My Triple Bottom Line

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What Is Triple Bottom Line Accounting?

Triple Bottom Line (TBL or 3BL) Accounting is a way of tracking the success of a business using three metrics rather than one.

Profitability (in dollars and cents) is how most business owners and shareholders measure success and progress. Triple Bottom Line Accounting is a way of looking at things differently--holistically. It's a way to practice conscious capitalism.

The 3 Ps of Triple Bottom Line Accounting

  • Profit

  • People

  • Planet

TBL/3BL also provides a decision-making framework.

  • Is the action being considered financially sustainable?

  • How will this action benefit or harm the people involved?

  • What predictable effect will this action have on the environment?

For more information, read The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?

My Triple Bottom Line

I talk a lot about work-life integration and make a concerted effort to walk my talk and surround myself with others who do the same. It's not about perfection but personal and professional growth and authenticity. I believe that without statements of belief and intent, growth is limited because by hiding, we avoid accountability.

So today, I want to share my practice with you.

My 3 Ps

Profit-I base my fees on the value I provide and do not compete on price. I do not accumulate debt to keep my business afloat. I practice financial sustainability and focus on efficiency and effectiveness while saving for the future.

People-I pay more than the average living wage in the United States for entry-level work and professional rates to my strategic partners. I support my local economy by using local vendors whenever possible and do not outsource for cheap labor.

(Related: The Cost of Doing Business: How Freelance Service Providers Make a Living)

I am an inclusive business person. I do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, country of origin, age, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, gender identity, or sexual orientation in any of my activities or operations and will not consider contracting with any client who demonstrates a disregard for the dignity, safety, or overall well-being of any other person or group.

Planet-I run a paperless office, eat a plant-based diet, drive a plug-in hybrid vehicle, and support initiatives that aim to improve people's physical and mental health.

What's Your Triple Bottom Line?

It can be scary to codify our beliefs and declare our intentions. What if we fail? What if we modify our path? What if people don't like us or push back?

There is no pain greater than living an inauthentic life. It harms us mentally, spiritually, physically and even financially. When we harm ourselves, we are not helping others.

If--no, when--we become aware of a weakness, we move forward with a clearer vision and revised intention. When we find new, better ways of being and doing, we pivot without shame. When people criticize us, we check ourselves to see if their point is valid. If it is, we adjust accordingly. If it isn't, we move forward with the knowledge that by repelling some, we attract those with whom we desire to associate.

The Triple Bottom Line is a mindset and a roadmap. I encourage you to draw yours and share it with others.

 

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