No Margin, No Mission

No Margin, No Mission

How many times have we seen idealistic CEOs put their social mission before their bottom line and go out of business? Too often. There seems to be, for some, a dichotomy between serving others and implementing bottom-line business practices that can fund that service.

Before presenting our investment opportunity at Investor’s Circle Spring Venture Fair and Forum in 2010, I was assigned a wonderful liaison from Calvert Social Equities Fund to help with introductions to impact investors. During one of our sessions he asked me, “Did you know you are a Triple Bottom Line company?” I replied, “What’s that?” After he explained what it meant, I told him the HeartMath mission and our for-profit and nonprofit HeartMath companies have always been about researching and providing measurable, ROI-based stress solutions to help people and the planet and I believe that you need profit to fund that. “No margin, no mission,” I quipped. Well, he was struck by that phrase — which I had learned 10 years earlier from a business advisor — and now shares it with other social entrepreneurs.

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Deborah Rozman is President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.) and serves on the advisory board of the Institute of HeartMath. Quantum Intech also has a strong reputation as a socially responsible and triple bottom line company in partnership with the 501(c)3 non-profit stress research organization, Institute of HeartMath, which provides HeartMath’s stress solutions to the underserved, including schools, community service organizations and veterans.