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How Starting a Not-for-Profit Business Gave me a New Purpose in Life

It is said that to achieve true happiness in life we first need to find our purpose. Without it we just meander through life with no real direction. Until recently this was so me! Do not get me wrong, I had a good life. I had a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. A nice […]

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It is said that to achieve true happiness in life we first need to find our purpose. Without it we just meander through life with no real direction. Until recently this was so me!

Do not get me wrong, I had a good life. I had a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. A nice house and had accumulated all the usual trappings of a moderately successful life. I was fit, active and healthy. But something was still missing and that something could not simply be purchased.

I was enjoying life, but the missing piece of my happiness puzzle has always been finding my true purpose. Something I could passionately dedicate my life in the pursuit of. For me finding that missing piece would be through my work.

A Woman with Many Hats

Like lots of people my career has taken many twists and turns. I am trained in Genetics but have never worked a day in this field (a surprisingly common occurrence!) Over the last 20 years I have worked in so many professions I have lost count. From a Bank Manager to a Cleaner. From a Financial Planner to a Property Developer. Even as a Dive Instructor. That is how I met my husband!

You get the picture. All of these helped pay the bills but none of them gave me the direction and fulfilment I desired. It was not until I started my own business that I began my path in the right direction.

Like many new businesses, I spotted a need in the market and created sportsbrasdirect.com.au. The beautiful thing about starting a business that fills a need (I sell sports bras) is you get the feel-good feeling of helping someone. Anyone who has worn a poor fitting and unsupportive sports bra will know what I am talking about.

It is such a great feeling to help someone and the daily feedback I received from customers made working more pleasurable. Like I said I was now on the right path.

A Decision that Changed Everything

The business was just over a year old when I made a change that would change my business and my life for ever. I moved my business into the social space and made it not-for-profit. I decided that all profits from the business would be donated to charity.

My business sells sports bras and women’s activewear, so it made sense to me to extend helping women into the wider community by supporting charities which help women in need. My charity of choice is Support the Girls Australia. Their support of disadvantaged women beautifully aligns with the support I offer all active women.

Why did I do this?

Now, this is a valid question I was asked by everyone I spoke to. I would tell them what I was doing and was met with a resounding; why? Friends and family simply could not believe I was working hard to then give it away.

And I could understand their confusion. We are all raised into a world where we are taught to get. Get a new car, get a new handbag, get a new TV. We are not taught to give. And it is funny, getting creates short lasting pleasure. Giving creates long lasting happiness.

For me, the explanation is easy.

It is amazing to give your life a purpose and everything becomes more enjoyable. Where once I would dread going to work, now I look forward to each working day with vigour.

The Future is Bright

The snowball effect of happiness has been amazing. My husband has quit his job and now works with me. We have future business plans that will quite literally change the world (lofty words I know!) My kids know everything we do and we both hope they will grow to lead a life of giving not getting.

I would like to finish with the words of Winston Churchill (words I have firmly stuck to the front of my fridge) ‘You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give’.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope I have inspired you to re-write yours.

Amy x

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