Entrepreneurs and our insatiable GREED

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Have you ever….

  • Tapped a line of credit or 2nd mortgage so you could give your employees their paycheck?
  • Paid off all your vendors and creditors, even though it meant canceling a long-awaited vacation?
  • Heard about someone in need and helped them out, even though you knew you would eventually end up borrowing the money – you didn’t have it but you gave anyway because it was the right thing to do?

With that in mind….

…When’s the last time you turned on CNN and heard an encouraging story about business owners doing good in the world?

When’s the last time you heard somebody in the media or education system say, “We need to build up entrepreneurs, because new businesses are foundation of our communities” ?

For all those who assume us money-grubbing entrepreneurs are driven by greed, selfishness and ego, let me share with you the results of a study by the Center for Data Analysis and the Heritage Foundation:

Charitable Giving by Household Income, based on IRS data:

Income Class Entrepreneurs Non-Entrepreneurs















Average 2.53% 1.27%

Looks like entrepreneurs are TWICE as generous as everyone else. ESPECIALLY the ones with low incomes.

What is "80" and what is "20" for your business right now? Take my 2-minute quiz and I'll show you where you'll get the highest compound interest on your time and money!

Why is that? What’s going on here?

It’s real simple. Most people only understand scarcity.

Entrepreneurs understand abundance.

My experience of entrepreneurs is we overwhelmingly tend to take care of everybody else before we worry about ourselves.

My friend, if you tapped every resource to pay everyone fairly, and you went to bed not knowing how tomorrow’s bills were going to get paid, then at least you had faith in the goodness of providence and the power of imagination and resourcefulness to find a solution.

THIS is why people in the modern world have three meals a day and microwave ovens and beds to sleep in and health care and straight teeth and computers and movies and modern music.

Because… somebody had faith in the power of ingenuity. They dreamed and schemed and innovated and gave until it hurt. Believing that somehow, somewhere, success would show up when it was most needed.

None of us can ever predict when or how solution to some vexing problem will present itself. We just have faith that it will.

I don’t know what problem you face today, but I know that one of two things is true:

1) Someone somewhere has already solved it, or
2) The ability to solve it WILL be given to you

Most of all I want to salute you in pursuing a journey that most people never even have the courage to undertake.

When you find the success you seek, you deserve it.

The talking heads on TV may not appreciate us. But we appreciate each other. And I appreciate you.

Seize the Day.

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

93 Comments on “Entrepreneurs and our insatiable GREED”

  1. Hey. Perry. Cordell. Am. Trying. To. A. Way. To make. Money. On. The. Internet. Am. At. 312-256-1174. Thanks

  2. I want to print this e-mail out and read it over and over every day! Wow did you hit the nail on the head with that one.

    I was solving one problem for peanuts and decided to solve a bigger problem and now folks are lining up to pay me thousands… and glad to do it!

    Your encouragement is priceless!!

  3. c’est la lecon du jour perry.ET elle me plait d’autant plus qu’elle a des chiffres des nombres des pourcentages.
    I enjoy reading this email.IT IS FOR ME THE lesson of the day.my DAY get started well.

  4. “The pessimist complains about the wind;
    the optimist expects it to change;
    the realist adjusts the sails.”

    – William Arthur Ward


  5. Dear Mr Marshall,

    Thank you for you ongoing effort to educated and motivate us.
    This email was another great writeup that I needed to keep chipping away at creating a great sustaining business for me and my loved ones.

    Kindest regards

  6. This has been around a few years, right? It’s one of the most memorable things I’ve read of yours and helped me define my vocation as an entrepreneur just as I hired my first employee. I’m glad to see it come around again. :) Thanks for this very clear perspective.

  7. Great Article Perry, entrepreneurs as a group of people have no real collective voice (not that any really worry about that). Therefore the chattering by the media about scarcity will always be louder than the applause that the givers should receive.
    yours in abundance…

  8. Hi Perry
    I enjoy your articles…they inspire.
    Yes I agree…giving, if it really
    comes from a pure heart, will come
    back to you in great measure.

  9. Mr. Marshall this is one of the best blog posts I have ever read and you have the Bible backing you up, so this type of leadership is flawless and perfect Sir.

    The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5: 19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour, this is the gift of God.

    To love what you do is the gift of God! Thank you for showing again that entrepreneurs are real people who love and give. We are not greedy. Most real entrepreneurs give more than is asked on many occasions.

    To understand lack vs. abundance all you need is:

    Matthew 6: 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

    I have been living on that scripture ever since I was walking around the hood begging for cigarettes, so I have realized the blessing of this scripture.

    Great post Mr. Marshall & I appreciate everything you have done today.

  10. Thanks,so much,Perry. It is so true, at least for me. It’s great to be appreciated. Also, I love your stories. You are one of the marketers whose emails I frequently open because I love to read what you have written. Thanks for that, too. I use your guidance in my writing, too. Thanks for that, too.

  11. Well said Perry,

    A really interesting angle on entrepeneurs, people assume that those who go after what they want and find success as a result are greedy. But anyone of this calibre I know are often the most smart, conscientious and generous of all.

    The world needs more of these to drive it in the right direction. Thanks.

  12. You see what you want to see.

    All I see in Canada that people and a lot of media love enterpreneurs, federal,local and city governments, universities provide financial help and research centers for new start up companies. Most people love enterpreneurs in America, they are heroes.

    I see a lot of positive stories about enterpreneurs in media often and businesman are portrayed well – for example Dragon’s Den show comes to mind. I always see some good news about Buffet, Soros, O’Neil and many others.

    If you see only negative things on CNN, well then swith the channel and watch the good news.

    You see around you what you want to see.

  13. Great Post Perry! Did you know that the President is one of our biggest supporters? I’ve attached his proclamation to that effect:

    Presidential Documents
    Federal Register
    Vol. 74, No. 225
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009
    Title 3—
    The President
    Proclamation 8454 of November 19, 2009
    National Entrepreneurship Week, 2009
    By the President of the United States of America
    A Proclamation
    Throughout our history, American entrepreneurs have been an effective force
    for innovation at home and around the world. From the airplane to the
    Internet search engine to new tractors, they have pioneered technologies,
    products, and processes that have improved lives and shaped the course
    of our future. Today, they are fueling our economy with their creativity,
    tireless work ethic, and risk-taking spirit. During National Entrepreneurship
    Week, we renew our commitment to supporting American entrepreneurs,
    including social entrepreneurs, who are spreading opportunity and prosperity
    across our Nation.
    Entrepreneurs are the engine of job creation in America, generating millions
    of good jobs. Many begin with nothing more than a good idea, and translate
    new products and services into vibrant businesses. To secure our Nation’s
    future prosperity, we must ensure that our entrepreneurs have the tools
    they need to survive and thrive.
    My Administration is working to provide opportunities and conditions for
    entrepreneurs to succeed. We are supporting the flow of credit by increasing
    loan guarantees and reducing borrowing fees to help more Americans start
    businesses. We also made the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit
    permanent to help burgeoning companies afford the high costs of developing
    new products and technologies. The recently formed Office of Innovation
    and Entrepreneurship at the Department of Commerce is building on these
    efforts with new policies and initiatives to unleash creativity and innovation,
    as well as turn inspired ideas into new employment-generating businesses.
    Our Nation led the world’s economies in the 20th century because we
    led the world in innovation. To strengthen our position in the 21st century,
    we must rededicate ourselves to harnessing the creative spirit that has made
    America great.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States
    of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
    and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 16 through
    November 22, 2009, as National Entrepreneurship Week. I call upon all
    Americans to recognize the important contributions of entrepreneurs to our
    VerDate Nov2008 08:05 Nov 23, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:FRFM24NOD0.SGM 24NOD0 erowe on DSKDVH8Z91PROD with RULES5
    61260 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 24, 2009 / Presidential Documents
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day
    of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence
    of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
    [FR Doc. E9–28313
    Filed 11–23–09; 8:45 am]
    Billing code 3195–W0–P

  14. Entrepreneurs twice as generous as especially the low income purely based on percentage of total income? Considering the percentage of giving to discretionary income may give a more accurate albeit less flattering picture (to high income earners that is).

    1. David, your perception of all entrepreneurs as richer than the average person is exactly the myth Perry is referring to. What he is saying, and it appears many here are agreeing with, is that they go through a great deal of hardship, years of not making money, struggling to meet payroll, and yet are still generous throughout. In the years of losses, their IRA stats would put them in that very poverty stricken group you were comparing them to. Yet they still give, You can’t begrudge the fortunate ones who actually make it big, I think we all know the stats on what percentage of the total actually make it there, versus how many wind up losing a lot or everything along the way.
      As many stated here, their motivation is not always entirely for the cash, or for selfish reasons at all, often it is just to make the best new baby widget or whatever, the rewards are secondary, and in their hearts I would suggest is a greater propensity to be generous than many who never try, yet wait in the poverty lines or their “secure” mid level jobs.

  15. Great article, i’ve never seen those stats before. I don’t give a lot but do give some which is more than my NON-entrepreneur peers.

  16. Perry,

    Your post touched me, as it did many others. It touched me so much, in fact, that I forwarded it to about 25 other entrepreneurs, most of whom it will also touch. (And who knows, maybe some of them will subscribe to your newsletters as a result of it!)

    It’s nice to know that there are other people out there making the same sacrifices as I am. We do it because of our passion and because we can intimately empathize with others in need.

    Giving feels good, and oddly, it feels even better when I know that I’ve truly sacrificed of myself in order to make someone else’s life a little better.

  17. Its not easy sometimes…………………………………

    I appreciated this, thank you :)


  18. It’s not very often that I receive an email from a “guru” and say Wow! I am so tuned to emails that say, “you gotta buy this because my good buddy created it.” But I found myself reading your whole email and that is exactly what I said, “Wow!”

    You truly shared value from the heart–and that is one reason Perry that I continue receiving your emails. While I find myself more and more unsubscribing from the other self-proclaimed “gurus”.

    Having 12 employees to pay–I often times–oh wait–most times go without pay. Because I outsource to the Philippines I love being able to give them that bonus. They are always grateful and they are loyal and dependable.

    There are other ways of giving that oftentimes us “entrepreneurs” forget. One is donating to those incredible folks who create open-source plugins for our blogs. I know folks by-pass the “donate” button–while I am just the opposite.

    Having just quit my job of 17 years with the local school system–I appreciate being able to work from home AND being able to “give” to the many charities in and around my small town.

    Thanks from the heart,

    Holly Powell

  19. Perry,

    Well said, my friend! I had instinctively known for years that entrepreneurs seem to be much more giving people than average person — they truly give from the heart. But I was surprised that no one was talking about this. Your article sums up my feelings about the issue. And your figures are astonishing.

    Funny thing about entrepreneurs, though, is that they don’t brag about their generosity. They don’t bring in a TV crew to Africa or India to show the world that they’re adopting another child. They don’t call the news media so the world will know that they’re out on the street feeding the hungry. No, we do it because we feel it’s a responsibility. We’re happy to do it. And we do it secretly, when no one is looking.

    I’m tired of the constant media bashing of entrepreneurs. It’s a destructive, unfair and misguided line that’s getting very old. Thank God for entrepreneurs!

  20. Yes, it is happening to me. I need to raise capital for my investment property and feeling that I should cancel my wonderful trip to Japan with my dear friends.

    Now, no problem. I am keeping my promise, going to Japan to have a wounder trip and make all my money back now and after.

    Thx. You know me man!

  21. THE FAITH of Entrepreneurs.

    Perry wrote some powerful words about entrepreneurial faith recently; words that curiously had great significance in my life at the very moment his mailing arrived in my inbox.

    I say ‘curiously’ when I really mean providentially. For you see, I view all input and output of my circumstances and situations as aspects of providence.

    From Perry’s various writings I know we share at least some similarities in this way of viewing life.

    The problem with overlaying providence and entrepreneurship, is the one suggests a reliance on an external force while the 2nd is widely held to imply a reliance on one’s self.

    In the doxology of my faith system, the source of my providence, whom I choose to call God, requires of me and all adherents, that I accept that all things, both those which appear positive and supportive, as well as those that tend to tear down and inhibit, come to me by some grand design, which is generally largely hidden from my understanding, at least to some degree. Even that specific degree does not seem quantifiable, and seems to change just when I think I have it figured out.

    Let me share a specific example of what I mean.

    After discovering Perry’s web sites a few months ago, (offering to ‘prove’ the existence of God was a magnificent worm on a hook for me), and subsequently purchasing a subscription to his ‘renaissance club’, I set about applying the principles outlined in his awesome work “The Definitive Guide to Google Adwords”.

    Of course reading the entire manual from cover to cover was inconvenient seeing I ‘needed’ to produce rapid change in my financial situation, as business was frankly bad. So I grabbed a few salient points and set about revamping my Google ad campaigns, as well as my web sites. Over the next several weeks I made enormous changes and watched desperately for signs of improvement. I reasoned that IF I could increase traffic I would likely increase sales.
    Well after many tests and changes, traffic did increase, CTR improved from .05% avg to 3.5% avg. I did much to improve my landing page and set several ‘freebies’ as bait.
    I put a link from my landing page to my sales page and traffic there increased proportionately. Sales however did not. In fact sales continued to drop significantly. When sales occurred, a survey showed buyers were very pleased with features, benefits and value. So why did they not buy more? I had done all the right things (as I could discern ‘right’) and yet the result were not what I expected.

    Now read the end of that last sentence and we’ll look at the point of my view.

    I was operating as if “I” was source of my provision. That all “I” had to do was change this aspect of my life and all would fall into place. The problem is “providence” or God. has an agenda. That agenda, while including my plans and desires and dreams, is not bound by them (in spite of some very popular ‘prosperity doctrines’). God. according to His revealed word insists on shaping my entire life to meet a standard He has determined is best for me. And He’s not willing to limit Himself to those things I approve of, or think I really need. Sometimes it appears He has to ‘humble’ me and slow down my over-eager thrust, perhaps to keep me from harm, or to achieve some other transformative goal.

    This was such a circumstance. As has been apparent, (to me at least) is my financial decline brought out some ‘issues’ of pride, independence, fear, mistrust etc etc.

    Finding myself feeling and acting in ways disturbing to my own self-image was uncomfortable, and caused me much introspection and self examination. That has led to a willingness to consider changes in my values, and habits (especially habits) which would result in a more balanced and comfortable relationship both with my provider and with my human counterparts. These changes are still ongoing and not necessarily easy or even welcome.

    It did become necessary to make other major changes. I was forced to sell our home to pay our debts. The payment of those debts relieves the burden of them but the diminished liquidity changes my perception of my lifestyle and standard of living.
    It changes the type of home I can hope and expect to purchase. It changes a lot of how I view myself.

    A too common problem today seems to be a desire and need to live as ‘high’ as possible. It’s typical to see people paying enormous mortgage payments which consume most of their income and they languish in every way but the appearance of wealth as presented by their home.

    So the long and short of it is this. Perry’s methods work. Applying them strategically will do what he promises. But whether you get the financial results you are seeking or not, may depend on “Providence” and your ability to seek to know and improve your relationship to that provider. Revamping your inner life may be as necessary as your ad campaign.

    That has been my experience.

    Don Soucy
    [email protected]

  22. Hi Perry,
    This is great material. I am on the board of MEDA an unique organization that served entreupeneur of color. I am going to see how I can get your email to the executive director, who is also my friend.
    Talking about giving- this is the season of giving. What you give is the insight of how entrepeneus behavior. We need more of us so the world can be better! Thanks!

  23. Perry,
    I have been follwoing you for some time and I am very impressed with the number of responses you get on your blog. It really shows how many people you are reaching. I myself like to put outreach/edification first, business second. For what it’s worth,I just added to my site a message I recently sent to my email list for encouragement. Our site is in Spanish for the time being but will be translated into English. Our messages however are in Spansh and English. I recently wrote a post based on the adage, “People Don’t Plan to Fail but Fail to Plan”. I looked at three reason why this is not entirely true. You can follow the link here: http://www.libreriaberea.com/page.cfm?NavID=8&WebContentID=9 I hope it is useful to encourage and bless others as well. I’ll be in touch. I have you in my sights and will connect with you VERY SOON. I just need to follow the Plan MY MASTER has given us and right now I have two other subjects I am tackling before I get into GOOGLE ADWORDS: 1.Marketing 2.Google Analytics. See you soon. God Bless You!

  24. …and I appreciate you, and thank God for people like you Perry
    Marshall ! You are truly one of His more “in-tune” instruments…

  25. Thanks Perry!

    I read you texts for 7 years already.

    First time it is really deeply emotional.

    You advanced to become the Poet.

    Thanks again.

  26. I just got goosebumps!

    Well done, you hit the nail on the head…

    Keep the faith, feed the passion, live the dream……..

    Peace be the journey…..

    Thank You

    Robbie (20 years no boss)

  27. Perry

    The most successful business people I know are the most generous ones. Look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. They are dedicating their fortunes to charity.

    Belief in abundance is the secret that many people miss. They believe the pie is limited rather than believing we create new pie when we create value in our life.

    A business can truly only be successful if it creates value in their customers’ lives.

    Your post truly shows that entrepreneurs have a HUGE image issue. We are portrayed on TV, radio and the news as about one step above cannibals. Austrian economics has shown that true capitalism has a moral foundation. It doesn’t matter if you believe in religion (I do and see the foundation there) but capitalism still works because of morality.

    I love the quote – The best way to help the poor is not to be one.

    To not being poor, to challenging the image problem, to success, to creating value in the lives of those around us.

    Be strong, Never quit, grow the pie, Live in Abundance.


  28. Dear Perry,

    This mail is so timely for me. i was just telling my prayer partner this morning that God is already taking action and working behind the scenes, that He is a very good organizer grooming me up powerfully and strongly to really pursue the MLM biznez i am in. Since we started praying for it God had given me everyday many feedbacks, comments and orders for the products. i know that He is going before me and directing my paths as he had promised in His Words. We just have to abide by His love.Therefore obedient unto Him.
    thanks once more. This morning i thanked God for you too.
    i haven’t bought any products yet from you. but that will be in order.
    i just have to know how to go about it.
    God bless you more.
    i can discern that our Great and True God is also goin before you.
    You are good.
    He’ll bless you more if you continue to glorify Him thru everything that you do.

  29. Hi Perry,

    Wow, thank you for this post – it comes at a time when I need it most.

    I was doing great and growing my little business slowly and steadily. Then I made a mistake and now find myself in the whole by $2000. I have not even had the money to pay my normal bills for this month. I’ve been stressing and getting a bit depressed – but after reading this post I feel a little lighter and I have regained my confidence.

    You’re right, the Universe has always provided me what I needed when I needed it – and I’m sure this time will be no different.

    Thanks again for reminding me of my personal power.

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