The word profitable is a funny thing. Most of us initially think of it in terms of a financial return on investment.
But to me, the word profitable means worthwhile; sustainable. And that may or may not include a financial ROI.
Merriam Webster defines it as, “yielding advantageous returns or results.”
Oxford Dictionary has a definition that includes, “beneficial; useful.” They also have a financial definition, “(of a business or activity) yielding profit or financial gain.”
The thing to keep in mind is that profitable is not always remunerative.
For some, a profitable outcome of your engagement may be a happier staff, more organized way of doing things, or an easier life in general.
Those activities need to be worthwhile. They need to benefit the company more than the opportunity costs.
For others, it’s about measurable financial ROI. Either way, it needs to be a profitable situation.
Business leaders make this calculation in their heads constantly. Everything is a trade-off of either time or other limited resources with the goal of creating the most profitable outcomes for their business.
Which brings me to my point…
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you want your work to be sustainable, it needs to be profitable for you and your clients.
Your free content needs to yield a greater return on your recipient’s time than not consuming it. Otherwise, people won’t consume it for long.
Your services need to yield a greater return on time, energy, and financial investment—otherwise, your business is operating at a net negative in terms of mutual profitability.
If the work you’re doing isn’t profitable for both parties, it’s not sustainable.
And if it’s not sustainable, it’s only a matter of time before it ends
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