Key Takeaway: In living your higher purpose, it’s always about community and sharing – everyone exchanges their ideas, resources, and talents to help others and be helped in the name of mutual achievement of the one big goal of authentic development.
They say that “sharing is caring”. And it really is.
Throughout all of last week, I was in my alma mater, the Ateneo de Manila, for the Sinag Business Challenge co-organized by the BPI Foundation and the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship, representing Habi Footwear (though I ensured that I got TDA across as well to my co-entrepreneurs :D). And for each and every six days of it, I was able to get opportunities for both Habi Footwear and TDA, so I can happily and proudly say – to paraphrase my fellow entrepreneur and Sinangag, Iceen Reyes – that I have been a winner since day one.
Yes, we don’t need grants to win – to paraphrase another fellow entrepreneur and Sinangag, Alvie Benitez of GoldenducK, we don’t need money. We need faith. Faith that what we are doing can and will change the game, change society for the better. And if social entrepreneurs truly help and support one another, forging partnerships and relationships that transcend earthly life, then we will have just done our small part in building part of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is what I love about social enterprise – everyone is so willing to help one another. More so than traditional business, which is normally (but not always!) more difficult to speak to, let alone get lots of help from. I think this has to do with all social enterprises’ common goal – the solution of the social problems that keep on threatening to hold humanity down from authentic development. They are all different businesses with different markets, but with one unified and inclusive goal.
In living your higher purpose, I think this should be the norm. True purpose, which should be rooted in consciousness and faith-driven service, is never selfish or exclusive, and is always up for sharing. A person who professes to living out their purpose but does not share or love is not living out their purpose. This is true interdependence, interdependence which the late Stephen R. Covey spoke about as the third and highest tier in his bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. While we are all empowered and equipped to live our lives for the reasons we were given life, we also remember that we are a huge community with infinite connections and that we can – and should – help each other progress.
That’s why I love networking events (note: NOT network marketing!) and always come to such prepared, with my cards (or e-card) and a spiel in mind. It doesn’t have to be business networking events – it can be networking about anything. Just have an open mind and meet people who can potentially help you achieve your goal and beyond – and whom you can help, too. That’s why I love community.
Last week, I wrote about shared value and the Human Nature guiding philosophy of “less for self, more for others, enough for all.” In our context, value translates to the openness of ideas and heart, the welcoming and familial atmosphere that may be the reason I am so always charged up for social enterprise, actual execution of my ideas still not yet in action notwithstanding. It’s like Italians and food (according to The Honourable Nigella Lawson): everyone is just so open, so robust, and so enjoying about food. So it is in the community of those living their higher purpose.
Perhaps the Catholic Church knew of this wisdom for ages already, as although they do teach us to have a personal relationship with our God, they also remind us not to forget the communion of saints, the marriage feast of the Lamb with his bride the Church. Do not forget that you belong to a thriving community of like-minded and equally fervent individuals, and that by working together, you can grow exponentially the sum of your combined efforts.
So this weekend, I invite you to reflect on whether or not you have been selfish or self-centered, and to open up and share with others. Share about your ideas, your resources… how you can help and be helped. Together, we can overcome.
Have a purposeful weekend!