Sometimes the universe lines up things for us that we just don’t know what to do with right away. The past 4 months have felt like that for me. So many days I’ve thought to myself, I need to sit down and write; to process all the things that are going on. But, to borrow a phrase from Jonathan Fields, I’ve been in ‘The Thrash.’
Truthfully, it really started in July when I returned home from the World Domination Summit, which was yet another incredible experience in Portland. I saw the talk that I gave at WDS on Vimeo for the first time recently. This was a pivotal moment for me. If you have 5 minutes to watch it, it explains a lot about where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.
When I got back to Atlanta, I immediately got pulled into landlord mode and the process of finding a new tenant for my loft. That actually went pretty well, and on my birthday the new tenant moved in. Whew. Done.
The week I was working to get the new tenant confirmed, I decided to put a totally unprecedented fundraising goal out there for myself for charity: water. It was ambitious, and perhaps a little audacious, but I wanted to do it. I knew it was possible, but I didn’t think through the volume of other things I was working on and working toward at the same time.
Part of me has been quiet here because I was a little embarrassed that I fell far short of my goal for charity: water. Especially when I saw what my friend Sarah achieved on her awe-inspiring campaign. Alas, life goes on, and I can now comfortably step forward and feel OK with what I achieved.
The truth is, I do a lot of volunteer work and social cause work that I don’t get paid for. I’ve given the majority of my life’s energy over to things that I believe in very strongly and I need to give myself a pass for not hitting this particular milestone.
Right around the time of the tenant transition and fundraising campaign, I had 2 really big opportunities come my way. One was with Kids of the Gulf, and the other was on the business front. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but they seem to occupy different parts of my thinking most times.
I’m in talks with a well-seasoned, accomplished film Producer that is joining the Kids of the Gulf team, which is something I’ve been working on for a year now. It turns out that when you’ve never produced a real film before (that would be me), it’s harder to find people to give you half a million dollars to go out and do your first one. Lesson learned, course adjusted. More to come on that front as details emerge.
The really big thing that happened over the Summer was the formation of a new partnership with my previous business partner and his associate on a new venture called Culture.
Culture is a brand strategy firm with a strong, even disruptive point of view – we help brands thrive by putting people back into the equation, turning consumers into customers.
If I’ve learned anything at all over the past 3 years, it’s that connecting with people in their own environment is fundamental to understanding what makes them tick and what values they hold dear. I’ve also had the value of listening and understanding reinforced over and over again.
Customers, not Consumers. Remember that one.
I believe that we’re in the middle of a great societal shift, greatly precipitated by the rise of social media, in which people hold brands to a higher standard of responsibility to the world at large, not just to their shareholders. We live in a time where global challenges continue to mount and where the old responses to these challenges are failing to produce the results they used to.
Change is inevitable, and the business community is uniquely positioned to facilitate rapid transformation of systems at a global level.
Bold leaders are awakening to this reality and charting a new course for their organization, and at Culture we help them understand the points on the chart that resonate with their customers most deeply.
I got excited about this because of its potential to have a huge positive impact on the world. Plain and simple. 3 years of working on various aspects of social change and seeing the challenges and opportunities inherent in the issues I care most about have brought me to this place. When I look back over my life and professional career, it seems so clear to me now. I’ve been led to this place to do this work, and I feel a fierce determination to use my time here on this beautiful planet to help humanity remember its place in the universe and help heal the world by healing ourselves first.
And I thought raising $5000 for charity: water was an aggressive goal!
But here’s the thing – it’s what I’m here to do. Nothing less is worthy of my time here. The easy road doesn’t interest me whatsoever. I’m 38 years old and I finally feel aligned with my true purpose and my potential to be a facilitator of great things.
3 months have passed since I wrote here. Far from idling, I’ve been taking bold steps forward and setting the stage for some incredible work to flow through me in the years ahead. When I was updating my LinkedIn profile last week, this thought flowed forth as I was summarizing what I’m up to:
I’m creating the space for bold vision and institutional courage to emerge that inspires the C-suite to embrace the paradigm of truly sustainable businesses and industries leading the way in developing restorative commerce that ushers in a new era of ethical business and legitimate profits.
Feels awesome to say that and really truly feel it. No half-measures. No safe plays. It’s bold, and I believe necessary.
Together with other bold visionaries, each of us can raise our hands and join forces in ushering in a new era of human creativity and alignment with our true purpose. We can each throw caution to the wind and embrace our role as creators of our own realities and a more inspired future for humanity. We can each step up and do what we are here to do and in the process create a beautiful world that’s worthy of our dreams and aspirations as a species.
We’re here for something quite beautiful; all of us. I think I found the next step in my own journey, and I’ve spent the last few months honing the message I wanted to share with the world.
What about you? What can you share today that turns the world on its end?