This is a question I ask EV-ER-Y-ONE! If we’ve worked together, talked business or life goals, or even just had a one-off deep and meaningful chat, you’re probably laughing right now because it’s very likely I’ve asked you.
Oprah says “Everybody has a calling and your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.”
I believe this with every fiber of my being – and not just because Oprah said it.
Your purpose a.k.a your ‘mission’, your ‘calling’ your ‘why’ or your ‘north star’, is a short 2-3 sentence statement that describes your big-picture objective and the reason for your (or your event’s) existence. It provides a solid foundation and framework to guide your decision making no matter what opportunity or obstacle comes your way.
So with that in mind, let me share my mission and explain how it helped guide me last year when the pandemic hit and my entire life as I knew it turned upside down.
My mission is to provide a platform that enables me to inspire, educate and empower event and event marketing professionals with the tools and tactics they require to fast track their success.
After the initial shock of the pandemic, lockdown and the cancellation of large gatherings wore off, I took stock of the situation I found myself in. I looked over my 2020 goals to assess what I COULD control during the pandemic and chose to focus on what would help me move closer towards my current end goal.
My current end goal (and I use the word current because as I achieve, my vision gets bigger and bigger) is to produce my own live event education series. It’s been on my vision board for years and if I’m honest, I already know my speaker lineup, the content I want to cover, the opening act, MC I’m going to book and many of the activations. It’s a crystal clear vision, BUT I know it’s in my interest to build a bigger platform before I launch this event.
With that in mind, during lockdown, I created and launched my first online masterclass, 7 Steps to Event Success!, to help event and marketing professionals get bums in seats (when we can be in person) and eyes on screens. (I may not love producing virtual events myself, but I know how to get people to show up.)
This masterclass enables me to share all of the tools, tactics and templates I’ve used over the last 20 years to produce highly successful SOLD OUT events around the globe. I LOVE what I do yet I also acutely remember what it felt like to work sooo hard planning an event that struggled to sell tickets. Once I figured out the right system though, everything turned around for me, my clients and soon my students.
Here’s the thing, when my clients and students succeed, I succeed, which will get me one step closer to being able to deliver that amazing live event with in-person education that I KNOW will help an even larger number of people and make a massive impact, which in turn will bring my dream of success to fruition as well. It’s a win win for everyone.
Struggling to find your purpose?
Let me help you with that. Answer these 4 questions:
1. What lights your heart on fire?
If money wasn’t an object, if there was absolutely nothing tying you down, and if you had all the money in the world… how would you want to spend your time?
Grab a piece of paper and write down every single thing you love or enjoy doing. It could be a list of hobbies, tasks or activities, a gesture like helping others or supporting a cause or something that moves you to tears.
If you’re questioning my comment on tears, allow me to explain. My example would be watching performers come out and give it their all on televised talent shows. When they show a prelude video of someone who’s been bullied in school because they’re different (or super talented) or someone who has been chasing their dreams for years and THIS is their last shot, I feel like I’m already with them on stage. Then when they knock it out of the park and get the gold buzzer, the touchdown, all 4 chairs turn, or a standing ovation, it’s all over Red Rover – my heart has burst open and I’m a blubbering mess.
There is no right or wrong answer or list too long or short. Just sit and brainstorm for as long as you require.
2. What are you great at doing?
From the list you created when answering question one, highlight the items where you excel. If you struggle giving yourself props, start by highlighting the items your friends, family and colleagues tell you you’re really good at. Hopefully by the end of this first step, you’re feeling a little more confidence within yourself to go through and highlight anything else.
3. How can you better serve the world and/or your ideal client?
Focus on your highlighted list. Is there a product or service you can create to solve a problem or provide an even better solution to what’s already available? Don’t get stuck on the fact that everything already exists because nine times out of 10 it absolutely will. Instead, remember what Marie Forleo says “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
Whether there is one or 1 million products or services in the category or space you want to enter, you are going to put your own spin on whatever you create. So long as your ideal customer can clearly see the value in your offering, there will be a market for it.
4. How can you monetize it?
Q. Do you know the difference between a hobby and a business?
A. A business makes profit.
We’ve all got expenses. Even if you’re already financially wealthy, if you’re an expert in something and you create a product or service that adds value and makes a difference in the world, you deserve to be paid for it.
Financial freedom is one of my biggest motivators – and it should be yours too. As my friend Chris Harder says “When good people make good money, they do great things.” You can’t give from an empty cup so have the confidence to charge what you’re worth and then add tax.
I leave you with one more quote from Oprah, because one is never enough:
“Answer your calling.
Pay attention to life’s whispers.
Life whispers to you all the time. Your life is speaking to you. From the time you wake up in the morning and through every single experience that comes into your personal space, into your physical space all of those experiences are speaking to you they’re telling you something about your life and about your circumstances. It whispers and if you don’t get the whisper (message), the whisper gets louder. If you don’t get the whisper when it gets louder, it becomes like a little pebble (problem) that bumps you on the head. If you don’t pay attention to the pebble, the problem becomes a brick (crisis) that hits your head, the crisis turns into a disaster and everything comes falling down.”
Remember: Everybody has a calling. It’s your job in life to figure out and ACT on it as soon as possible.