These days I am working with an IT specialist from Hamburg on the completion of my website, in which this blog is imbedded. He helped me with the programming and adaptation and also found the new, fresh and intuitive design that I will present to you in a few days.
As an entrepreneur, it goes without saying that I also reward the expertise and service that my businesspartner provides for it: he spends valuable working time on it, he has invested time and money in training that enables him to familiarize others with their problems to help and to generate added value for their products. For me, it goes without saying that this added value will be rewarded appropriately for its actual value (there are empirical values for market prices, that is the competence that both negotiating partners bring in). I had already considered the remuneration for this service as an expense in my operating and start-up costs. So far so good.
We also had no conflicts of interest when it came to the price negotiations - if we had had different opinions, we would have had to negotiate. My experience with many service providers in my professional career and, to a certain extent, my cleverness, i.e. my focus on the most advantageous result, would have been an important instrument of power for me. I could have exploited my power as an experienced buyer. But nope…. We came to an agreement pretty quickly, because we've known each other for quite a while, and so we have confidence in the other that we won't rubbish each other. It was also a really good price that we had agreed on - Pff, you might think, that's too easy! Lets go on we can do it better!
Now comes the real highlight, it only became apparent yesterday: My acquaintance, the IT specialist, is a freshly graduated university graduate and is enjoying a scholarship as a developer in a startup company. Thus, according to the official statutes of this scholarship, he may not account for any further income. Our project had long since started - before we knew about the scholarship and the associated conditions. He works on my project in his spare time, so to speak. You might think great, what a bargain! A new website for nothing! The force is on my side!
But somehow there remains a stale aftertaste…. Well, that's too cheap for me, and my acquaintance doesn't really feel that his entrepreneurial value is being honored. And so my friend suggested that I use the originally agreed price for a donation. 50% of that goes to a non-profit organization that I choose, and 50% of the donation goes to an non-for-profit project my friend is committed to. We both bring a resource (he his expertise and his time and I my money from my fund of start-up expenses) into an entrepreneurial product - and thus become EFFECTIVE, we generate added value for the wellbeing of others - and I can also declare the donation for tax purposes, a financial promotion foreseen by the tax-system in our culture in Germany!
The result: neither of us has exercised his power and instrumentalized the money to maximize our own advantage. Rather, we jointly invest in added value that benefits the common good. By directing our attention to the common good intention of our actions, any judgment as to whether I or my business partner can "afford it" becomes less important! Whether something is cheap or expensive is always a very subjective, judgmental choice and serves as a negotiating argument for the execution of power. For which impact, for which (not just monetary, but also moral, spiritual) value and purpose something is created or invested, that is the real kick for me to become effective as an entrepreneur - and not my power to my own advantage to instrumentalize.
Have I inspired you - in which project have you created impact recently?