Working For Yourself, Not By Yourself

“Priceless.” That’s how writer Sue Carrington describes her working relationship with Share On Purpose.

A full-time freelancer since 1999, Sue is a seasoned member of the gig economy. She embraces her role as a writer entrepreneur and loves the autonomy her freelance life provides. Working for herself, however, doesn’t have to mean working by herself — a mindset she said she shares with Share On Purpose.

“The writer’s life can be a solitary one,” said Sue. “It’s what we’re called to do, but sometimes we’re on the outside, looking in. Remote writers can feel even more apart. Share’s approach to working with contractors acknowledges that reality; the company bridges the divide somehow and makes every effort to create community for us.”

Creating a Community of Wordsmiths

Earlier this month, Sue took a 1,300-mile road trip to Texas from her home in northern Virginia (her Pomeranian, “Poet”, in tow) to meet her long-distance co-workers face-to-face for the first time since joining Share in May 2016.

“It was a little surreal,” she said about being in Las Colinas for the company’s Thanksgiving party. “Umpteen emails and conference calls carved initial impressions, but talking with virtual colleagues face-to-face truly filled in the picture — in the best of ways!”

Sue’s perception of Share as a supportive community, which was in part why she joined the company, only grew stronger while she was in Texas.

“During the Writer’s Cadre, held after our Thanksgiving party, Share President and CEO Terri Maxwell sat down with the writers to say how much she and the Share team appreciate us. Her words confirmed for me that Share truly understands the writer’s way and values us both as subject matter experts and as writing entrepreneurs. That’s unique.”

Collaborating as a Team for Individual Success

The writers at Share are long-time professionals. Most have their own writing and editing businesses in addition to their work with Share and its partner companies. This helps create a synergistic team environment that, in Sue’s perspective, delivers benefits to each writer.

“Share is a place that enables us as writers to help grow each other’s businesses,” said Sue. “The collaborative community encourages freely exchanging ideas, developing relationships, and growing our individual networks. Over time, we’ve gotten to know and rely on each other. So whenever we get ‘too much’ work, we can ask for help from another Share writer, knowing the work and the client will be in good hands. For solo writers, that kind of alliance is a blessing.

“Our competitive advantage as freelancers is that we’re always available to serve our clients. Often, that means working wee morning hours or late nights and weekends,” Sue added. “But we do have choices. The key to work/life balance is empowering ourselves to make those choices wisely, and Share helps us in doing that.

“It’s never this or that; the ‘and’ is everywhere. The entire culture is about purposeful integration of work and life — and appreciating each other’s individual working styles. That kind of understanding leads to a better work product, a stronger collective, and happier clients. Who could ask for more?”

If these principles sound like a culture that you value and would fit into your life, check our open positions.

Work AND Play

Many adults grew up to believe we should operate from OR thinking. I can have cake OR ice cream. I can do what I love, OR chase financial success.

At Share On Purpose we believe in AND. We believe you can do what you love AND accelerate career success. We also believe that you can BOTH work AND play.

How you ask? By focusing on 3 key components:

  • Do what you love: Your passions are there for a reason. Although it’s unrealistic to think you will do what you love every day, it’s NOT improbable to think that the majority of your career should be enjoyable. If you don’t love what you do most of the time, rethink your career. Work with your manager or a coach to define what it is that you do enjoy. You can do what you love, if you first believe that you can. Once you have the belief, simply take steps to align your career goals with what you enjoy doing.

At Share On Purpose, not only do we believe in this philosophy, but we work hard to align our associates’ careers with their passions. It’s not always easy, and it does take a concerted effort, but it’s a critical part of our guiding principles and culture.

  • Love what you do: Once your career has migrated to doing more of what you love, it’s now your responsibility to love what you do. Find ways to make work fun. Bring a game-mindset to work. Invent fun ways to challenge yourself and your team. Remind yourself that joy should be part of your daily life, rather than something you seek only on the weekends.

We get stuck in our careers, because we chose to be stuck. We always have control over our perspective and the resulting attitudes and beliefs we carry. Work on your perspective. By looking for ways to make work fun, you will be focused on the fun, rather than the work, and this will enhance success. Another great way to change your perspective is to start every day by making a list of what you are grateful for. Find people in your life that you appreciate and take time to tell them what it is specifically, that you appreciate about them. A simple text of appreciation can make a big difference in both your lives. Tips for an appreciative mindset here.

  • Find balance: The last component of work AND play is balance. There are numerous studies that prove that work/life balance is not only a worthwhile goal, but actually improves performance. Balance is about taking the time to spend moments with the people who are important to you, and to partake in activities and hobbies that you enjoy. For a fulfilled life, we should work to live, rather than live to work.

What I’ve learned about driven people is that they struggle with balance, not necessarily because of their employer’s culture, but because of their own high standards and drive. I used to be one of those people. My personal standards were so high, that I would work myself into the ground. Needless to say, this type of obsession didn’t make me a fun leader to work for, nor an enjoyable person to be around. I knew that for life to be different, I had to change my approach. I had to change my perspective about balance and build it into our culture.

At Share On Purpose we have a driven culture, but also value work/life balance. As a result, we incorporated several strategies to support our driven leaders.

  • We start meetings late (after 9:30AM) on Mondays and stop work in the early afternoon (around 3PM) on Fridays. This allows our team members to ease into the weekend on Fridays, and ease out of the weekend on Mondays. It also makes the weekends feel longer.
  • We also encourage every team member to take a 4 or 5-day weekends every quarter to recharge their “batteries.” It doesn’t mean that you have to go away during that time, but simply “unplugging” is essential.
  • In addition to standard vacation time, we also reward employees’ tenure and incentivize balance with bonus time-off every few years. For example, at 3 years of tenure, employees are given an extra 2 weeks off, plus $250 to spend on a vacation. At 5 years of tenure, employees are given an extra 4 weeks off, plus $250 to spend on a vacation.

So, if you don’t love what you do, and if you want MORE out of life, maybe try to learn how to look for the AND, rather than the OR in your career.

And, if these principles sound like a culture that you would find meaningful, check out our open positions. We do have very high standards, but quite frankly, that is part of what makes it fun!

 

Purpose + Passion = Career Nirvana

Zing moment – that is how Stephanie Renna, Senior Talent Manager at Share on Purpose, describes the experience of finding her purpose.

“Like many others, I thought my purpose had to fit the work I was doing. I didn’t realize it was something bigger,” said Stephanie. “When I stopped overthinking it and put the words to what I wanted, I had that ZING moment!”

Finding her purpose, combined with being in a place with so many possibilities, has positively impacted Stephanie’s career. With her performance mindset and ability to persevere, she has achieved new levels of success.

Stephanie started in one of Share On Purpose’s portfolio companies in 2012 (before it was even called Share On Purpose) working in a marketing role. At that time, she was given opportunities to stretch and grow her skill set.

“I went from 9 hours a day in a cubicle, focused on one aspect of marketing, to a position where I was exposed to all areas of business. It was exciting because my degree is in advertising and marketing, so I felt it was a better fit,” said Stephanie.

It’s Different at a Growth Focused Company 

Stephanie will attest to the fact that things move quickly at Share On Purpose. Her career changed as the organization grew. Working with multiple brands within the portfolio exposed her to new services and clients, which allowed her to expand her skill set beyond marketing.

It was through the portfolio’s training organization, Succeed On Purpose, that Stephanie became familiar with the power purpose. Realizing this was a critical step to her own success, she began working with Terri Maxwell, CEO of Share On Purpose, to uncover her life purpose. It took time, but Stephanie eventually discovered her purpose was to bring joy.

Once an individual is able to put words to their purpose, he or she can chart a career path that aligns with the type of work that will fulfill them.

“The next step was to determine the work I was most passionate about. I’d been exposed to elements of staffing and training in a few of the brands and really loved that work. Fortunately, the portfolio was experiencing rapid growth and there was a need for a position utilizing those skills. I began my transition from Engagement Manager to Talent Manager in 2016.”

Working On Purpose

Share On Purpose is a place of possibilities. Our focus on launching a new brand annually, coupled with our dedication to ensuring employees are doing work they love, allows individuals to try new roles in a safe environment. Once an associate finds one that is the right fit, he or she is developed quickly to grow into a leadership position and build a career that aligns with their passion and purpose.

Stephanie was able to find a new role within the organization that fit both her passion and purpose, and has since built the talent department. The process wasn’t easy, but it was rewarding.

“I spent four years with Share before this opportunity presented itself. And 18 months after my transition began, I’m still working on projects in other areas,” said Stephanie. “That’s fine because I know I’m in the right place and that ultimately, I’ll be an executive doing work I love full time.”

“I am happier now, even though it took a lot of trial and error to get here. When I first discovered my purpose was to bring joy, I thought I would have to go to clown school to fulfill it. I’m relieved that is not the case,” chuckled Stephanie.

Share On Purpose is unique in that we have a portfolio of companies that allows us to support our team members in finding the brand they like best. Additionally, the culture is built to support dedicated team members in succeeding, sometimes even providing a new career path that aligns with the portfolio’s growth. Stephanie is one of several success stories.

If working in a place of possibilities resonates with you, consider applying for one of our open positions.

Culture – It’s What’s for Business!

Do you ever feel there’s something missing in your day-to-day work? Maybe you feel like you don’t exactly fit in, or perhaps there is something “off” about the company you currently work for. Maybe you are just simply looking for something bigger, better and more significant.

You are not alone! According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 7 out of 10 people are not actively engaged at work. This not only impacts each employee’s happiness, but costs an estimated $450 billion in lost productivity each year. That’s billion, with a “b.”

Lack of engagement is bad news for companies, but also equates to a challenge for career-oriented professionals who desire a challenge and want to be a part of a larger purpose. If the company cannot tackle the issue of engagement, talented professionals will go elsewhere. This begs the question – what should you consider if you are wanting to make a positive change in your career trajectory?

Find a Culture Fit

When you feel like there is something missing from your career, it impacts every aspect of life. Perhaps you like your current role, but the company itself is not in alignment with your overall goals. Successful leaders will advise you: choose the company, and choose the leadership, rather than the job itself. Look for a company that has a culture that is in alignment with who you are.

The culture of an organization showcases its beliefs, values, and behaviors. By investing time in learning about a company’s culture, you can find a workplace that aligns with your personal goals. It should be relatively easy to learn about a company’s culture, because organizations are very aware of the advantage a positive culture brings. If you cannot find out about the culture, that is your first sign you don’t want to pursue that company any further.

A recent Forbes article outlines how organization’s that focus on culture are becoming icons for both job seekers and those looking to fulfill a larger purpose. Reasons listed include:

  • Younger companies that focus on culture see a huge payoff (think HubSpot with its culture manifesto).
  • NetFlix’s culture manifesto “freedom with responsibility” is one of the most popular documents on the internet, 11 million+ viewers.
  • Value statements have popped up everywhere. Examples include Zappos’ cultural values focus on innovation, Google’s 10 “truths” (focus on the user is one), and LinkedIn being in the “human service” business and calls itself a “tribe.”

Obviously, culture is a focus for many organizations. Those who understand the value will be actively creating and cultivating a culture. Those who don’t may not realize that culture happens whether you focus on it or not, and are the ones who end up with a culture you may not desire.

Make the Best Choice for You 

Finding a culture that aligns with your value set is key to your success and happiness. The following tips will help you get started on discovering the best business opportunity for you:

  1. Write down your values and goals. Make sure to be specific and think long-term.
  2. Review the company website for their culture information. At Share On Purpose, we are very clear on our culture and focus – “to inspire potential in others while launching game-changing ideas. We believe in creating BOTH meaningful vocation and financial success.”
  3. Consider reviewing survey websites. Many current and former employees will provide their feedback on a company through sites likes Glassdoor. One caveat – review these with a critical eye. It’s very easy for people to voice “sour grapes” on these sites, so review them for valid content that provides good feedback.

Finally, don’t wait until you are completely unhappy or out of a job to start seeking your next opportunity. It takes time to find the best organization for you, so start earlier and invest time in really understanding the type of opportunity you desire. For those who crave an entrepreneurial environment filled with opportunities for high performing individuals, please check out the open positions at Share On Purpose. Starting now gives you the best chance to find the ideal place for you.

2017: A Year of Possibilities

2017: A Year of Possibilities

A new year has arrived, and with that comes a time of reflection on the previous year. Many of us think back on the highs and lows, the best moments of the year, and what we would have done differently. Resolutions are frequently made to address the things we looked back on and felt needed improvement. These resolutions can be life changing, or, all too frequently, they fizzle out before the season changes and we’re repeating the mistakes of the previous year.

Intentions, Not Resolutions

The word “resolution” has developed a reputation as being something you either win or lose at. One misstep and it’s right back to your old ways. There doesn’t seem to be a way to course correct.

If you think about your goal as an intention, it changes your behavior long term. You can struggle, and even fail at moments, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. An intention has no expiration date, so keep going.

Resolutions are too easily broken. This year, don’t resolve to improve or change something. Intend to do it.

Choose Wisely

A new year inspires many of us to hit the reset button, but don’t overcommit. Deciding to improve your health, relationships, career, and financial situation all at one time will quickly overwhelm any person. Try focusing on the one area that will have the largest ripple effect.

Will improving your health give you more energy to excel during the workday and still enjoy time with your family?

Will finding a fulfilling career make you happier overall to positively affect your health and relationships?

Once you’ve identified what will have the largest impact, set the appropriate intention and start working.

Purpose and Intentions

For many of us, the thing we decide to change in a new year really comes down to what will make us happier. There is a direct correlation between following your passion and personal fulfillment. This year, take the time to not only reflect on the previous year, but also focus on your purpose and how it can be deployed moving forward.

 

A Place of Possibilities

Share On Purpose has long recognized the formula that intention multiplied by purpose results in fulfillment and success. We ensure each member of the Share family finds their purpose, then allow them the opportunity to chart their own career path doing work they love.

This year, we challenge each of you to skip the resolutions, and instead, focus on improving one area of your life that will bring you the most joy. Determine how you can apply your purpose to that area, and set the appropriate intention.

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” -Oprah Winfrey

The Peace Pact

I’ve now participated in over 12 elections, voting for some democrats, as well as several Republicans.

Each election was more contentious than the one before, as politicians fought over the 2-5% of the population that isn’t firmly entrenched and divided.

This saddens me. There has to be a better way.  Maybe it’s not the politicians who need to change, but us, the electorate. Politicians simply mirror the people, and we are a deeply divided nation.

So, I’ve set a goal to create peace in my own little corner of the world through three pacts:

1) Judgement Free:

I commit to stop criticizing others, period. I did better with this in 2016, but still have a long way to go.

Yes, I will retain my strong opinions, beliefs and ideas. But the difference between an opinion and a judgement is dangerous.

Opinions are personal, they are about me or what I believe. Judgements are about others, or what others believe. Lets keep opinions, but drop ALL judgement.

Speak of the great things about your party, candidate or sports team, without making the other side/team wrong for theirs.

2) Positive Perspectives:

I commit to seeing only the good in others, even if I don’t agree with them. Rather than criticism, I will point out compassionate and more kind ways of sharing opinions, on both sides of the aisle.

And no matter what happens, I commit to look for the good in it.

I will replace negative views with a simple practice: assume positive intent. Assume the other person, political party, entity, or group meant well, even if I don’t agree with their actions or beliefs.

3) Appreciation Rules:

I commit to making appreciation a daily practice. I’ve scheduled an “appreciation break” on my calendar each day so the very act of appreciation becomes a habit. I will find things to appreciate, daily.

Please join me in this Peace Pact! If there is a better way, it must start with each of us.