I’d like to think of the early formation of Share On Purpose as a “million-dollar education” rather than a mistake, but at the time it felt very much like a HUGE blunder.
After selling a multi-million-dollar consulting business in early 2008, I decided to “invest” $500,000 in purposeful ideas with the goal of assisting entrepreneurs in bringing meaningful concepts to market.
From 2010-2012 we operated a business incubation program, launching 14 brands with 12 different entrepreneurs, including two brands (Succeed On Purpose and IGNITE On Purpose) that were my original ideas. Leveraging the Succeed On Purpose business training platform, we created a FREE 6-month business incubation program for purposeful entrepreneurs. At the end of the program, our management team determined if we wanted to invest cash in the incubated concept. These investments ranged from $10K to $100K in exchange for equity participation in these purposeful ideas.
We also provided office space, a CPA/Group Controller to manage accounting, and an operating team to help with the overall execution of the concepts. The aspiring entrepreneurs didn’t have to pay upfront for these resources. We assumed all risk, with the goal of earning distributions from equity positions that would eventually provide an investment ROI. The idea was simple: We only made money when everyone else made money, and we provided both the know-how and capital. A true win-win.
Wrong. Not only did I lose the $500K of initial investment but had to inject another $500K just to stay afloat, as the businesses struggled to meet financial projections, and many went under completely.
With spiraling negative cash flow due to infrastructure, we were forced to either exit each business at a huge loss, buy the business outright, or shut it down and assume the debt. Like I said, many would consider it a failure, but it was truly a million-dollar education.
- Was it a million-dollar education in how to build businesses? Nope. I’ve built several successful businesses.
- Was it a lesson on how to invest? Nope. I’ve made a lot of money investing in brands of all sizes.
- How about an education in how to select entrepreneurial leaders? Nope. These were all wonderful people with great ideas.
- Maybe it was a lesson in how to invest in start-ups? Nope. Not even that.
In fact, it wasn’t an education in anything related to business. It was a lesson in how NOT to quit.
One would assume that I would have already learned this lesson (how not to quit), as I’ve had a history of personal and professional challenges throughout my life. But, I’d never tried to do something this meaningful. I’d never tried to do something based on my purpose to inspire potential.
Learning how to stay the course when it gets tough isn’t all I learned about not quitting. What I learned was a hard-core lesson in the power of perseverance. Perseverance strengthens us. It prepares us for more.
Perseverance is an energetic force, and it’s through the energetic power of perseverance that we learn how to BE more as a path to having more. BEING more isn’t just about knowledge or experience. To BE more means that we’re able to access more of our potential. And, when we access more of our human potential, our dreams get bigger and our lives get better.
All great leaders, athletes, warriors, and entrepreneurs learn about perseverance. The only common denominator of successful people is perseverance. The refusal to quit. What most don’t realize, however, is that it’s not about quitting. It’s about tapping into the energetic power of perseverance. Every single person has an unlimited supply of perseverance, but only a few people know how to access it.
Ironically, the original dream for what is now Share On Purpose never changed. We set a bold vision in 2009 to build a place where great people did great things. We aspired to create purposeful brands that were game changers in their respective industries, with companies that were performance-based and leaders that were driven, yet purposeful.
Today, many people want what I have. They want to run an amazing portfolio of businesses and get to create brands that solve real problems. They want to attract amazing talent and develop them into world-class leaders. But not many people are willing to do what I’ve done in order to have this dream or any dream. Not because they are incapable, but because they haven’t learned how to harness perseverance.
To access perseverance, you have to first realize that it is an energetic force, which means we access it, or better yet, harness it. This force is already in us, waiting to be unleashed.
To access perseverance, we have to think in terms of “whatever it takes” or “find a way.” When life gets hard, it doesn’t mean that we should quit, it simply means we have to FIND A WAY. We have to think differently, learn something new, or look for a solution elsewhere. Or, sometimes we simply need to ask for help.
There’s ALWAYS a way to get what you want. Sometimes it’s persisting on the current path, sometimes it’s finding another route, sometimes it’s changing the approach altogether. But, there is always a way.
At Share On Purpose, we have built a place where GREAT people do great things. The emphasis is ALWAYS on great people, rather than the really cool brands we launch.
Share On Purpose hires driven emerging leaders and we GROW them. We prepare them, teach them, groom them, mentor them and develop them. I like to say that we grow leaders who launch businesses. We teach these leaders about the power of perseverance and how to maximize their potential. We help them discover their passions and help them chart a course to go after big dreams.
We have multiple brands in our Business Cultivator today, and we’re just looking for passionate leaders to launch these ideas. Many of our emerging leaders will soon get to create business concepts for us to cultivate. Through their passion and purpose, these leaders will identify world problems they want to solve. Working with our executive team, our emerging leaders will “imagineer” ideas that will make the world better.
Pretty cool right? Yes, if you can access perseverance. Perseverance strengthens, and when you access it, you’ll find a way.
Was the million-dollar education in perseverance worth it? Yep. And worth every penny.