I’ve learned two big lessons recently. They are both lessons I’ve known and experienced before, but because life gets so overloaded at times I tend to forget them or let them drift.
The first lesson is not only should I not be afraid to lean on others for help, but I need to make a point to rely on others for support and input and guidance. To do something of big impact, we need the help and support of others. The second lesson is that it makes a tremendous difference when you identify and have a clear focus on your purpose. In order to do something well, we need to be 100% honed in on our purpose.
When I was in New Orleans in 2007, doing volunteer work for Hurricane Katrina, I identified a need in the community. Many families were starting to move back into their rebuilt homes after living in shelters or FEMA Trailers for many months. Everything they had owned was destroyed in the flooding, of course, so they had no furniture as they moved back into homes. And for most, whatever money they had went to rebuilding the home and day to day living. Many didn’t have extra funds to go out and buy even basic furniture like chairs and beds and tables.
I saw this, identified a need and came up with a solution. Let’s do furniture drives in different parts of the country and then truck that donated furniture in to distribute to some families who needed it. In this case we identified a clear purpose of the cause, as well as the action required to provide a solution. But I could never do this on my own. No way. I had the help of several other volunteers in gathering information on the idea and coming up with steps for solutions. And then, we reached out to our networks in different parts of the country and asked people to start furniture drives. As the initiative grew and more people got involved, several of us got together and started a formal non-profit called Furnishing 4 Hope, so that we could help even more people. For about 15 months we helped families who had been victims of major hurricanes in Louisiana and in Galveston, TX get furniture for their new or rebuilt homes.
It worked because we had a clear purpose. And it worked because I and others collaborated and united and relied on even more people for help and support. If we didn’t have either of the above, we would never have made the kind of impact we did.
I recently defined my purpose and my target audience for my personal coaching business. I had worked on these for months. I got this done because I had the help of several key people in my life (one amazing business coach, one amazing speaking coach, and three other good friends and peers who have helped me along the way). Define your purpose, to the clearest extent possible. And lean on others. No matter what the cause, no matter what the circumstance, these two steps will help catapult you to a whole next level of impact.