It was the Summer of 2013 and Share On Purpose was failing, even after I’d invested over $1 million dollars and four years of effort.
We were out of cash, had lost our biggest client and did not know if we could make payroll.
It was the most challenging time in our company’s history. Here I was chasing the biggest dream I’d ever had, and still couldn’t make it work.
Even though my business mind said to quit, my heart and soul encouraged me to keep going. Although I felt afraid, my soul was hopeful.
We pulled our six staff members together, two who are still here, and started weekly briefings on our financial status, and more specifically, whether or not they would have a job.
In the midst of this, we were defining our culture and asking them to describe who we were. The words were consistent: Optimistic, Hopeful.
They used these words in the midst of failure, and it was true. We were filled with hope, regardless of the external results.
This is important, not only because it’s part of our cultural fabric, but rather because it’s the key to achieving a dream.
Most of us were taught to use what happens externally as a determination of success.
Messages like: “Did you win?” “Did you get an A in your test?” are pounded into our childhood psyche from early on.
Conversely, because I had grown up in extreme poverty and abuse, I had to learn how to look past the immediate external world to simply find the will to survive.
Rather than look to what was happening around me for hope, I shifted my perspective to the dream of something different. I saw things the way I wanted them to be, rather than what they were. And that filled me with hope.
Today, that hopefulness is now pervasive in our culture. No matter what happens, our core leaders are able to shift their perspective to the good that can come from the challenge, rather than dwell on the challenge itself.
It may sound utopian to some, but it’s who we are at our core. As we near Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for hope.
– Hope that things will improve in our nation
– Hope that there are better times ahead
– Hope that we are a beacon of “possibilities”
– Hope that we attract the best talent
– Hope for profitable growth
– Hope for powerful new concepts to launch
What are you hopeful about? What do you want to create with this life you’ve been given?
If you want to build something great, bring a spirit of hopefulness to your professional endeavors. Anyone can be critical and judgemental, but those who do great things know that hopefulness is THE attribute that produces victory.
Here’s a quote from the fairy tale “The Ugly Ducking,” that sums it up:
“He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.”
Happy Thanksgiving. Be a beacon of hope.