There's nothing wrong with being profitable. It's essential for a business. But you must strive for a purpose beyond money making, according to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. 

"I can't live without red blood cells. [But] the purpose of my life is not to produce red blood cells. I have a transcendent purpose that goes beyond that," Mackey said in a recent interview with Inc

For example, Whole Foods' larger mission is to tackle the problem of obesity in the United States by helping people live a healthier life, Mackey said.

Defining this higher purpose is just one of the tenets of what Mackey calls "conscious capitalism." In addition, the concept involves: 

  1. Creating value for all major stakeholders, including customers and employees--not just investors. 
  2. A conscious leader--one who can separate his or her priorities from the needs of the business. 
  3. An empowering company culture.

"I did not go up on a mountain top, have God speak to me, and say, 'Do these things.' It was mostly by making a lot of mistakes and learning from them," Mackey said.

To hear more about the inspiration behind the conscious capitalism movement, watch the interview with Mackey below.

Published on: Oct 21, 2014