Sunday, March 29, 2009

Curious about the Bottom Line: What Does It Mean to You – In Your Life, Career and Business?

You must consider the bottom line, but make it integrity before profits.” - Denis Waitley, American writer

The Bottom Line may seem like an odd theme to pick for this blog. I started thinking about it after hearing so often that everything depends on “the bottom line.” And, in the majority of statements, the bottom line meant money and profits.

It has been eye and mind opening, however, since I started hunting for quotations and found that many refer to outcomes and goals that do not refer to money and profits while others do.

Let’s start with some quotations that are not just talking about money:
  • And for the past 10 years I've been in a real commercial setting where people are all about numbers, they're all about that bottom line. So it's nice to step out of that and hang out with a bunch of people who play music just because they love it, as you can imagine.” - Lee Ann Womack, American musician
  • The bottom line is that there is a lot more that could and should be done to help people with nutrition and exercise.” - Parris Glendening, American politician
  • I also tell them that your education can take you way farther than a football, baseball, track, or basketball will - that's just the bottom line.” - Bo Jackson, American athlete
  • People just take your kindness for weakness sometimes, and that's just the bottom line.” - Ruben Studdard, American musician
  • But to me the bottom line is the more education you can give yourself, and the more preparation you can do, the less chance of failing.” - Stuart Pearce, English coach
  • Great leaders have a heart for people. They take time for people. They view people as the bottom line, not as a tool to get to the bottom line.” - Pat Williams, American athlete
  • Bottom line: if you show a genuine interest in learning about how others became successful, you can open up a world of opportunities.” - Armstrong Williams, American journalist

And, now some that equate money and profits with the bottom line:

  • We expect all our businesses to have a positive impact on our top and bottom lines. Profitability is very important to us or we wouldn't be in this business.” - Jeff Bezos, American businessman
  • I have always believed helping your fellow man is profitable in every sense, personally and bottom line.” - Mario Puzo, American novelist
  • The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon.” - Warren G. Bennis, American psychologist
  • I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it's time America was run like a business.” - Donald Trump, American businessman
  • The big companies and their short-term bottom line rule this country.” - Alexandra Paul, American actress
  • So I come before you with a budget that is honest in its discussion of our challenges, creative in its possible solutions, compassionate in its commitment to our most vulnerable, and balanced on the bottom line.” - James H. Douglas, American politician

Plus two more quotations that appeal to me:

Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.” - William A. Ward, American writer

We measured our success not just by how much money we made, but by how much we contributed to the community. It was a two-part bottom line.” - Jerry Greenfield, American businessman

So, how do you define the bottom line? And, if you are in business, how important is money and profit to your bottom line? I would love to hear your feelings about this.