Trust me when I say this: the world needs you and your business. What you do in your business will touch the lives of other people, who will then go on to touch the lives of others because you touched them.
How do I know this? I recently witnessed how this works in an unexpected way, so let me tell you a story…
Several years ago, I met a lovely young woman (we’ll call her Sarah) who worked as a receptionist for a locally owned holistic wellness center. She was great with technology and good with people. The center was owned by an equally delightful woman who everyone adored – they were the perfect team!
Sarah was always bright, cheery and helpful. In short, the ideal personality for such a high-touch, customer-facing role.
When I’d arrive for my monthly massage appointment, we’d chat about the day as I admired the newest jewelry selections or inquire about new products or services. Sarah never failed to brighten my day and make the experience at that center extra-special.
One day when I arrived, Sarah let me know that she was cutting back her hours and would not see me for my monthly visit. She’d taken another job because she wanted to start her dream business of making bread.
I remember being really surprised to hear that this was what she wanted to do. The coach part of me was thrilled for her and her new adventure. The human part of me was deflated. I felt sad for myself, because I wouldn’t get to feel Sarah’s joy as much, and sad for the center to lose such a bright light.
A few years later, a good friend of mine posted on Facebook about…get this…bread that she had at a locally-owned health food store. She said this bread was fantastic (I mean, she was absolutely in love with it!) and it was free of all major allergens (nut free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, peanut free, etc…..)
Taking a closer look, I realized that my young friend had started her bread company! YAY for Sarah!
Unfortunately, that store wasn’t close to my house. I never made it over there to try her bread and, oops, completely forgot about it.
A few more years passed. I was at the office of my functional medicine physician. While in the waiting room, I noticed a group of women gathered at the front desk. I looked over as they were laying loaves of bread on the counter, sorting them for patients by the patient’s order.
I heard one of them talking about how great the bread was and how she just loved it hot out of the toaster. I walked over to see what was going on and saw that the loaves of bread they were sorting were Sarah’s!
I told the ladies that I knew the woman who made the bread, but I had actually never tried it. They were stunned!
They started raving about it and one of them said to me, “Thank God for Sarah and her courage to start this company! Thanks to her, I can actually have a sandwich I enjoy again!”
I smiled, realizing the impact of Sarah’s dream on the life of another. We are all so interconnected.
Several days later, I happened upon one of my favorite restaurants in town: a locally-owned breakfast and lunch chain with multiple locations across the city and a deep, loyal customer following.
The restaurant was started by a young mother who left her job as a prosecutor to start her own neighborhood brunch spot in a tiny sliver of a shopping strip in the middle of an otherwise quaint and quiet neighborhood.
As I was seated, I reflected on all the times I have been to this restaurant. The hungover Saturday brunch meet-ups in my twenties. The full day I spent with an old boss transitioning my job responsibilities to a colleague over omelets and coffee. The day I gave my roommate’s phone number to the guy sitting alone next to us… the same guys she calls her husband and raises three children with. The brunches with my best friend after a two hour soul walk on our favorite path. The lovely mornings on the restaurant’s dog-friendly patio with my husband and our two dogs, eating cinnamon toast while Portia and Ginger waited patiently for scraps of bread to fall on the ground.
In the daze of all the memories, I glanced down at the menu. There, to my delight, was Sarah’s gluten-free bread as the on the menu.
With a huge smile on my face, I ordered it, toasted, of course. And I must say, it was delicious.
Do you believe me now?
Yes, it’s true. The world needs YOU and your business. Just like Sarah and her bread, you are meant to touch the lives of so many with your work. And you can’t do what you are meant to do if you don’t show up and live into it.
Now let’s make some “bread” together, shall we?