alone or come back down the mountain, and face my people. It would have been much easier to keep climbing along the path I knew, but something inside of me knew this was not the right thing to do.

When I came back down the mountain, I committed to getting a PHD in people. Before doing so, I had to face the fact that some of the people who had helped me were gone. They were no longer there, nor willing to come back. Some bridges were burned.

Moving forward, I learned everything I could about leadership, team building, and understanding humans and what makes them operate at their core. I invested in and poured into people with every resource I had both personally and professionally, and I am so glad I did! Today, I see a bigger mountain and a bigger climb ahead. I have bigger dreams, aspirations, and goals to accomplish.

There is now one thing very different about my dreams, goals, and aspirations. They are not MINE, they are OURS. We are now climbing. We are now trekking. We are now pursuing OUR dreams, OUR goals, and OUR aspirations together.

If you focus on the people the profit will come. If you focus on the profit, the people will run.

Want to know a secret? I stopped setting goals and New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Have you ever set a goal for yourself and not accomplished it? I have.  Have you ever justified and rationalized why it was okay that you did not meet your goal? I have. Why does this happen, and more importantly, who do you really let down when this happens?

The truth is, as humans we are okay letting ourselves down but we will not let others down.  We make excuses that personal failure is okay, but we will not fail others.  We justify that achieving 80% of our goal is better than 70%, even though it was not 100%. What about when somebody is counting on you, is this still okay?

Instead of setting goals for yourself, create and make promises, commitments and outcomes for others. Instead of losing 20 lbs for yourself, commit to your spouse and children that losing 20lbs keeps you healthier for them. Instead of setting a goal to double your income for yourself, commit to your family that twice as much money creates a better financial family tree and legacy for them.

Start off 2018 by making a commitment to your spouse, children, team members, the families that you and your company support, the young person you mentor, your grandparents, or parents; who ever this is for you, tell them what you are doing in 2018 and then go do it.  You will not let them down.

What do you commit to and who will you commit to in 2018?

Hola soy Mateo Shoup, o en íngles Matt Shoup. Soy un padre, esposo, hombre familiar, emprendedor, autor, presentador, coach empresarial, aficionado de España, y un cinturón marron de jiu jitsu. Este serie de videos es completamente gratis, y estuvó creado para empresarios. En estos videos de coaching empresarial gratis, respondo a las preguntas más preguntadas de los clientes que sirvo. Me los respondo con ánimo, inspiración y consejos practicales que puedes llevar a tu empresa hoy. Siempre lo hago con menos pelo, más calvo y bien cafeinado todos los días.

I am a keynote speaker for small business and speak on the topic of marketing and how to market to grow your business. Most entrepreneurs have been taught wrong when it comes to marketing. Business is as simple as humans serving humans. Understand humans, understand business. In this free small business coaching session of 3 minutes with Matt, I share why it is important to market your mistakes. I shared my painted baby story. You have one too. What is it? Capture, craft, and communicate it. Doing so will build real trust with your clients, team and community.