Do you have a dream to make the world a better place?
Build stronger neighborhoods, improve the educational system, change how we use energy, create access to capital for overlooked entrepreneurs, or shift consumption habits of everything from paper to potato chips?
Most people deep down want to see their work as contributing to a better world, even if that better world is making a living for their family, so kids can be healthier, better educated, and so on.
Steve was passionate about changing an industry that affected millions of people across the country. He was smart and determined, creating new models for both financing and operations. Steve successfully piloted a project, proving the viability of his model. Then reasoned, “All I need now are investors”.
Steve worked the investor angle, but with limited success. Not only that, in the meantime, a well-connected and well-funded group came into the market. By the time we talked, Steve was discouraged and didn’t know quite where to turn. As we talked, Steve’s passion for industry reform was clear. His sense of failure around recruiting investors was also clear.
I asked Steve some questions.
What is your purpose in creating this company? Changing this industry.
Who shares your purpose and passion? He named the competitor.
What are the parts of the business you find most energizing? Working with consumer groups and creating new models.
What value could you bring to a company/organization that shared your passion? Doing modeling and testing new products for the market.
What would keep you from approaching your “competition”? My ego and also the fact that I’ve not been successful in getting investors.
Are you going to let your ego get in the way of seeking other ways to achieve your purpose? That would be stupid, and that’s one thing I’m not.
Steve had been wearing the wrong shoes related to what he truly wanted to accomplish.
If you find yourself feeling unsuccessful ask yourself the questions that I asked Steve.
You may find you’ve been wearing shoes that don’t fit you.
Kick them off and find ones that do.