I need to have a cause I believe in.
So much so that I can longer do work that doesn’t reflect my convictions.
I think many people are this way too.
It could be that living in an age where we are saturated with loads of information- it’s easy for us to find what it is we care about deeply. And pursue it.
For our TV Show Dream BIG, we’ve interviewed people ranging from under-resourced individuals making huge impact on entire communities to multi-millionaire entrepreneurs.
In meeting the varying individuals through Dream BIG I’ve realised that despite where we are in our journeys, we all need something to believe in.
Even outside of my work, there times I’ve spoken with people I deem super-successful- yet they’ll speak to me about a yearning in their hearts that goes beyond their every day business. A yearning that revolves around impacting the lives of others- not necessarily for financial gain but to fulfill a part of their lives they cannot ignore.
I believe that, as entrepreneurs, the every day work we do can be connected to a cause we believe in.
One of my favourite companies to watch is a clothing company called Sevenly.
I admire them because they embody what it means to work with purpose.
Their slogan is “People Matter.”
Part of their mission simply states: “Sevenly was founded… by four people who shared the mission of leading a generation toward generosity.”
Their story is: “We make lifestyle products that help fund charity projects across the globe. For every item purchased we give to the designated charity.”
If you visit Sevenly’s Facebook Page, you’re met with inspiration and conviction that this is a company that has turned love, care and passion into something tangible. I believe every good business can do that.
Within 2 years of being in business Sevenly was reported to have rapidly grown to 35 employees, producing revenue in the millions. And true to their word within their first year of operation Sevenly had made $1.3 million in charitable donations.
Sevenly is not everyone’s cup of tea. They don’t share their conviction with everyone. And here’s one of the secrets of their success: Sevenly exists to serve people who believe in their motto: People Matter.
Sometimes we worry that the people we’re targeting might not be enough. The truth though is as Marketing Guru Seth Godin puts it: “No niche is too small if it’s yours.”
“Niche” is no longer about focusing on who will buy from me!!!! Niche has become: who believes in what I do?
Our story doesn’t have to be that a portion of our profits go to charity- like Sevenly’s (even though that would be great!)- Our story can simply be a constant and consistent declaration of who we are. And then delivering that declaration with integrity.
I am convinced that businesses in their very nature serve. They create things that make our lives easier. They create jobs. Provide livelihoods for entire families. Businesses by their very existence do so much good. But I believe there’s more.
Entrepreneurs can fuel great impact by sharing what they believe and then roping in like-minded people to effect the change they yearn for.
We live in a world where each of us, whether we admit it or not, want to be a part of something we can be counted for.
As my friend Elungile Mzimba, founder of Educational Outreach Project MasQ says, It’s never a question of how many resources we have. The question always is: Are you available?
My question to you is what do You care about?
What is that thing that bothers you so much you wish it could change- right now! My belief is that it bothers you so much because maybe that thing needs you to raise your hand and bring about that change.
Start. No matter how small your start is, start.
Ask yourself: Who is waiting for Me to raise my hand?
And then answer this: for those people waiting and looking for you, Are you available?
Hannah Viviers is the host of the Dream BIG TV Show.