Why are you here?

I’m so blessed in my life to be able to connect with some truly amazing people. I regularly speak with people who have created incredible things – art, communities, families, products and businesses. And one of the things I’ve come to realize is that for everyone who achieves something great, who creates something unique and beautiful, there seem to be dozens of others who don’t really ever seem to be able to cross that line.

And I’ve always put myself in that second category.

Today I’m writing for myself – and I’m hoping it creates some value for others as well.

The honest truth is that I HAVE done some pretty amazing things, but I’ve always felt somehow inadequate. Like my dreams are just too big for me. And because of that, I’ve always held myself back rather than push myself forwards. I’ve always come off as rather confident, but the truth is that I’ve just been conservative. It’s easy to be confident when you’re playing within your capacity. The problem is that growth is rather slow when you’re not stretching and pushing yourself. And for someone who talks about growth, learning and potential as much as I do, it feels somewhat hypocritical to recognize this tendency in myself.

So I’ve created this business with a goal to help others reach their potential, but it’s rather self serving as well.

One thing I’ve recognized in the lives of those people who’ve really done something amazing is that they seem to actively resist passive consumption. I’m not saying they never stop, but they seem to have a bit more drive than most.

I was reminded of a saying recently “without vision, people lack discipline”. And I realized that the key to unlocking my own potential wasn’t just a better structure, or a perfectly designed system. I needed to Start with Why.

Why am I Here?

It’s interesting how you can learn so much when you turn your questions on yourself. I’ve asked this question dozens of times to business owners and managers – Why does this business exist? Why does that product exist? Why do you come in to work every day?

But I hadn’t stopped to ask myself that really – even when I started building up Strategic Ventures. Why am I doing this? What it comes down to for me is this: I just want to help people do better.

Ever since I was just a kid, I’ve felt that my purpose in life was to make a difference – to bring real value to the people around me. When I was first starting out in my career, I ran a Soup Kitchen and a community church. I just wanted to help people. It wasn’t just about feeding people, or creating a community – it was about connecting with people and helping them see things from a different perspective. To be honest, I feel that I was changed more than any impact I was able to have on others.

Since then, I’ve worked in everything from scrappy startups to corporate environments, from technology services to import / export businesses. My experience has grown, and now I’m in a position to be able to give back on a different level. I can share my expertise, my time, and my unique perspective with people who are stuck, wondering how things are ever going to change.

I don’t have all the answers – I never have. But I do know that sometimes it’s important to be reminded that the right questions are more powerful anyway.

Why am I here? Because I can make a difference.

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