I believe that entrepreneurship can give dreamers like us the power to blend making a living with making a difference.
If I had one wish, it would be to heal the world.
That wish is the yearning deep inside that drives my own business… of course, it’s a rather lofty goal for a single person. Which is why I’ve dedicated my life to helping others (like you!) who also want to heal the world.
Together we can build a movement, powered by small business owners who care as much about having a positive impact on the world as they do about creating a thriving business.
I’ve always been fairly sensitive, especially as a child. When I entered middle school, that sensitivity was sorely tested – I had a Social Studies teacher who assigned a task of bringing in one news story each week from somewhere around the world.
Not my favorite assignment ever, especially since most newspapers don’t waste much space sharing happy feel-good stories.
For the first time in my life, I was inundated with the reality of just how horrible human beings can be. Mostly to each other.
It was a rough time in my life.
Like most young teenagers, there was a lot going on in life that I didn’t understand. As a sensitive teenager, realizing how miserable the world was just wrecked me. I became deeply depressed, and a series of emotionally painful events brought me to the point of almost-no-return.
When I was 16, I tried to kill myself.
Why? That was the question everyone asked, and for years I didn’t have the words to explain… all I knew was that the world seemed like a horrible place, full of pain and misery, and I had no idea how to make it better.
I was terrified of growing up and becoming yet another adult, miserable and hurting those around me.
But I survived, and I realized that if I was going to continue to survive, I had to find a way to make life livable… as an introvert, it’s probably not surprising that I became fascinated by psychology. And the more I studied and learned about how people are wired, and what motivates us, what drives us, the more I realized that it is our misery, our pain, that causes so many people to lash out at the world around them.
I realized that if the world was ever going to get better, people needed healing.
I dreamed of finding a way to heal every single person in such a way that no one would ever again feel the need to cause pain and misery (I never was very good at thinking small).
Of course, that’s not exactly an easy thing to do. There are a lot of people in this world, with more being born every day. And we’re really good at hurting each other, causing more wounds – emotional, mental, spiritual, physical – in need of healing.
“What do you want to be?”
During this time, as “adulthood” was getting closer and closer, I was also suffering through the typical “what do you want to be?” questions.
It was almost as difficult a question to answer as “why are you depressed?”, though for the opposite reason; instead of having no idea, I had too many ideas!
Now I know that’s because I’m a multi-passionate, so there will never be “just one thing” that I want to do. But at the time I thought everyone was supposed to have a single Thing, so I agonized over that question.
Especially because I knew that I needed to do something that would allow me to help people, but I was also afraid of struggling financially (as I had seen my mom do for so long) – and it seemed that most of the “helper” professions were not especially well paying.
There was one other thing I knew; whatever I ended up doing, I wanted to do it in my own business.
I’d seen my mother struggle with trying to make a difference as a school teacher, and her frustration at being blocked and devalued by the politics of the school system. I’d seen her leave teaching to open her own store, where she was able to blend her teaching skills with a passion for the fiber arts, becoming a respected member of a unique community.
So, not knowing what I wanted to do but knowing that I wanted to do (whatever it was) as my own boss, I began to study small business. I figured that I could always apply what I learned to whatever type of business I decided to start.
And the more I studied entrepreneurship, the more I realized that “being your own boss” can give dreamers like myself the power to blend making a living with making a difference.
Which isn’t to say that you can’t change the world working for someone else.
Teacher, doctor, nurse, therapist, social worker – all of these are examples of jobs that make a difference. Truthfully, any position can make a difference in another person’s life – it’s all in what you bring to your work.
But when you work for someone else, they dictate the form and function of that work. They have the power to tell you, “no, you can’t do that,” and the making a difference part of the job often gets lost in bureaucracy and red tape.
When you work for yourself, you decide how best to serve the world.
As an entrepreneur, you have a direct connection to the people you’re helping, and no one “above” you telling you what you can or can’t do.
If you recognize a need in your audience, you can choose to serve that need, without having to ask for permission.
If you see an opportunity to help in new ways, in bigger ways, in more creative ways – you can do it.
Of course, building a business isn’t always easy.
In fact, it can feel like one the hardest, scariest things you’ll ever do.
The truth is, building a business isn’t complicated… but because we’re human, we’re very good at making it complicated.
We tell ourselves stories, like “selling is sleazy” or “rich people are assholes” – and we don’t want to be sleazy assholes, so we avoid marketing and we under-charge for our services…
We question whether or not we’re “good enough” to do what we do…
We feel guilty for taking time away from family to build the business…
We think we have to do it all ourselves, that asking for help is a sign of weakness or failure…
We doubt that the work we’re doing will actually make a difference in the world…
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
You don’t have to change who you are to build a thriving business.
You don’t have to sacrifice your loved ones to make a difference.
You don’t have to do it alone.
And you definitely don’t have to be a sleazy asshole!
Building a business isn’t complicated. It just takes a set of skills that most people haven’t learned.
Throughout my life, I’ve worked for and with more small business owners than I can remember. And time and again I’ve seen the same thing – people start a business because they love what they do, and because they love the connection it gives them to the people they’re serving.
But they don’t really know anything about business… and “traditional” business advice is outdated and poorly suited to people who want to build a business that serves and cares about it’s customers.
Over and over again I found myself helping small business owners, guiding them towards a new way of doing business.
A way that helped their business to thrive, while also honoring their need to make a difference, their need to be themselves, and their need to feel a personal connection to their customers.
It can feel complicated…
Because there’s so much to learn, so many options available and choices to make.
Not to mention plenty of crappy advice to sort through.
Which is one of the many reasons I love serving as a guide to those who want to build a thriving business and make a difference in the world.
I love to see people doing what they love…
I love to see people thriving, both personally and professionally…
And I really love seeing people using their gifts to help make the world a better place.
Even Especially when they didn’t think they could ever make a difference that mattered.
This is the work I can’t not do, and it’s the work that let’s me make a difference.
I’ll never be able to heal the entire world. It’s too big a job for just one person, in just one lifetime.
What I can do is help you heal the stories that stop you from doing the work you’re driven to do. I can help you build a business that supports you, fueling you and allowing you to take your work to even greater levels.
And I can help you reach the people you need to help – thereby creating a ripple effect that will spread outward, touching more and more lives.
Because together we can help enough people to move the world closer to being healed.
Which may not be everything, but it can be enough.