Dr. Mollie Marti told me “I’m here to help the children,” when I asked her about her purpose. She then elaborated by sharing a daily prayer from her mentor, Judge Rosen: “God help me make a contribution to a just and peaceful world.” Inspired by that prayer, Dr. Mollie crafted her own daily prayer: “God help me encourage love, aliveness and service in others.” As we talked further, she told me her purpose is to “help adults find their own way to thrive and serve others.”
Dr. Mollie runs the Community Resiliency Project which was born of a community that lost 3 teenagers to suicide in a short time. I asked her how a community can become more resilient and she shared the framework they use, called THRIVE.
T Trusted adults
H High expectations
R Resiliency building
A couple of other quotes from our interview that struck me:
“As you strengthen others, your strengthen yourself.”
“You matter. We need you!” This refers to a campaign they run with their young people.
“Your value lies not in status or title but in the roots of your character and depth of your compassion.”
“Allow the way to your great work to be guided by your service to others.”
This last week I read an amazing article that speaks directly to being who you are. My wife and I choose the name Sarvata when we married because it means wholeness or integrity. That’s what this podcast is all about. It’s about asking yourself who you are and then it’s organizing your life so you can be that.
This article starts by asking a trivial question: how did Toast become the latest artisinal food craze in San Francisco?
Turns out the roots can be traced to the Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club owned by Giulietta Carrelli. Listen to my take on that story and then go read the original article. Amazing.
Rob Jordan: Betterment of Others & Betterment of Ourselves
Rob Jordan, founder and CEO of Idealist Consulting, told us about his purpose, the betterment of others and betterment of ourselves. I invited him on the show because he was one of the first 50 Certified B Corps in the world. This certification recognizes Idealist Consulting’s commitment to the triple bottom line (people, planet and profits).
Idealist Consulting serves non-profits to help them improve efficiency around fundraising, outreach, etc. Cloud services provides like Salesforce.com gift the software (with the accompanying tax write-off) and the non-profit pays Idealist Consulting to get everything set up and customized for them. Win, win, win.
After the interview I talked a bit about the work that I do, helping entrepreneurs and executive teams decide on their purpose, who they’re serving and what they’re selling, all important pieces of a business model. To schedule a 20-minute phone call with me to get to know each other and see if we ought to talk further, please visit: http://PurposePodcast.com/phone
Dot Com has been the top dog in the world of internet addresses for many years. That may be turned on it’s head in the next year or two as many, many new domain name extensions come into being. Ray King is one of the entrepreneurs helping to shape what this newly-named internet will look like.
“Over the next year or two, people will get used to the new system [where hundreds of new domain name extensions such as .wiki, .ink, .dentist, .law, etc come into existence].”
“This will give pretty much everyone the chance to get a domain name that really matches their passion.”
“Now is a great time to think about your identity and your space on the internet and it’s going to be super exciting in the next couple of years.”
Jackie Peterson’s purpose is to have every small business be financially successful. Her specific passion is solo entrepreneurs, specifically creatives (artists of all stripes, visual, performance, etc) and encore (retirees who launch solo businesses in their later years). Links from our interview with Jackie Peterson:
Jackie’s Better Smarter Richer training online at OpenSesame
BetterSmarterRicher.com – check out Jackie’s free ebook Better Smarter Richer and her study group in Portland, Oregon that starts January 7th
Some insights from Brian Setzler of TriLibrium, the triple bottom line CPA and Accounting firm (paraphrased):
Anything we try to maximize, we blow up. If we can create a system in balance, on the other hand, everyone wins.
Ben and Jerry’s was started to help Vermont dairy farmers. Their success hasn’t been because they have the best ice cream or the best marketing or the best price, but because people connect with their purpose. (Ben & Jerry’s is a Certified B Corp, as is TriLibrium)
Several ways to look at and think about purpose
To help our customers succeed across the triple bottom line.
To serve small business.
To be a model and inspiration for other businesses, the power of business to make a positive difference in the world.
book: The Living Company (as opposed to a business as a machine). Half of the fortune 500 from 30 years ago doesn’t exist today. On the other hand, there are hundreds of companies around the world today that are over 300 years old. What does it take to build a company with that kind of stability?
People come to work for a paycheck but loyalty and commitment and dedication is tied to purpose.
BLabs is the organization that does the B Corp certification (BCorporation.net). As Brian talked about, anyone can do the assessment. I went ahead and did the assessment for my business. They give you a score at the end and 3 different benchmarks: normal businesses average 50, sustainable businesses average 80 and certified B Corps average 91. My initial score was 56, so we have some work to do. For example, Brian talked about how his company didn’t have a maternity leave policy when they took the initial assessment. That’s true for me too, and many other areas where I don’t have policies. My vision is very community-focused, but almost none of that is written down in policies. I’ll keep you updated over time as I learn more about what changes I can make and which ones I decide to make.
TriLibrium.com (“Tri” for triple bottom line and “librium” from “equilibrium”)
Isaac Tolpin says Choose Growth amplifies magnitude of mission for thought leaders. “If you’re not really clear about your purpose, mission and culture, you’ll make decisions that appear be good for your business from a financial standpoint but long term are harmful for your business.”
“We’re not just writing a blog post or finding an image for a website, we’re making an impact for our partners. Speaking our purpose aloud regularly reminds us what we’re really here for.”
“When you’re a person of purpose, you’re attractive, calling business to you and making an impact. ”
Jenelle Isaacson’s Living Room Realty is Developing Vibrant Communities. This purpose (they call it their mission) came out of work they did internally to determine their core values. This are real estate agents as you’ve never imagined them!
Living Room Realty is a Certified B Corp (of fewer than 1000 companies worldwide, including New Seasons and Ben & Jerry’s). B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Diana Larsen’s purpose is to create healthy workplaces. She says FutureWorks Consulting works with organizational leaders so that everyone at every level can say, “I love my work…this is the best job ever!”
Create and support healthy workplaces at every opportunity
Discern the innovative and pragmatic to fit emergent work
Diana says that simple rules allow everyone to make decisions they know are aligned, without needing to check it out with a partner or the boss. These rules enhance organizational efficiency, they remove waste.
John Fish was instrumental in setting up the Princeton Project 55 (now Princeton Alumni Corps) Public Interest Project in 1989. Recent graduates were (and are) placed in one year fellowships in public interest organizations where they could not only do some good for people and communities that year, but where those experiences would have the potential to change the lives of those young people themselves.
I was a PP55 Fellow in 1993 in Chicago, and was greatly impacted by the experience.
John says (paraphrased): If we can interrupt the typical process for college graduates where they enter the corporate world immediately and get locked in to that system and career path, if we give them a chance to explore another world, some of them get excited about the people they’re working with and the impact they’re making and ultimately the meaning it gives to their lives.
“I wasn’t about just giving a young person a job. I wanted to get inside their heads.”