How to start a Meaningful Profit Company

Ben Steenstra
8 Mar 2019 | 8 mins read

Meaningful Profit is the enterprise model that connects the highest intention(s) of the entrepreneur or CEO’s to the output of the business. In other words: the ‘what’ of the business is directly connected or a direct expression of these highest intentions. One of the essences of Meaningful Profit revolves around the question: How do you create revenue while you contribute to what is really important for you?

how to start a meaningful profit company

Why do we need Meaningful Profit enterprises?

After studying motivation and the essence of the drive we have to conclude that people are not made to ‘just take’, nor are they made to ‘just give’. Human beings are driven by both qualities. Historically these qualities are separated. That's why we work in either the world of profit or the world of non-profit. We take for our benefit or we give for the benefit of others. However, these qualities are psychologically two sides of the same coin. The separation of these two deep-seated needs creates many problems and (inter) personal conflict. We believe and have been able to conclude that lack of motivation, stress, burnout, depressions are symptoms of this artificial dichotomy. These are just a few problems that frustrate many business owners.

A Meaningful Profit enterprise differs from a mere profit or non-profit organization by aiming to bring the essence of ‘human nature’ back to how the business organizes as well as how the business creates the business vision and commercial outcomes. Profit organizations in practice aim to fulfill daily needs while (sometimes fearfully) anticipating tomorrow and beyond. The Meaningful Profit enterprise focuses on the difficulties of tomorrow and beyond while anticipating on the needs of today in the best possible way to contribute to the future. Understanding of ‘Human Nature’ and implementing that knowledge into the enterprise is key to understanding the Meaningful Profit enterprise.

This article contains the following subjects:

  • How to create a Meaningful Profit enterprise and write a Meaningful Profit Business plan
  • Pitfalls, Tips and Tricks about how to create and maintain a Meaningful Profit enterprise
  • The psychology behind Meaningful Profit

Who invented Meaningful Profit?

The new business model Meaningful Profit is a result of the book Wassili Zafiris and Ben Steenstra published in 2011 called "Ik Ben Niet alleen Op de Wereld".

Whats makes a Meaningful Profit enterprise different?

This synopsis of the key points of your entire business plan usually highlights a brief description of your business and your products or service. Within a Meaningful Profit enterprise, we start with our highest intention - The BIGGest WHY - and emphasize how our business, way of working and products or services contribute to this intention in a rational way before we tell the rest.

PITFALLS when writing a Meaningful Profit Business plan!

With a profit organization, readers in basic care about your product and business model. The likability and desire of the product determine the size of the target group, thus revenue and the business model determines the profit.

With a Meaningful Profit enterprise, the impact of the intention and size of the number of people who really care about it determines the willingness and amount of people to contribute and support. Both internally and externally.

Different readers have different interest, knowledge, and values. Investors and banks will look at it with different eyes than employees or partners. Watch out for:

  • Fluffiness > Our company spreads a message of love because we have breakfast every morning together before we start selling our peppermints
  • The ‘New Ghandi’ effect > Our company will bring peace and understanding and stops the wars all over the world...
  • More tips can be shared by our Meaningful Profit experts at TheONE.

Step by Step creating a BIG WHY

Most Business Format Models are focussed on describing how to supply the customer in the best way, with the best product, preferably with the highest margin.

Within a Meaningful Profit enterprise, the product, service, strategy, internal organization and even the marketing approach all are a logical result of the highest intention. The BIG WHY.

A BIG WHY can only have meaning within a context of a vision. A vision is what we see in the future and without a future, who cares about the BIG WHY? That’s why we always start with our vision.


Define the scope (in maximum 5 bullets).

Question: In what area the MP will be operating? This could change during the process. For example: Retail, e-commerce, Food industry, etc.

Define future standards (in maximum 5 bullets).

Question: What trends an undeniable within this market? During the process, the bullets can change in priority or be added with new once.

Define the biggest opportunities and threats. (a much as possible)

Question: Looking 10 years in the future, What is your biggest fear or wish if you look at global trends that are direct and indirect related to:

  • Your market / business
  • Your environment
  • Society *The world

(Optional) Highlight the ones that really matter Question: What topics are more and less relevant and what is a result of what?


Define the mutual vision (of all owners / directors 1 sentence)

Question: What is something we really care about and want to see as a positive outcome in 10 years from now.

  • Tip 1: Start the sentence with: We see a world where...
  • Tip 2: Don’t compromise in words. Be specific and concrete.
  • Tip 3: Make sure to define a compelling and stakeholding vision with an audience
  • Tip 4: Make sure it’s something you want to fight for.

Make a slogan (Maximum 6 words): Question: What is this vision exactly about?


Define the mutual purpose of the company (1 sentence)

Question: What’s your purpose to contribute to your vision?

  • Tip 1: Start the sentence with: Our purpose is to….
  • Tip 2: Keep in mind what makes this vision so important and what makes it fight worthy?

Step 4 - MISSION

Define your mission (1 sentence) Question: What specific role does your company need to take in this world to contribute to making the vision come true in the best way?

  • Tip 1: To contribute is something different than to solve it….

Step 5 - ENTITY

Define your entity (1 sentence)

Question: If you are active in a world with your vision, your purpose and your mission, who should you be to fulfill your mission in the best way?

  • Tip 1: To contribute is something different than to solve it….

Step 6 - PRODUCT

Define your product or service (only the description, not the specific product or service)

Question: What should you offer your clients as your entity, with your mission?

  • Tip 1: Check if it does make sense to offer this product / service? Is there any logical connection?
  • Tip 2: Stay close to your own expertise or be willing to change radically.


Define the core strategy (5 bullets max)

Question: What are the highlights of the steps that are needed to contribute in the best way to our vision in the role of our mission?

  • Tip: Avoid to define the goals or KPI’s, but the minimal step that needs to be taken that will make the Goals or KPI’s a logical outcome.


Define the rules of the game (5 bullets max)

Question: What are the minimum rules to keep in mind to make this strategy work?


Define your companies attitude (5 bullets max) Question: With what attitude should your company and the people within show yourself to the world to contribute to your vision in the best way and honor your mission?

  • Tip 1: An attitude (in)direct says something about the culture and is the guidance of how to work, do business and achieve goals while contributing to the vision.


Define your company values (5 bullets max) Question: What values are never to be crossed and guide the company showing it has principles?

  • Tip 1: One of the values of Google is “do no evil”.

Step 11 - Describing the BIG WHY

Define what you do (1 sentence)

Question: What is it what the target group sees what you offer

  • Tip: Check if it’s giving value to people and people are willing to want it

Define how you do it (1 sentence) Question: How do you make it possible to offer your product or service in a competitive way while?

  • Tip: Check if you really are the one to be excellent in it

Define why you do it (1 sentence)

Question: Why is your product/service and the way how you do it needed and important in relation to your purpose and vision?

Define the BIG WHY (1 sentence)

The magic question: Based on the previous answer, why is it really important for the consumer, society and you that your company is alive?

An example of a Meaningful Profit Enterprise is, of course, CallTheONE as Ben Steenstra is Co-Founder of CallTheONE. Another example is Lots Of Lesvos founded by Aranka van der Pol who was a tremendous help by writing and shaping the book of Wassili and Ben.

Article rating: 10.0 (1 reviews)
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