It’s not a revolutionary business model to focus on providing a service. In fact, that’s the model that the entire business world is based on.

But many of the individuals inside the business world are typically focused on one thing – to make money.

In the short term, this attitude makes sense. Money is essential to function in the world at present.

Within the capitalistic modality that our current world is built upon, money ends up becoming a primary motivator because the promise of money also brings the promise of physical security, material luxury, and an increasingly higher standard of life.

So it’s not surprising that people go into business ventures with the aim of making as much money as possible.

Providing Service

There’s a scene in the movie (based off of a book), Peaceful Warriorwhere Socrates, the elderly gas station attendant, is called out from the young protagonist for working at a gas station.

Socrates responds by saying, “This is a service station. We offer service. There’s no higher purpose [than service to others].”

The idea of providing service in this context is not new. While many people would label this as a ”spiritual” way of running a business, this idea doesn’t have to be conflated with spirituality to make sense.

The very foundational purpose of business is to provide service to others.

We are living, breathing beings engaging with a living, breathing ecosystem. If we are constantly in touch with this ecosystem, we will breed a natural sense of compassion and empathy. From this sense of understanding and connection, we can engage with our fellow Earth inhabitants in a genuine and helpful way.

At this point, money doesn’t even enter into the equation.

Getting In Touch With Humanity

Humanity doesn’t just mean accepting that you’re human.

When you can understand this in yourself, you can understand this in others, and your natural human sense of empathy and compassion will become apparent.

When you realize that we are all in this thing together and that life is about collaboration, not separation and competition, you’ll quickly realize two things:

  1. Focusing on making money is dumb.
  2. Focusing on providing service is wise.

You’ll want to help people more than you’ll want to get their money. This is the natural byproduct of being a good person.

The Two New Rules Of Business

I’m going to lay out two rules of business that, if followed, will transform our entire business system.

1. If you’ve done your job well enough, and your service was pure and compassionate, your customer will want to give you money. Then, and only then, within the capitalist model, can you accept their money. 

2. If after the service has been provided, the customer is not satisfied, you cannot demand their money. Whether or not your service was provided to the best of your ability, the customer has not valued your service, and hence, was not provided in the way that was needed.

It’s hard for people to accept these ideas because they think if they do the work, they should be paid. But that’s really arrogant and ignoring the real reason any kind of business exists.

Again, business exists to provide service. Only if you provide service should you be compensated accordingly.

This changes the modality entirely from a “me me me” approach to one of helping out and being of service.

Reclaim The Power Of The Customer

For those who think that this is too idealistic and will never work, I have to disagree.

For starters, this is how a lot of business is already run. If the service provided was not what it was claimed to be worth, you can appeal to the owner/manager/supervisor and you’ll likely not have to pay the assumed fee.

Example: If you go to a restaurant, you usually pay after you eat.

This is the same in other “service” oriented businesses.

Another example: If you’re staying in a hotel and the bed is filled with bedbugs, their service was not provided adequately and you will not have to pay the assumed fee.

And another example: If you take your broken car to a mechanic, and they are not able to fix the problem, other than a possible diagnostics fee, you will not have to pay anything because no service was provided.

In our current capitalistic modality, you, the customer, have the power. You are what makes the business world function. You, as the customer, are only required to pay if the service that both parties have agreed upon been has provided to you.

If you’re ever unsatisfied with your service, you have the right to state your case and not pay until you’re satisfied.

Many people already understand the truths laid out here. Anyone who has ever tried to lower their cable bill, or buy a car, or return a broken product to the manufacturer will understand that the customer actually has the power.

Reclaim your power as a customer and stand up for your rights. You should only pay when your service has been provided.


Business Is Based On Service

Ask any business person what makes a successful business…

100% of the time, this is the answer:

-Find a service that is needed, and provide it.

The business world already functions on a service-based model.

All you have to do is recognize it.

The Freelance Way

I’ve been doing business in this way for several years and it has proven to be a valuable and wonderful experience.

Working as an independent contractor/freelancer, I’m only focused on meeting the customer’s needs. If those needs are continually changing, as they tend to be, I’ll adapt as best as I can, and if I can’t, I’ll release the project regardless of how long I’ve already been working on it.

Is this a “smart” business model? Probably not when it comes to making money.

But it gives me a sense of providing value to the world in a way that is not fueled by the prospect of making money. Instead, my motivation to work is because I genuinely care about my customer and serving to their needs.

Now, do people take advantage of this kindness? On occasion. But instead of getting angry, it’s important to display some compassion and recognize the reason another person has chosen to behave in this way.

Have I worked on projects for long periods of time only to learn the customer wasn’t satisfied? Yes, I have.

Was it disheartening to learn that all that time spent working wouldn’t be compensated? Yes, it was.

But my time is not valuable if value isn’t provided.

My time is only valuable if value is given.


It’s hard to understand this in our current system of capitalistic business ventures, but again, I implore you to think that this is how business (and to a larger degree, capitalism) already functions.

Without a need for service, business wouldn’t exist. Without a customer who’s in need of service, business wouldn’t exist. Without a person who desires to provide a service, business wouldn’t exist.

Capitalism is not corrupt. It’s actually really idealistic. By letting an outside party control the giving of service, we remove any political influence that could be tainting that system.

Capitalism only sucks because the people engaged with that system are only focusing on fulfilling their greed. If they were focused on providing service, everyone would be hailing capitalism as a positive hallmark of the modern age.

Be Of Service; That’s It

Don’t try to make money. Be of value, provide a service, and help out your fellow Earth beings.

We’re all in this together. If I can see that you understand that, I will happily give you my money. Why? Because I recognize that you are also in need of service. You need my money.

As a satisfied customer of your business, my service to you is giving you money so you can survive in the world and provide more service in the future. That’s how this thing works. That’s all there is to it.

Focus on providing that service and forget about the money. That’s all you have to do.

If your service is valuable, you’ll make money.

Work within this model and the system will function the way it was intended.

The system is not corrupt. It appears corrupt because no one wants to admit that their greed is manipulating the system.

Lay down your greed and start to behave in a way that is kind and compassionate.

Service Is The Way

All spiritual traditions teach being of service as the most important factor, not just in business, but also in life. Yet somewhere along this path, human self-indulgence takes over, and the desire to make money becomes more important.

That selfish desire is overshadowing the real reason of business – being of service.

When we can get in touch with our innate humanity and our inbuilt connection to others, we can not only be of service, not only make money, but we can also live in a world that is fueled by love, not greed.

That’s the world I dream of…

A world of business motivated by kindness.

A world of humans understanding everyone else’s humanity.

A world of capitalism fueled by generosity.

A world of peace.

A world of love.

A world of service.


What’s your service to the world?  Let us know by leaving a comment below…

About The Author

Eric Michelson is a writer, blogger, philosopher, activist, artist, Buddhist, and mindfulness enthusiast. He is the founder of and editor-in-chief for Perspective Earth - an online discussion space for revolutionaries and thinkers. His lifelong mission is to serve and serve he will. You can follow him and PVEarth on Facebook and Twitter.

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