Profit has become a dirty word in many political circles and somehow associates success in business with greed. I suppose that would somehow make failure in business a noble thing. Failure can be a valuable learning tool and all successful people navigate their failures to find future success, but failure is not the goal. Getting by or breaking even is not a goal either. You are in business to make a profit.
A successful business can accomplish many great things. Businesses can be the fulfillment of a dream. They can serve a vital purpose for a community or an industry. They can provide a good life and a healthy profession for all the employees. A business can be a future for your family. Businesses can support all manner of charities and noble causes. All of these greater goods are dependent upon the business making a profit. No matter what else we accomplish in life through our work in business, the work must achieve the goal of making a profit first.
Decisions that make bad use of money or pursue activities that will lose money with no potential for return, put all the good things mentioned above at risk. None of those things can ever happen with a business that does not first meet its purpose of turning a profit.
This is true for people that are self-employed, freelancers, or contactors too. You can be kind and generous to others. You can treat repeat customers with respect and give them deals on repeat work. You can show grace to those that need help. This all still must be done with the goal of being profitable in mind.
If there are areas in business or life that are important to you and require you to give up something to achieve, it is on you to make the sacrifices to be profitable in your business with those other goals. If you can’t find a way to do both, some projects made need to be put off for a while until you are profitable enough to make them a success.
A failed business no longer helps anyone. That first goal must be met before any other goals or achievements are possible. This is not greed, but rather responsibility to make the choices that make the other dreams possible from those profits.