WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?
Watch today’s video, then read below it for defining questions to help you discover your purpose and create a plan to pursue your purpose:
I’m a teacher by trade and while I loved teaching, unfortunately due to the downturn of the economy I was facing the loss of my job. I decided to pursue extra income to supplement my teacher’s salary, and I began working a retail job on behalf of a successful skincare company.
I like to tell people that I was in the “right place, in God’s time” as our founders began looking for ways that they could expand their brand in today’s ‘social economy’. One day I got a call that would change my life; our company was leaving retail and going into direct sales. We were offered the opportunity to join them as independent consultants.
My husband and I needed the income, so I said “YES!” I started working my new business part-time, alongside of my full-time job. I became a student of our profession, and put a lot of time into my personal and professional growth. I worked very hard. I was able to retire from teaching, and shortly after that my school shut down due to lack of funding! (The time to look for a plan B is NOT when you need one!) 5 years later, by the age of 29-years old, I was a 7 figure earner in our company. My husband and I have since started several successful businesses, including a publishing company, and we both wrote best-selling books.
Now we are not only are we able to LIVE more, but we can also GIVE more! I still have a passion for impacting children’s lives, so we build orphanages for children overseas, which provide them housing, education, nutrition, and support. We also fund children’s education programs here in the United States. In addition, we are also able to leave legacy to our 1-year-old son Gabriel, and teach him the importance of loving people, leading well, and the power of giving as he sees us walk out our “why”!
In addition to financial freedom, time freedom has been a big blessing as we don’t just give, we go! We love spending time traveling the world with those we touch. Pursuing your purpose allows you to have the time and resources to give to others, too!
Many are impressed by my story, but they don’t know the pressure I faced on the road that led to my purpose. Over the past ten years I faced feelings of disappointment, doubt, and have felt defeated at times. I have probably heard “no” more times than I’ve heard my name. I’ve faced every fear and rejection an entrepreneur can face. But I’ve always been clear on my “why”—why was I doing this? And “who” was I doing this for? When I face pressures in business or life, what keeps us going is the faces of the children we touch, including our own. I’m so very clear on my purpose. I am clear on why I do what I do, and who I am doing this for.
If people say “no” or quit—I’m not quitting. Because I wouldn’t quit on my own child and the life that I can create for him. I would never quit on those orphans, either. I believe other people’s blessings are tied to my obedience—in the choices I make, every single day.
Quitting is a choice. Too many people quit before they ever get started, because they aren’t really clear on why they started in the first place…
To be strong in your field, you must be very clear on your purpose.
There’s a great story in the Bible of Moses and the Israelite people. Moses was a leader who was chosen by God to lead the Israelite people out of slavery, and into their promised land. The Israelites were God’s chosen people. God himself showed the Israelite people their promised land. His plan was to bring them out of bondage, into a land flowing with milk and honey.
Eventually, the Egyptian people released the Israelites from slavery and they made their journey to the Promised Land. At times, the journey didn’t seem promising. Along the journey to their promise they faced pressures (I’m sure we can all relate). And each time the journey got tough, they would want to go back to “what was”. The trouble is “what was” was Egypt. Egypt wasn’t better, they were slaves! Egypt was just what they knew. It was comfortable. Have you ever gotten stuck in your comfort zone?
I remember facing challenges in my business, thinking, “It would’ve been easier being a teacher” because that is what I was used to. But was it really easier facing uncertainty with my job? Plus, teaching has its challenges too.
The Israelites, like many of us, continued to take two steps forward and one step back when the journey got tough. They would murmur and complain, often blaming their leader, and sometimes they blamed God! This caused their journey to take far longer than it should have (40 years, versus 40 days!) They continued to camp in the place of complacency. I love this quote by Michelle Myers, “Unrecognized complacency eventually develops into decline.”
Sadly, many of the Israelites didn’t make it to the promised land.
I wonder what would have happened in the Israelites chose to stay focused on the promise, versus the temporary moments of pressure?
I find it so hard to grasp why they Israelites continued to be disobedient, when they were shown the very promise that was ahead of them, if they simply continued to be faithful.
What if you were shown your “promise?”
Imagine this: You are given an opportunity to see into your future, and you are at the top of your game in your desired field; whether it be career, ministry, or business. You look into the future, and see that your success is guaranteed. You’re also shown the pressures that you will face along the journey. Would you be willing to accept the pressure to get to the promise?
You see, the problem many people have is they can’t see a clear picture of possibility that comes with perseverance. I believe we all have a great promise and plan for our lives, but the path to get there won’t come without pressure. It’s very important that we get clear on our purpose (“why” we do what we do), and what success in our chosen field will allow us to do.
Let me ask you a question: What would a life of limitless opportunity look like for you?
What would your life look like if you hit the pinnacle of success in your field? If time and money were no object, how would you live? Where would you give? How would you spend your time? What would a life of freedom mean to you, and to those you touch? If you can get clear on your purpose, then your field becomes a vehicle to help you pursue your promise.
When I started my business I was asked, “Sarah, what is your why?”
I quickly replied “to start a foundation for women and children that I would fully fund through my earnings.”
I was asked, “how much will that cost?”
“Millions,” I said, admittedly overwhelmed.
“That’s the problem”, my mentor replied, “Your why is so big that at times it becomes a detractor versus a motivator. My advice: keep your long-term purpose in mind. But start small on the path toward your purpose. Take a portion of your check every month to do something nice for a family in need.”
Each month, I would take a portion of my check and do something nice for children, or a family in need. Now, instead of being driven by temporary disappointment, I was now driven my dream.
I started off building a handicap ramp for a child in need, then sending 5 children to fine arts camp. As my income grew, so did the impact I was able to have on others. This year we were able to open up two orphanages—one for boys, one for girls. We welcomed our first son into the world, and dedicated one of those homes in his name. I can’t wait for him to go, and meet all of his “brothers” and “sisters” someday. Imagine the legacy that we can leave him, and the lessons we can teach him!
I can tell you one thing for sure: the journey to the promise wasn’t always easy but it was so worth it. Now we can live more, give more, and we love our lives even more. Through our legacy we are able to help others do the same. There is nothing like seeing your reason “Why” in action!
Success is not about pursuing prosperity, it’s about pursuing purpose. Prosperity can follow purpose, as it certainly has for us! That is my wish for you too, that you would prosper: body, mind, spirit, and soul!
Don’t allow any temporary disappointment to steal your destiny. Passionately pursue your dream!
TO DO TODAY: Write out your purpose. Share it with your spouse/ significant other, sponsor/ accountability partner. Share this post with your team—when everyone is clear on their purpose, it makes the journey far more promising!