When we think of the phrase “the bottom line,” we often think of profits and money. But there’s much more to the bottom line than dollar signs. The bottom line you lead with will make a huge impact in your life.

Sometimes our bottom line is to get what we want in an argument instead of figuring out a solution to enhance the relationship. Other times, our bottom line is to get the job done, but in the process we can alienate people in the workplace instead of looking at the situation from all perspectives to gain support. Or the bottom line can be to make work or health our priority, but in the process we completely neglect the loved ones in our life. The bottom line can also include knowledge, experience, inspiration and fun.


Whether you’re a CEO, manager, mom, college student, friend, lover, athlete or entrepreneur, it’s important to be clear on your bottom line and how it impacts others. What’s fueling your decisions? Is it the drive to create, connect, listen and make the world better? Teach your children, honor your values or feel loved? Get a larger share of the marketplace, serve your customer and create a better product?

Consider these questions in the different areas of your life:

What’s the bottom line for your family?

What’s the bottom line in your relationships?

What’s the bottom line in your business?

What’s the bottom line with your customers?

What’s the bottom line with your team at work?

What’s the bottom line with your personal health?

What impact does your bottom line in each of these areas have on others? What changes if any need to be made?

When we steer away from an authentic and collaborative bottom line, the results shift dramatically, often not for the best. Often, we don’t consider our bottom line until it’s too late and then we wonder why the situation veered off course.

Now, consider the most challenging situation in an important area of your life—career, relationships, finance or health. What’s your bottom line and how is it affecting that issue?