There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rich. Lots of entrepreneurs have that goal, and it’s a perfectly suitable goal. But greed is another story. And “greedy” is one of the 7 words an entrepreneur should never use. Not because the word itself is so awful, but the connotation and meaning behind it are bad news.
Dictionary.com’s defition of greedy is as follows: “excessively or inordinately desirous of wealth, profit, etc.; avaricious: the greedy owners of the company.”
The greedy owners of the company… You don’t want to be that person.
The greedy entrepreneur too quickly loses sight of what’s important when creating a business. Providing value. Ensuring employees are well treated. Happiness. And although it’s hard to believe, particularly when you’re not rich, people keep telling me, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
There’s a line in the corporate sand between, “making a lot of money” and “being greedy.” Where is that line? It’s around the point when you start to sacrifice yourself, your family, your friends and your employees for a dollar. It’s around the point when you start to throw away your morals and ethics for a dollar. When you lose sight of everything but making a buck, I think you’re in trouble.
Greedy people can be successful. But that success will often come at a steep price, one that entrepreneurs don’t have to pay. Wanting to be rich is totally fine. Being greedy is another story. “Greedy” doesn’t belong in the entrepreneur’s lexicon. Aside from the bad karma, greed is bound to get you into trouble.
And there’s more to being an entrepreneur than wealth. Consider the contacts you should be making, the networking, the other opportunities, the personal brand you can develop… Don’t be greedy. Don’t even say “greedy.” Be smart. Be honest. Be successful.
Deborah Brown re-inspired me to continue this series on the 7 Words You Should Never Say as an Entrepreneur by writing, The Worst Word in the English Language. It’s a great (or bad, depending on how you look at it!) addition to the list.