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The Good Life: The two different types of business people
July 25, 2013 Lisa Betz   

Read more by Lisa Betz
Being in business for myself has been an interesting experience. Iíve started successful non-profits and been part of arts organizations for most of my adult life; however, the for-profit industry is a whole different ballgame.

It occurred to me over the weekend that I have observed two different types of people in business. Coming from the arts world, I do things in my business very differently than others I have observed with regard to the newspaper and my goals for it.

For-profit business is just that, for profit. The goal is to make a product that generates money and the more the better. This model has existed as long as mankind and greed has existed. People want more, bigger and better, particularly for themselves.

But for me, as an artist with a background in the non-profit sector, there is a lot less focus on making more, more, and more money and a lot more on a creative and inspiring job well done.

Of course, we all enjoy profitability, and the Citizen certainly is that, yet my measurement of success is not solely in dollars and cents.

So what is my measurement for a successful Gering Citizen? Itís a good question, and a fair one to ask since I brought it up.

Non-profit organizations exist for the purpose of doing good in their community. Some exist to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and do any number of service projects that help to alleviate suffering. But other non-profits are formed for the sake of creating art and beauty. Through the medium of any art form, the non-profit serves its community by telling stories, evoking feelings and touching hearts, minds and souls. A non-profit measures its success by how well it is able to reach others through its chosen medium of art.

These two very different models are interesting if one goes deeper into the mission of each.

One of my writers once said that the goal of the editorial staff was to make money for the publishers. That remark stuck in my craw because Nina and I are not of that ilk and that idea has no alignment with our mission here. There is nothing wrong with making money, of course. Itís the theme of America isnít it? Letís all work hard and get rich?

But Iíve never been a mainstream person. I have always been content with what I had and found my joy in the act of creating art and beauty. And so, I have identified two different types of people in business.

One is the type who works hard to win, to be the top dog and recognized as such with crowds of admirers, all the while of course, making money. The measurement of success for them is money and influence, and their personal possessions are the outward expression of that success.

The other type of person in business is one who runs their business for the sheer pleasure of doing something well and providing a product that is meaningful to others. This is how we do it here at the Citizen.

Each week, the paper is intended to be a work of art. Whether or not we achieve this each week would be determined by our readers, but also by our own inner feeling of a job well done. I do not measure my success against my competitors. When the Citizen comes back from the printer each week, I pick up our newspaper and sit down with it. I try to see it with the fresh eyes of one of our readers, reading the articles, looking at the images and most of the time; I feel the satisfaction of a job well done.

We arenít trying to win any race or win any war. People sometimes like to refer to business as war, but thatís not how we do it here. Weíre working every day to give a gift of love to our readers, through the medium of storytelling, news reporting, photography.

As with any art form, sometimes youíre on and sometimes off. Perhaps itís no coincidence that almost everyone who works at the Citizen has a background in the arts and that could be what makes us different.

We put this paper together each week for you in hopes that you will enjoy your time with us, be inspired, have your heart touched, fall in love with our community.

Thereís no right or wrong way of course, but my measure of success is whether we are all able to feel pride in our work each week, take home a paycheck and walk in dignity with the satisfaction of a job well done.

In this approach, there is no outside competition because the only measurement of success is how well you serve your readers and the feeling in your heart that you did something good today.
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