Since our return in July 2015 I’ve been on a journey to make a living by making a difference. I’ve been running around San Diego talking to people about the intersection of purpose and business. I’ve been attempting to take my past experiences and roll them into a new endeavor, one that will not only make me a living but one that will leave this planet so much better than I found it. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from the past two years is that it doesn’t really matter what I do to make a living. What matters is how I do it, who I do it with and with what intentions.
I came back certain that I would start a community for purpose driven leaders. I called this community Success Redefined, wrote a book and started telling everyone how to be more purposeful. I had a big launch event in January 2016 and thought I was on my way. As you know through my posts over the past year, this hasn’t been quite as successful as I’d hoped. I’ve run into road block after road block and pivoted a number of times. Last April I hit a huge wall, challenges with growing the business, challenges at home and then Ilise was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. All of this piled up on us, yet I continued to plow forward.
Back in June of 2016 my brother told me about a good friend of his that was looking for someone to do business development for his company, so I pursued that. That wasn’t the right fit, yet the concept of business development was what I did every day. The business development construct lead me to launch 5 Dots, an outsourced business development company that did coaching and fractional business development for others. I spent time developing the 5 Dots methodology and have received amazing feedback from people about it. It seems like business development is this deep, dark mystery to most people. Maybe it’s time to demystify it 🙂
In the interim, I found Andrew Hewitt and GameChangers. I tried to use my business development skills to help them turn their GameChangers 500 concept into a thriving business. I was going to apply my business development skills to the community that is trying to make a difference. We are early in this business cycle and I thought that being at the heart of it would be my future. Yet that didn’t happen exactly as I’d thought. I continued to search and search and all along the way the answer was right in front of me.
Ever since I started in business I’ve loved startups. Even my own startups got boring after the idea started to mature. If I’m honest with myself, I really lost interest in 4-Profit at least a decade before I said goodbye. I ran it and managed it, but the business was not who I was. It used many of my skills to help it grow, yet I didn’t think to venture far from what made me a living. Ever since returning from our travels I’ve been attracted to people and ideas that are new and exciting. I want to help them tell their story more clearly, I want to introduce them to other people that have skills and resources to help them, I need to help them grow. Last April I hired a coach who asked me the same question over and over, what is it that you love? At the time I gave him the memorized answer, the one from my head not the answer from my heart. In the end, this journey is all about self discovery and I’m discovering that I’m a starter, I’m someone who loves to get things started and once they are past the beginning I’m done, I don’t need to be involved anymore.
So, where does this leave me? I’m still very purposeful and want to use my skills to leave this planet infinitely better than I found it. I will apply myself to projects that matter, with people that I like and respect in order to live my purpose. Part of my purpose is to create wealth. I like having money and helping others with the money we have. I’ve loved watching Armstrong, the young Ugandan Pilot we met back in 2012, live a life he never dreamed of. I love being a Rotarian and working on volunteer projects all across San Diego and even into Mexico. I’ve loved traveling the globe and helping people in all parts of the world. Much of this requires financial resources to do them, and I know how to make money.
Money comes when we leverage our time and take risk. I learned early on that I couldn’t trade time for money, the J.O.B. wasn’t for me. I needed to take the risk and figure out how to make money on my own. I’ve also learned the value of focus and being part of a niche of the business community. 4-Profit focused on the owners of IT resellers that had between 25 – 125 employees, and provided specific services to that audience. It became so easy to sell the more we clarified our niche. Now, the niche is start up businesses, especially those that have raised their first round of funding. I will continue to coach IT resellers, especially those that I know and like. I will find products and services that are needed by the startup market segment and work with a team of people who’s passion and values align with mine. In the end it’s all about the relationships and the human connection. The more I am out and about the more purposeful, passionate and capable people I meet.
The tagline of 5 Dots is More Prospects …. Better Clients. I believe the same is true in building my business as it regards to people. The more people I meet the more options I have, and the more options I have the more selective I can be. I’m so excited about where this is headed while also feeling a sense of peace. I am becoming the person I was born to be, not the one I was taught to be. For me it starts and ends with relationships, that’s the foundation of everything.
To a life well lived!