Bright and shiny good deeds
It’s hard being a conscious business these days, especially when you work in the service industry. Once you open your eyes you see them everywhere and it’s very easy to get caught up in every bright and shiny good deed that’s going around.
This happened to me last year, a couple of times. I got involved in projects that, on the surface, seemed like they were the ideal thing to be involved in, but that ended up being a major deviation from my own path.
Everywhere you turn there seems to be a great new cause to get involved in, and they’re all so, well, bright and shiny. However, although I loved working on these projects and they definitely had their good deed merits, they were not aligned with what I want to achieve and what my passionate purpose is.
Although it’s seemed to have taken me some considerable time to find out what my WHY in business is, in truth, it’s just taken me some considerable time to be able to clearly articulate what my WHY in business is (yeah, I know, I’m in PR, the irony is not lost on me). When I think about the last couple of years (or probably forever, in fact), my passion and what I want to achieve actually hasn’t changed at all.
There are two things that drive me the most. Firstly, I want to change our corporate culture to be inclusive and holistic so that we return to a time where family and community are as important as business, and all three work in collaboration for the benefit of everyone. Secondly, I want to be involved in creating a system that provides opportunities to those who would otherwise be pigeon-holed into a sub-culture and who live with the belief that they have nothing to offer, specifically teenagers who are at such a vulnerable point in their lives.
The way I will achieve these goals, which are actually part of the same end-goal, is by working with clients who are on the same path. I want to share their stories so loudly and proudly that they drown out the approach of the last 40 or so years where we have been taken on a consumeristic journey that applauds working long hours to make more money to buy more stuff at the expense of quality human connection – at work, at home and at play.
I recently read a great article by Max Lenderman called Cause v. Purpose: What’s the Difference. Aside from calling out some of the bright and shiny ‘good deeds’ that the big corporates are jumping on (a discussion for a different post), he talked about being led by your purpose, which just about made my heart leap out of my chest – and smack me on the head for getting way-laid!
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but, when you’re working on something that you’re passionate about, time flies and stands still all at once. People start to sit up and take notice of what you’re doing, you create momentum, achievement, profit, success, get goals ticked off and you MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that you’re only doing good if you’re saving starving children in some country that you’ve never been to. Not that this is something to be dismissed, it is not. This is a highly commendable cause. But, if it doesn’t drive you, leave it to those who it does drive. They’re going to do a way better job of it than you are. If you’re doing something just because it’s a bright and shiny good deed your authenticity starts to waiver, your mission and vision get blurry and you end up meandering all over the place achieving nothing.
I’ve been giving some serious thought lately to how I’ll implement my desire to mentor those who need me and, surprise, surprise, if a brilliant opportunity doesn’t pop up out of nowhere! I’m now going to prison for my sins. Yep, you read that right. On 15th May, I’ll be doing a night in the clink to help to raise funds and awareness for Whitelion Foundation and what I hope will be the start of a beautiful and rewarding journey. I’ll share some images and thoughts of the experience afterwards but, if you’d like to help me raise my bail money (you know, so I actually get out again), head over here now:
Thanks in advance!