Tag Archives: purpose

My Greatest Business Weakness is Perhaps My Greatest Personal Strength

As I sit here on this Friday evening reflecting upon the way in which 2011 has started, my thoughts turn to my film shoot this morning over at NCO Youth and Family Services.  What an inspiring organization.  I’m wrapping up the final pieces of production for the documentary film I’m producing about the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest, which places a strong emphasis on non-profit organizations who benefit from all net proceeds.

As I worked through capturing principal and b-roll, my mind couldn’t help but pause to bask in the fact that since I started my own media production venture, I’ve never had a more rewarding and enjoyable year-and-a-half of work in my life, not to mention family balance and plenty of cherished moments around my two rapidly growing little men-in-training.  My business is a thriving success from the standpoint of being able to do what I love for a living connecting and collaborating with great people.  At the same time, there is that uneasy tension that all business owners feel with regard to the nagging need to make money… you know, for life’s indulgent luxury’s such as that roof overhead, food and taking care of the most cherished possession of them all… my children.

I started my business for one simple reason… to live my purpose in the service of others and be an example to my children to follow their passion in life.  I love people… I love to help people solve problems… and I love to tell inspiring stories.  While 2010 was a fruitful year for my business, 2011 has started out as one that leaves that uneasy feeling in your stomach.  Yet, I’ve come too far through my professional and personal evolution in life which was full of its own share of sobering highs and crushing lows to ever considering turning back.

So what’s going on?  Well, I’ve been told by someone very close to me that my weakness is I simply give too much away.  I would be inclined to protest, but the irrefutable evidence against me in the wide span of pro bono and speculative projects I’m working on these days only yields an airtight case.

Even more, I’m a passionate ball of energy when I meet potential clients and end up spending hours of thought and research to bring as much to the table as I can offering up ideas and strategies that most everyone else would require a fee in exchange.  I do it because I simply can’t not do it… it’s the relentless and inexhaustible creativity that takes over.

I’ve been in and around the media business for many years, yet never so focused on taking chances, bringing big creative visions to life and placing my full 150% percent effort into all that I’m producing.  I believe it shines through in the herculean effort and devotion I pour into creative media production.  While I hope to one day be sharing the best examples of the pilot projects I’m working on right now, below are a couple of brief examples.

This is just the beginning for me.  I’ve never expected anyone to “swing open the door” without extending effort.  But I hope and pray each and every day that my blood, sweat, tears, passion and determination earns me that ticket into the door to help tell great stories and to create with a little less fear of where that next check is coming from.  Isn’t that what true dreams… the ones which have been with since your first memory, that something that you were uniquely put on this earth to do… are all about?

It’s been a tough week, yet all I can do is put myself out there and work as hard as I can knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and loving every minute of the creative process.  Perhaps this post might resonate with you and inspire you to think about your own life and purpose.

In the end, maybe I do give too much but I’ve always believed that if we put ourselves out there, working in the service of others and creating value that good things will happen.  For these reasons, I’ll continue to see giving of my God-given talents and abilities as a great personal strength.  I hope that you will do the same for yourself in reflecting upon your own life.  SM


Life Lessons I’ve Learned and the TedX Naperville Event

I’m reflecting this evening upon my life’s pathway over the past 12 months.  Among the many humbling lessons life has bestowed upon me, I have deepened my belief in the moral that if you haven’t found what you are looking for in life, then keep searching.  Know yourself and take stock in only those things that truly matter to you.   Chances are, those are the things that have mattered to you all along.  Don’t let anyone talk you out of your life purpose and what you know to be your truest form of happiness.  Most importantly, serve others through your unique talents and inexhaustible passion.

If your looking for a little extra inspiration, you might try the TedX Naperville event coming up on March 25th at North Central College.  I know absolutely nothing about this event other than what I have read and heard from one of the organizers who contacted me directly.  To quote their website:

“TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future.”

Sounds like music to my ears.  I hope to see you there!  SM

Keeping Your Life in Perspective and Your Purpose in Focus

DSC_0099Two months ago I set out on a new path in life at a time when many thought it a bit crazy to leave a secure well-paying job for the uncertainty of launching out on my own in this economy. 

 To me, it was about the most sane and rational step I could take as this transition is nowhere near haphazard.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been preparing for this change my entire life.  The voice of my inner purpose could no longer be ignored and I arrived at a place where I had become confident in my life’s intentions.

Will I manage to achieve the same level of income in my new venture as I did when I was working as a salaried employee in my previous professional roles?  Quite simply put, the answer is it doesn’t really matter.  “Really”… you ask?  Consider the following. 

First, when you are following your heart and living the life that you were meant to live, money becomes far less important.  It doesn’t mean you don’t need money to live and support your family, but rather it means that you find yourself needing less money than you may have once desired.  Why you ask?  It’s because when you are focusing on the life path you always wanted to travel, you find that many of the things that you once thought you “wanted” or even convinced yourself you “needed” have become irrelevant.

My belief is we often use the material side of wealth to subconsciously compensate ourselves for the substance and meaning which is missing from our lives.  The greater the void, the more we require to “offset” the feelings of being on the wrong path.  In other words, you may not be living the life you feel you were meant to lead, but the comfort of wealth and luxury becomes the deceptive consolation.  But the question is whether or not the emptiness created by not living a uniquely fulfilled life is a void which can be filled by anything other than the pursuit of your truest form of personal fulfillment… not “one day down the road when you retire”, but today.

Secondly, we have a far better chance of living a balanced and comfortable financial life when we are in alignment with our true strengths, talents and passions.  We struggle less and enjoy more of our human journey through our seemingly inexhaustable passion.   This is what I call “purposeful wealth” , which is when monetary reward becomes the by-product of our unique purpose rather than the primary motivation of our life.

If financial health is your singular focus in life, you cannot turn your back on your physical, emotional and familial health as well.   I don’t believe that life falls on hard times because our bank accounts dwindle, but more importantly because somewhere along the way we turned off that internal voice within that was trying to lead us in the right direction.   The good news is its never too late.   

For now, I leave you with my own mantra and personal mission which has fueled my life journey.  The first being monetary wealth is merely a measure of survival, not of purpose and the mission being to life the truth of my purpose in service of others.  Where will you begin?  SM   

Keeping Life in Perspective in a Challenging World of Immense Promise

dsc_0010On this day after the most historic election day we will ever see in this lifetime, which unfolded against a backdrop of crumbling economic well-being, I’ve been doing allot of thinking about the promise of life regardless of our circumstances.  Regardless of how you feel about our new President-Elect, I hope you will pause to bring into focus the limitless possibilities that surrounds us in our daily lives. 

I was listening to NPR on the long drive home this evening after a late afternoon Board meeting and was reminded of something extremely important… that is the notion that epic challenges in life create the opportunity for greatness.  I encourage everyone out there, especially those suffering life-altering financial and professional setbacks to keep everything in perspective in realizing that the end of one life chapter gives rise to the potential that something even greater is on the way.  You might even find that greatness has little or nothing to do with size of your house or balance in your bank account.  We truly succeed in life, not through an abundance of material wealth but rather through the promise of realizing our true meaning and purpose in life.

Personally, I’ve endured a number of major life-altering setbacks, tragedies and transitions in my life and I can report with great confidence that they were each personally transforming experiences in which I emerged from the darkness to discover newfound wisdom, confidence, perspective and understand.  The universal reality is that all that truly matters in our life is with us at all times, regardless of how much or how little we might have.  Living the truth of your life will set you free from the exhausting frustration of playing what you perceive to be your “role” as if you were an actor on your life’s stage.  

Let us make good use of these uncertain economic times and place our faith in ourselves and the extraordinary example set yesterday that possibilities in life and this great country of ours is limitless if we set our sights on the hope of tomorrow.  SM