It wasn’t always this way. I remember when I put aside my focus on business & making money to pursue making a difference, because I thought the two had to be separate. This quickly led to unfulfillment and total confusion, followed by what I lovingly call my quarter-life crisis.
I used to do marine science research at the world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. It was my total dream job after college. It came after graduating from my dream college (University of California, San Diego) and getting my dream internship (working for a non-profit in climate policy).
Philanthropy and entrepreneurship were in my DNA. When I was 9, I used to collect recycling door to door in my Coastal Maine neighborhood and cash it in at our local convenience store ($1 for wine bottles, score!). I raided the toy box to donate to the Salvation Army—even hiding dollar bills in each of the toys for other children to find. By 10 it was lemonade stands (one of my favorite memories is one of a gentleman handing me a $5 bill and not wanting anything in return other than to pay me for being myself and doing what I loved! Talk about a lesson in prosperity!!). At 16 I started an online drop-shipping business, and by 18 I was a full-on hustler, baby: buying and selling used cars, peddling petitions, even working as a notary public. I would literally make hundreds of dollars of cash per day.
When I was in my final years at UCSD, I made the conscious decision to stop focusing on “getting rich” and start focusing on making the difference I felt so driven and called to make instead. I knew I was going to make a difference in the world, even if it meant a pay cut. Marine science isn’t a high-paying field, so I told myself eventually I’d start a side business and make my money that way. My short-term plan was to work at Scripps, pick a speciality, and apply for grad schools, thinking about starting a business and growing in prosperity ‘sometime down-the-line.’
Except, a year and a half into my dream job, I realized it wasn’t feeling so dreamy. I wasn’t fulfilled, and I didn’t feel like I was making the difference I was expecting to make. I felt isolated doing research all the time. I felt so stuck. I’d worked so hard to get where I was only to feel like I was on the wrong path!!
What followed was what I lovingly call my quarter-life crisis. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning. I felt so lost and confused, depressed, frustrated and at times even angry. I had given it everything I had to get where I was, only to realize this wasn’t it.
I prayed, begged, journaled and cried out to God for the first time ever to show me my purpose. Whatever God wanted for me, that’s all I wanted to do. If only I could discover what that was!
I got a life coach. I took group programs with names like “Find Your Calling.” I read lots of books and dipped my feet into different industries trying to find the one.
Traditional Oriental Medicine? Not quite right.
Personal training? Closer, but still off.
I had written in my journal many times, “Maybe I want to coach.” But squashed that thought with, “Who am I to coach? Don’t I need to have my life figured out first?” (The Vision never lies. ;))
I got laid off from my research job and hired for a small business internship in the same week (Hello, alignment!!) I helped with managing the business, and got to sit in with the owner while he coached his clients. Then he started coaching me too. It wasn’t long before I declared, “I’m going to become a coach! That’s my purpose and calling. I know it.”
What followed was a journey of personal growth, business growth and self-discovery as I navigated the uncertainty, with the support of many coaches & mentors. While I dove right in, I struggled with self-doubt and slow progress for a long time. I even stopped coaching for about 6 months, wondering if I would ever be successful.
Then, I made a decision. I made the decision to commit 100%; that I was all in and there would be no other way. That’s when I hired my first 1:1 business & life coach.
And within my first 30 days I sold two back to back 6-month signature packages, followed by a half-day intensive. I had done over $6,000 in sales in my first 6 weeks!
I knew I was on the right path. It took commitment in the face of uncertainty, investing in the support I knew I required, and adopting a no-matter-what attitude.
Since, I’ve realized that making money and making a difference are meant to be together for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Prosperity & Impact go hand in hand. And I learned that the vision is there for a reason. It’s our destiny calling to us. Everything we truly desire in our hearts, coupled with the difference we came here to make live in our vision, waiting to be mapped out and lived!
Living powerfully in your purpose & launching your dream business, isn’t always a clear path. It takes persistence, and action with faith, even in the face of uncertainty, when you’re not sure how it’s all going to work out.
With the right guidance, a fully-aligned plan of action, and an attitude of whatever-it-takes with 100% committment, your success becomes inevitable.
I know with an unwavering certainty, that your vision & dreams are real. And more importantly, that the world is waiting, your future happiness and fulfillment are waiting for you to step up and claim them.