Over the past 25 years I’ve had the privilege to start a few initiatives and be involved with a few thousand as an advisor and coach. If we want to have a successful endeavor, one of the key lessons is realizing that we can’t sell the market what we want to sell them, we need to provide what the market is asking for. Over the past 2 years I’ve been working on establishing a community of purpose driven business people here in San Diego and it’s been a challenging yet fulfilling journey. The challenging part has been learning a city for the first time and trying to gain trust from a business community that didn’t know me at all.
On this journey one of the greatest joys has been the amazing people that I’ve gotten to meet. After over 20 years growing a business into something rather mature, the startup is a unique beast. It seems to take much longer than we expect and be much more challenging than I remember. Then again, I was in my early 30’s, no wife, no kids and no real responsibilities. This time around the situation is much different. Having two teenagers and a wife dealing with stage one breast cancer has been far from easy, forget the entrepreneurial stuff!
One of the most frustrating challenges for me is the fact that people might believe I have a secret agenda, and it’s about money and control. In the end, it’s about solving the problem. I would rather solve the problem than be the answer.
So, where does this leave me today? When I hit the ground in July of 2015 I had a clear vision of what was going to take place, how I was going to grow a company that made an impact and the story I was going to tell. That story has not played out exactly as I had thought and I’m realizing that I need to provide what the market is asking for, not what I think it needs. So, what does the San Diego marketplace need at this point in time as it relates to the intersection of purpose and business?
San Diego needs to aggregate the existing pieces into a collaborative community and help coordinate it into something magical. There are so many organizations in the community that want to do good, but nothing yet that brings them all together. That is the project that this entrepreneur is going to be part of. This is not mine, it’s for the community. The process over the coming years will be the balance between what the marketplace needs and how to provide the financial return that our family needs to pay our bills. As I put my heart out into the marketplace, the story seems to be writing itself. I’ve learned what I do best and how I can provide value and it’s time to put all of those pieces together.
On April 19th we will be launching the first ever breakfast club meeting to start bringing together the community that’s focused on using business for social change. We will bring together business owners, executives of larger corporations, millennials, students, non-profit leaders and more, all focused on using their business acumen to leave this planet better than they found it. We will look to partner with the top organizations in the city and coordinate a rhythm that people can participate in. There are numerous organizations that are doing great things, but they happen in silos and that needs to change if the market is going to change. It’s time to let go of our egoic belief that we might have any answers and to freely provide my skills and passion toward what the market needs to move forward.
To connecting dots ….. one dot at a time!