Apr 27, 2021
Brian chats with Ron Saharyan, co-founder and managing partner of Profit First Professionals, an exclusive community of accounts, bookkeepers, and business coaches who help their clients build profitable businesses. Ron discusses the merits of using an envelope-based budget system for business. He also preaches the strengths of running a profitable business and breaking the entrepreneurial doctrine of sacrifice in the process.
Mission-driven businesses solve problems.
Mission-driven businesses look to solve or eliminate societal problems and inconsistencies, Ron said in the episode. All the business decisions then fall in line with that mission moving forward.
But Ron also emphasized that running a mission-driven company is not incompatible with making a profit. In fact, he argued that having a profitable company is the best way to ensure a mission stays strong through difficulties.
“If you don’t have the proper foundation and charitable contributions go, you can’t succeed on that mission,” Ron said.
Sometimes finding your calling takes time.
While some people know their life’s mission early on, it took Ron years to find his calling. He was initially only focused on making money and chose a career as a suit-wearing, profit-making New York City businessman.
When Ron chose to step away from that lifestyle and become the co-founder of Profit First Professionals, he had a huge adjustment. And even after leaving the suit-and-tie world, he still hadn’t found his calling.
That changed when he attended a keynote speech by Oprah at a Quickbooks conference. Ron said he felt like Oprah was talking just to him.
“I had an epiphany where it really hit me that, ‘Oh my gosh. This is it. This is my calling,’” Ron said. “I am on this mission to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.’”
You don’t have to live in poverty to be an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial narrative is often one of sacrifice -- living in poverty as a sacrifice at the altar of creating a successful business. But Ron said that narrative is a lie. That’s why the mission of Profit First Professionals is to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.
“We started off by breaking the doctrine of sacrifice,” Ron said. “There’s a lot of BS out there, and that’s all it is.”
As part of the Profit First Professionals mindset, Ron advocates for ensuring the entrepreneur’s needs can be taken care of by implementing an envelope-based budgeting system for businesses. By using this model, an entrepreneur is encouraged to use sales to meet their needs first, then adjust the remaining expenses of a business accordingly.
“It’s not profit that is bad. It’s the dirtbags with a lot of money that do bad things that are bad,” Ron said. “With profit, you can really do more good than without it.”
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About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.