After being in business for over 5 years and creating numerous websites, I’ve realized that the most rewarding (and successful) businesses I’ve created are those that serve a community of people in dire need of information.
Coincidentally, these websites are the ones that have made me rich.
But not rich in the way that you’re thinking.
What Being “Rich” Actually Means
The dictionary defines rich in many different ways, but let’s look at those for a moment;
1) Having a lot of money and possessions.
2) Very expensive and beautiful, impressive, etc.
3) Having or supplying a large amount of something that is wanted or needed.
So, which of these definitions do you think I’m talking about?
If you answered the third option, then you’re correct.
Sure, my cause-based businesses are making me six figures a year, but for me, money isn’t really my main objective. In fact, I have a strong belief that while money is nice, what will really get you out of bed in the morning is having a passion for what you do and knowing that you’re truly helping people.
That’s what my websites are able to do.
Every single week I get somewhere between 5 to 10 emails of people either thanking me for creating one of my websites and that’s much more rewarding than a paycheck.
For me, my business is all about being “rich” in knowledge and helping people that truly need it.
How I’m Becoming Rich
This business that I’ve created was never about making thousands of dollars per month. Even though I’ve been able to do that, it was more of a pleasant surprise.
But this is probably where I should also mention that almost everything on many of my websites is free.
There are a few different products that I encourage people to purchase for which I am an affiliate of, but these have their best interest at heart. I also make money from ad revenue, but people don’t seem to mind that I have ads because I’ve provided a lot of free (and helpful) information.
Because of this, I feel that I’m becoming rich in goodwill and karma.
There really is nothing better than knowing that your websites are actually changing the world to a better place and although my website visitors may seem like a small segment of the population to many, the fact that I regularly get praise from thankful website visitors makes me feel incredibly fulfilled.
Why Cause-Based Businesses Grow So Well
Since creating my most recent website focused on helping people navigate the prison system, I’ve seen meteoric growth and while it’s been happening, I’ve been trying to understand why. Most businesses don’t have a lot of growth and take years to reach the level of visits that my website has and upon reflection, there are three reasons why I think things have gone so well.
1) People are very willing to share the content that I create. I think that this is mainly because they understand that I’m providing a service to people and not charging any money for it. This is one of the biggest perks of having a cause-based business. People are willing to spread the word because they know that it helps others.
An example of a resource I created on one of my other websites is our list of companies that hire felons. This list has been shared many times on social media and consistently drives traffic to my website, but the best thing is the fact that I have done very little to get people to see it. This happens organically as the list is shared from person to person.
2) With a cause-based business, you tend to work harder than you would on other businesses.
What do I mean by this? In the past I’ve created a lot of different websites, most of them have not done so well but some have done really well. So, why is that?
The reason is because with businesses that are cause based, whenever I felt a little lazy or didn’t want to put work into it, I remember that there are a lot of people who really need this resource and are struggling to find help. Because of this, I feel that the website is bigger than myself and it gave me more purpose and motivation to get it done.
3) There are passionate communities of people that want your resource to be shared even more.
This is an awesome part of a cause-based business. You can find groups of people who are already focused on the cause and ask them if they are willing to share your resource. While this may not always go so well in a for-profit business that sells a particular product, it goes incredibly well when you have a cause-based business focused on helping people.
I personally feel that every entrepreneur should try to make their business cause-based. While this isn’t always easy to do, we’ve seen companies like TOMS Shoes sell a product and make the mission of the company more about helping a community and less about revenue.