There’s only one exceptionally good reason for you to work in any business, have any career, work in a volunteer organisation or serve your community in some capacity – and that’s not money. Money is merely a resource. Something to be used as a means to an end.

I can only remember one individual I’ve ever coached for anything in business who ended up saying money was his sole motivation. He was dead inside.

I was coaching him to be a better communicator for his business and employer, to help him reach more people and influence more people, build business and sales. But all it came down to for him, no matter how hard I pressed, was the Ferrari. He couldn’t even identify why he wanted the Ferrari. He simply wanted it.

Our relationship didn’t last very long, despite his business paying for a much larger contract in advance. He simply couldn’t “get” anything because of that deadness. He couldn’t listen. He couldn’t act. He couldn’t improve. Because he thought he had it all and everything should come to him.

Years later, I was approached by someone asking for his whole team to be coached on a strategic issue. They were a relatively recent startup who were going to make waves, but they recognised they needed help to keep achieving their goals. As I talked with this person, I realised – slowly – that this was the same guy I’d tried to work with years before. When we met again, he admitted to me that his career had hit rock bottom.

Although he had initially achieved a great measure of financial success, his life had started to come apart. He became angry and unfocused. He stopped selling, promoting and believing in his business’s products and services. He stopped achieving. His relationships broke. His health suffered. Everything just had a stopper put in it.

By the time he came to me, he was actually somewhat broken as a professional, but he had found these other colleagues who were fresh and unencumbered and had a great purpose in what they were setting out to do. He was able to come behind this purpose and start rebuilding his confidence.

But, as I advised him, like a recovering alcoholic returning to the world there were certain things he should just never touch again – at least, not for many years to come – because it would just suck him back down that hole. Going for the money grab was one of them. Thinking he was the absolute pinnacle of the profession was another.

Have a purpose far beyond making money or even a career. The purpose behind what you do will energise, enliven and enlighten you as you go on.

You should all have a specific purpose in what you do and there should be a purpose for your involvement with our Chamber.

For me, the purpose of the Chamber of Commerce and Community is helping individuals, businesses and community groups to use their skills, talents, creativity and energy to build a thriving economy that supports our community in the North-East of Perth through to the Swan Valley and Bullsbrook – our families, friends, children and others – creating a great place that we can all be proud of, now and well into the future. I hope you will all be behind that purpose.

Let’s achieve our Vision together.

Peter J. McLean, CEO

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