"The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business" is a simple story about a guy who finally followed the call of entrepreneurship and turned that skill into a business owner's dream (selling a multi-million business). He also experienced a business owner's nightmares (business failure) as well and using both experiences of success and failure to provide lessons on how to conquer the ups and downs of business.
Ed “Skip” McLaughlin felt pretty good about his job, but could see the proverbial “writing on the wall”. He became a partner but at the expense of his salary. He had already watched his business devolve from a growing environment into one where you had to watch your back.
Then, one day, he saw a spreadsheet with his name on it.
That spreadsheet was a list of people who would be part of the company’s “downsizing”.
When he saw that spreadsheet, McLaughlin took the first steps to own his own business.
He ended up with two and an incredible story he shares in The Purpose is Profit.
What is The Purpose is Profit About?
McLaughlin shares the purpose of his book early on. He wanted to share his personal journey into entrepreneurship from the inside out. That journey tells the two stories of two businesses, both in real estate, United Systems Integrators (USI) and Sigma Communications Incorporated.
Only one business survived (USI) and survived to become a powerful multi-million dollar business.
The key theme that McLauhlin learned from that journey is the power of capitalizing “distinctive competence.” Distinctive competence is your “special sauce”, your unique set of skills and knowledge that can be leveraged into something more powerful. Ed tapped into the power while working with Trammel Crow Company and single-handedly closing one of the firm’s largest real estate deals. He saw that he had a knack for building a real estate network in completely new areas from scratch. What if, he thought, I helped businesses build and manage their real estate using what I know?
That “what if?” question followed McLaughlin for a long while. It followed him as he progressed at Trammel Crow Company. It followed him as he watched his wife develop her own independent dental practice. McLaughlin calls this the “what if?” question, the “pull” to entrepreneurship.
Then, he saw that spreadsheet with his name on it, the spreadsheet of employees that would be no longer needed. From that point on, he experienced the “push” to entrepreneurship that capitalized on his distinctive competence of building a network from scratch into a profitable business that grew into something incredibly larger.
Besides authoring The Purpose of Profit, McLaughlin is the founder of four businesses. One of those four businesses, USI, grew to become a multi-million business sold to a Fortune 500 company within a few years of its launch. His current business is Blue Sunset, LLC., a real estate investing and consulting company.
Co-author Wyn Lydecker is the founder of Upstart Business Planning. Lydecker is an author, consultant, and business owner with an MBA degree in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics from the University of California.
What Was Best About The Purpose is Profit?
The greatest part of the The Purpose is Profit is the unique internal perspective McLaughlin offers on entrepreneurship. The book offers a view on the developing mindset of an entrepreneur as it progresses through hesitation to mastery.
Beyond that, The Purpose is Profit offers a unique perspective on the post-sale life of a business. As shared in the book, the author built and then sold his business to Johnson Controls. Unlike most books which stop at this point, The Purpose is Profit goes further.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
The Purpose is Profit does an incredible job of providing a unique perspective on entrepreneurship, but that focused perspective predictably leaves out other perspectives. So the focus seems to be on experienced professionals like McLaughlin looking to branch out into an area that they have a distinctive advantage in.
In other words, this book won’t help you discover your distinctive competence. It will show you how the author maneuvered his business using his personal competence. To the book’s credit, the authors recognize this and attempt to provide advice for a broad group of entrepreneurs.
Why Read The Purpose is Profit?
The Purpose is Profit is an incredible book for entrepreneurs who want a more comprehensive story about business from a personal viewpoint.The book delves further into what it feels like to take a business idea from start to selling your company. McLaughlin takes readers on his journey in a storytelling fashion, dropping off tidbits of professional wisdom and advice along the way.
If you are seeking a real-life business story with substance and advice, this is a book that will inspire, inform, and connect with your inner entrepreneur.