Pair of pink sneakers on a long beach.

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.

I agreed.

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. 

The world needs you doing YOUR thing!

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About The Author

Elizabeth B. Crook's picture

Elizabeth B. Crook is CEO of Orchard Advisors. For over twenty years, she has worked with CEO's and entrepreneurs to think and act strategically to grow their companies' bottom line and have more overall satisfaction. She has a gift for making sense of complex situations and mapping them so creative and practical approaches emerge. Clients speak of her insight, skill, authenticity, and willingness to ask the hard questions in a gentle way. 

She is also the bestselling author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next. Recent media features include ForbesFast CompanyDaily WorthPBS Next AvenueThrive Global, Conscious Company, and BetterBook Club.

A mother, grandmother, and ardent hiker, she lives on Music Row in Nashville. 

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