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It’s About To Get A Bit WooWoo. Why, Exactly, Are You Here?

Jun 27, 2017 | 2 comments

It’s About To Get A Bit WooWoo. Why, Exactly, Are You Here?

All those crazy, oddball decisions you make that may seem non-sensical, those are because you have a purpose and you’re unwilling to compromise that, or you have found something unconventional that will really support that in a way no one else may understand.

by | Jun 27, 2017 | 2 comments


There’s a lady I follow with interest named Melyssa Griffin. You may have heard of her, or you may not have, but I’ve started taking careful notice of what she does and how she does it, never with great fanfare, but with quiet confidence to amazing results.

Melyssa seems ​​​​to know exactly what her next move will be and always executes with perfection. She seems to. At least she seems to from here, where I sit every day, obsessing over the successes of others.

And more often than not, I sit and watch her beautifully crafted work appear on my screen and I think “That’s it, I should just pack it all in right now and be done. I will never achieve this.”

It’s something I find myself saying a lot and it’s the single most significant thing that threatens to ​​shut me down whenever I feel even the slightest bit uneasy.

Why can they do it so much better? It’s impossible for me to do better.

What I find particularly uncanny is that today I received a message in my inbox from Melyssa (I’m on her list, she has no idea who I am) ​​​​announcing a new podcast she has started called Pursuit With Purpose.

Now, of course I was thinking, oh great another podcast from someone who is killing it. How many more ways can I not be successful?

Well, guess what her podcast is all about​​​​? It’s about putting an end to comparison and critique, and judging yourself by external measures.

Ding a ding ding, you silly girl! That’s about exactly what I needed to hear right now.

What was even more encouraging was her own story and how she grew and evolved, and came to a place where even the success she was having came with doubt and judgment, and gaps in alignment.

No one has an easy ride. No one knows what matters to you because no one lives your life but you.

Melyssa went on in her first podcast episode​​​​​​​​ to talk about getting to a place where she felt out of alignment in her life, and that her work didn’t match her purpose.

My first reaction was to think “Bah, your life’s purpose. Who assigns that, some Purpose Fairy when you’re born? What is your life’s purpose??”. But that came from my (fear-filled) “I don’t know how the f*** I would even answer that question​​” side (a side that, evidently, I intend to give much less power to in the future), and when I finally allowed myself to consider this a legitimate question, I started thinking.

​​And thinking. And thinking​. And thinking (I work in numbers and data, give me some breathing room here).

You know what? It came to me.

Kicking and screaming, I found it. If I pared away all the logic and analysis and evidence and stacked up all the things I had done to get where I am, I finally figured it out (I’ll tell you what it was at the end of this post). And when I figured it out, everything suddenly had an anchor.

I’m waxing on about this at such length because IT HAD BEEN MISSING, and I’d been floating around vaguely listening to my gut but never sure why it was telling me to do all these things.

OK, so why does this matter to the work that I do?

Every client I work with has a purpose. I always spend my first minutes with them figuring out what the boundaries are of the business they want to run, and all of that stuff is based on what they perceive to be their purpose.

Now, I don’t ask them that outright because there would be crickets on the Interwebs and that ain’t no good for no one’s technology. What I ask them are some important questions that may feel a lot more pragmatic but get to the heart of all of the decisions they will make going forward.

No one has an easy ride. No one knows what matters to you because no one lives your life but you.

All those crazy, oddball decisions you make that may seem non-sensical, those are because you have a purpose and you’re unwilling to compromise that, or you have found something unconventional that will really support that in a way no one else may understand.

This is also what will make your business, and the way you do it, unique. Sure, there are, for example, lots of designers out there, but you all have a different purpose with lots of little story tentacles that make your perspective unique, and influence the decisions you will make. That’s why you might be a designer that chooses to feature your pro bono work instead of your corporate gigs. Or a designer that asks every client to do some mindset work before they engage on a project.

This is why there is no one-size-fits-all business plan and a cookie-cutter business serves no one, particularly not you.

I want to know these things when we build you a plan because there is NO sense building a business that is in conflict with what you identify with, and what you are trying to deliver to the world in your business-shaped gifts.

Your purpose will always be more important than logic, experience, MBAs (except mine, obviously), or the last course you took on Google Analytics. Heck, how you interpret and value those analytics will change depending on your purpose.

I had a client who was building a retail clothing company. After immersing herself in spreadsheets and numbers and data and production analysis and costing and everything else, she came out of it deciding to continue manufacturing her clothing at a facility in her local area, depsite what the numbers said.

Well, this made no sense from a cost perspective. Everyone told her she was crazy. She would sit with her spreadsheets and look at me, forlorn, and say “I can’t… I just can’t”. So we rolled right back to the very start and built her plan from the ground up, and the first thing I had her list off for me were her values and her deal breakers. What is absolutely important for you to build your business on, and what can you absolutely not compromise?

As it turns out, she absolutely could not compromise having people not bettering themselves by working in her value chain, and that meant keeping her business local where conditions were visible to her and she could confirm she was not causing any harm or supporting social and economic grievances.

So her business was built on that foundation. Once we took moving her production off the table, she felt so much relief and felt in alignment with her business again. When that piece is missing, every inch you move your business forward feels like a mile, and that weight will make you lose your motivation and your energy, which we all know is vital in those wee hours that you can work.

As I’ve been writing a lot recently about finding your Turning Point when you leave your 9-to-5, that purpose needs to weigh heavily on the conditions you will accept when you are ready to embrace your full time freedom.

So what was my purpose?

My purpose is to create opportunities for people who have courage, drive and ambition but can’t see a practical way to realize their dreams.

Tell me in the comments…

What is your purpose? What drives you to keep doing what you’re doing every day?


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  1. Janine

    Thank you SO much for this honest and vulnerable post about comparison, Steph. I’ve been on both sides of this.

    I’ve felt like I shouldn’t be bothered because there are so many others out there WAY more successful than I am, so what’s the point of even trying? And I’ve received sweet emails from women who say I’ve inspired them in some way and they look up to me and my success (which makes my heart flutter but also gives me a chuckle because I do NOT feel like I have it together most of the time, I’m just trying my best).

    I’ve done two things to combat my feelings of comparison. 1) Stop consuming so much and start creating more. (I know the women I look up to got to where they are by creating, serving and experimenting — not following what everyone else is doing all the time.)

    And 2) Looking at their success and thinking: “Well if she did it, I know I can too!” and reframing the entire way I look at their journeys and stories.

    It’s funny, because we all look up to someone, and I don’t think that ever changes on your entrepreneurial journey. Even the Melyssa Griffins probably look at the Danielle LaPortes and think: “I wish I was as successful as she is.” Everything truly is relative. 😉

    • Stephanie Hayes

      So, so true. I on’t usually worry about what others are doing as I am super confident in my skills but when you are in the land of the unknown (or still getting used to it), it’s so easy to succomb to that very detrimental mindset. I think once I feel like I have more firmly established my own brand and I feel more confident about my own purpose I will feel less uneasy about what others are doing because then I will know where I fit and how unique my value proposition is.

      Thanks for the reminder to keep my head down and keep creating. Great advice!


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