I had a business meeting with a new contact the other day. As we chatted, the conversation turned to my involvement in 85 Broads. For those of you not familiar with the group, 85 Broads is a network of women professionals that support and empower each other to achieve their goals. I have recently taken on the role of President in the organization.
With pride, I shared some of the social and philanthropic events we’ve organized in the past year. I explained how women prefer to get to know one another before doing business together. After I was done giving a general overview of the organization and my involvement, he looked at me confused and asked the question that left me speechless—
“But what’s in it for you as President— why do you do this?”
Honestly, I didn’t even know how to answer that. I had just spent a good five minutes explaining the wonderful assets of the organization and the many things we had accomplished as a team. I stared at him with a confused look on my face. I had to take my time to formulate my response.
The remainder of the day, I mulled over the interaction. It eventually occurred to me that maybe he didn’t understand what it feels like to be motivated with purpose and passion. Yes, I thought, he was referring to being monetarily compensated. He had listened to my whole passionate explanation of the organization and still didn’t understand how I could pour so much of myself into a position that didn’t monetarily reward me.
My purpose in my life is clear to anyone that knows me. I passionately coach women to achieve their goals and go after their dreams. I encourage them to live their life true to who they are. I support them to make changes and push forward to go after what they want. My strengths are seen daily in my work: my ability to influence, support and empower others to achieve the impossible. When I’m working within my own strengths, I feel strong and empowered. In other words, I feel that I’m the best version of me.
Being President of 85 Broads gives me the opportunity to positively impact the lives of women in our community and beyond. It enables me to expand my work in life beyond my own business. It gives back in ways that can’t even be explained.
Recently, I was walking around the side of the house and noticed where I had placed some dead hanging plants. There, among the dead, ugly brown leaves was one beautiful flower. I stopped what I was doing to marvel at the plant. How did that happen? How did that one flower survive in such dry, poor conditions? To me, that experience had meaning.
When you’re living your life with purpose and passion, every day has meaning. You are crystal clear on your goals and what’s important to you in life. You meet each day with enthusiasm for the work ahead. That’s not to say that there aren’t bad days. Eventually, bad things happen and you’re met with some disappointments and unhappiness. However, when you’re living your life with clarity on your purpose, you’re able to bounce back much faster. You thrive even in the poorest of conditions and can dig down deep to find the strength to persevere. Just like that beautiful pink flower.
Apparently, I’ve found what nurtures me to grow in a dry bed of weeds. I hope my new friend discovers the same someday.