I would like to share with you how I discovered my passion; and how this passion has helped me become a better marketer and I believe make a difference in the lives of others.
Let me begin with a story…
In 2006 I attended Georgetown University to pursue a business degree. I double majored in Finance and Management. I remember my management professor would start every class with the same lesson; success and happiness, he said, comes from finding a purpose that is greater and higher than yourself and making a difference in the world you live in. Out of my 6 semesters of management, I took the same professor for 4. Considering my excellent attendance record;) – I think I heard him recite this line approximately 168 times!
So what does it mean to find a purpose that is greater than yourself?
Put simply, it is to be less interested in you, and more interested in the world around you. Whatever you do in life remember that care is as important as career.
It was Mandela that said
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we will lead.”
A year and a half ago, Mandela’s words spoke to me. I was working 12 hours a day, 51/2 days a week. I loved my job and was deeply passionate about my work, however I sensed as though something was lacking in my life. I felt like I wasn’t making a difference, that I wasn’t being of service.
This is where Educate, empower and Inspire was born. Growing up I was fortunate enough to attend schools of the highest caliber and play golf competitively – a costly sport. I am so grateful that I have a father who always pushed me to work hard, train hard and be disciplined. I am thankful for the constant support of my husband. Unfortunately, many girls are not given the same opportunities or the same support. I decided I wanted to empower women to use their gifts, their talents and their strengths to do something with their lives. I wanted to raise awareness about the importance of empowering women for our society as well as our economy. I realized you will grow and learn and develop by investing in others just as much as by investing in yourself. You discover a new side of yourself, a side that takes as much pleasure and pride when others succeed as when you do. Something many of us forget in todays fast paced world.
All the greatest figures in history have lived for a cause that is greater than them.
Dr. Muhammad Yunus for example is known throughout the world as a pioneer of the microcredit concept that uses small loans with affordable interest rates to transform the lives of impoverished people, mostly women. The founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Yunus and Grameen were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
According to Yunus, poverty means being deprived of all human value. He regards micro-credit both as a human right and as an effective means of emerging from poverty. By issuing micro loans to those who do not have access to traditional credit and teaching them a few basic financial principles, Yunus claims that they can generally manage on their own.
Yunus was able to use his passion to make a difference in the lives of others.
So in the end, how has finding a greater purpose made me a better marketer. I stopped focusing so much on merely selling my products and started focusing on creating brand value and building trust with my customers. I try to instill the importance of brand integrity. This is because, in the final analysis, a brand takes on the persona of its founders, and those who manage the business on a day-to-day basis.
Although admirable in simplicity, and amongst the most powerful brands on earth, if Nike or Apple made bad shoes or computers, it wouldn’t matter how memorable their logos are. A brand has to do with perceived values, and building trust.
Now think about Walt Disney, which for decades has produced family films. Walt Disney was a pioneer of innovation in entertainment. What Disney wanted to do was “create happiness through magical experiences.” Not “create films,” but create happiness!
In 1886 and 1904 coca cola’s tagline was “delicious and refreshing” and “drink coca cola”. In 2009 and 2016 its tagline was “open happiness” and “taste the feeling”, Coca cola sells carbonated soft drinks, but to its customers it does more than that. Through the years Coca cola has shifted its attention from merely selling soft drinks to connecting with its consumers and their feelings.
In 2014 Coca cola installed five special phone booths in Dubai labor camps that accepted Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins. In exchange for the cap from a bottle of Coke—which costs about fifty-four cents—migrant workers could make a three-minute international call. More than forty thousand people made calls using the machines.
Bringing a brand like Disney or coca cola to life over the years is not easy. It means continually listening in order to understand what your customers really care about. It means the consistent delivery of value and quality, true to the brand you’ve created. It means keeping your promises as a person and as a company.