February 10, 2019

Exciting business? Or just breathing in & out?

As the final film credits rolled, Wendy and I could hardly speak.
We looked at each other, in tears, and knew we had witnessed an extraordinary story.

More than that, we realised just how glorious our so-called Perfectly Normal life is.

The film we’d watched, mouths agape, was Breathe.

Set in the early 1960’s, this is the story of the “handsome, brilliant, adventurous” Robin Cavendish.

Struck down by polio at the age of 28, and given just 3 months to live… Robin did more than merely survive.
With the support and energising love of his wife, Diana, he became a pioneering advocate for the disabled.

Travelling the world, they were fuelled by hope: the hope that their example would transform the lives of those in similar devastating situations.

What struck us about the film was the pivotal moment when Robin’s wish was no longer “Please…Let Me Die”
The moment when he finally catapulted from the depths of darkness… to become an inspiring magnet to those around him – incapacitated or not.

The question is: What changed him?

The answer? His recognition that his life was not about him, and how little he could do with his paralysed body.
His life was now about his vivacious, courageous Diana, who simply would not stop loving him.
And his newborn son, Jonathan.

He now had Purpose, other than himself and what he could get to make him happy.
That new Purpose saved his life… and would eventually give life and joy to thousands of others.

Someone once said to me, “The purpose of a business is to win and retain new clients, whilst making a profit.”

That’s like saying, “The purpose of my life is to breathe in and out!”
Agreed. Difficult to live without it. But a reason for being born? Really?

Research shows that businesses with a purpose other than to make money… rise to the top of their sector, and become outstanding brands.
and consequently make more money anyway.

So, what exactly is the purpose of your business?

Give your team something more powerful to come to work for than merely to do a good job.
Inspire them with a purpose greater than to fulfil someone’s exit strategy, or to help someone acquire more stuff.

I believe we have the capacity to do better than that .
I believe we must do better than that!

As Bob Marley sang… “Light Up The Darkness.”
And my experience shows that we can do that in this profession, using our business as the conduit for greater things.