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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why are so many entrepreneurs embarrassed to want to make money?

I don't get it.

Many people who attend Chennai Open Coffee Club want to start on an idea or a business. But when it comes to figuring out how to make money, so many people get embarrassed and say "I dont want to run a business to make money, I just want to [insert noble cause here]", where noble cause may be something like "help the poor", "assist the farmers", "improve the quality of education" etc. Or they say that they want to become a "social entrepreneur", whatever that means.

Why are we so conscious about wanting to make money? Why do so few people say, "there is huge problem X, users with problem X are willing to spend money, and we want to solve that problem X and collect all these pots of money". Somehow a lot of people feel insecure about phrasing things like this. It makes them feel like unethical money grabbers.

Listen, there is nothing unethical about it. You aren't getting money for free. You are getting it for solving problem X.

And even if you have some noble scheme in mind, remember that without money coming in, you'll soon close down, and your noble scheme will die with it. And if you are thinking "I'll start an NGO" then remember that the same economics are in play for NGOs as well: End of donations equals end of vision. Which is why many NGOs actually spend more time and money on fundraising than their actual activities.

So, don't be embarrassed about making money. Search for an idea that will make you rich. Then work back from there.