"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." – Einstein
I've struggled for a long time to describe to other people what I do professionally.
You're a coach? Do you teach gym class or are a personal trainer? (No…)
Do you work on career stuff? (Well, sort of…)
Team coaching? Do we have to pass an orange with our necks? (I hope not.)
I've experimented with and tried on a whole variety of titles to describe my work, all with some success — until last week, when suddenly out of the blue, it came to me:
I help do-gooders do more good.
Do-gooders = People on a mission. People up to big stuff. People who want to make the world a better place in some way.
Do more good = Get more big stuff going in the world. Stepping up and making it happen. Showing up with authenticity and bravery and realness as a leader.
And as I often say to clients, this work of being a do-gooder do isn't for wimps. It takes a lot of oomph, guts, and fortitude. Every day.
Do-gooders' work doesn't always get a lot of thank yous, praise or recognition. It's sometimes hard to see concrete outcomes or endpoints.
And what I want you to know is: you give people a gift when they can understand what you do and why it matters to you.
Having a sense of why you do what you do – why it matters on a very personal level – and being able to explain it simply to others – can be very helpful in finding your path and staying on course personally and professionally.
If you're struggling to understand or explain your own purpose or mission in the world, try this:
1) Who do you love to work with? What types of people do you like to hang out with? What types of projects do you like to work on? What types problems do you like to solve?
2) What do people consistently appreciate and value about you and your work?
3) What are your superhero powers? What are you uniquely able to do that makes an impact?
4) Look for themes and trends in your answers, and see if there is a word or phrase that can easily capture the essence of your purpose.
Try using this template: I (verb: help, solve, etc) (audience/projects: types of people, organizations, etc) (impact: achieve something, or solve this type of problem).
Try this exercise, and in the Comments below, let me know:
– What's your understanding of your mission or purpose?
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