The commercialization of the Christmas season creates a dissonance. Today's On-Purpose Business Minute captures this. My hope is that it will get you thinking about what truly matters in your life and legacy.
"Making money or making a difference" captures the crux of the dilemma where many a business person lives. It isn't an "either or" question. It is a "both and" matter. But, when push comes to shove, which way do you lean?
Early in my career I was largely money driven. I actually made lots of money at different times, but I lost lots of dollars, too—thanks in large part to an ugly business partnership divorce. Dealings with other money hungry people created a short series of get-rich quick efforts that rarely panned out. Finding myself in a couple of ethically compromising situations, my spirit was disturbed and I was discontent.
I decided that my best strategy for sleep and health was a wide margin from all borderline business dealings. That was 1987.
Then, however, I swung too far to the extreme "making a difference" side of the equation for too many years. I placed at risk my business, finances, and capacity to grow. It made it difficult for my team members. My generosity had personal and family implications as well.
My investment in others eventually had a "pay day." The week of April 24–28, 2012, the fruit of my decision came to life in a humbling manner. We at On-Purpose Partners launched The On-Purpose Person on Kindle (www.oppkindle.com) with a free promotion, along with a free webcast called The Power of a 2-Word Purpose Statement.
Wow! My family, fans, friends, and clients came through with an outpouring of returned generosity and support. In the first 48 hours, over 13,000 souls downloaded The On-Purpose Person in the Kindle free market. 72 hours later over 32,539 souls had downloaded The On-Purpose Person during the campaign. This rocketed the message to the top of the Kindle free charts:
- #5 in all categories
- #1 in non-fiction
- #1 Business
- #1 Leadership
- #1 Personal Growth
- #1 Transformation
- #1 Self Help
- #1 Religion and Spirituality
- #1 How to & Advice
- And more!
At the time Julie Holzmann (Discovering Beauty) and I (Being On-Purpose) had worked together for over ten years. She sent me the closing clip of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) from It's A Wonderful Life. In the scene all of George's neighbors learn he may have to close the bank and they all pool their money to help. Now I knew what George felt like.
Since the mid-1980s, I've faithfully nourished the concept of purpose and pioneered being On-Purpose® only to see many others leverage (often poorly) the labor and reap the fruit. I've held, however, to the scripture that teaches, "The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few."
I welcome my co-labors with open arms. That day on April 24, 2012 as the Kindle e-book download count mounted past 1,000, then 2,000, then 5,000, and Wednesday climbed to 10,000 and 11,000 our George Bailey moment, as Julie so aptly called it, came to life. A few tears have been shed in appreciation and awe since. I could never have imagined that 32,539 souls would ultimately download the e-book.
Our small team here deserves so much credit. Julie works with me on communications. Cheryl helps with the office and keeping track of my distractible nature. Mary Tomlinson, my business partner, has taken this message into companies for more than 12 years. Mary Dominguez recognized how to leverage the opportunity with Kindle and brought needed energy and social media effort to the equation. We've partnered with technologies from Kudu Publishing, Constant Contact, Xiosoft Instant Teleseminar, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon.com, Apple Inc., 37 Signals, Copyblogger, and more to pull off this launch. My intercessor, Mary R., brought the ultimate in "high" tech—prayer.
The likes of Seth Godin, Rick Radditz, David Bush, Greg Voisen, and Sandy Shugart and more shared the promotion with their email lists. What a team effort.
The generosity of others is the gift that pushed the launch into the 5-figures and top ranking. Too many people to mention here. You know who you are and how your contribution counted.
So with the Christmas season upon us, I pray that you too will have your "It's A Wonderful Life Moment" and you'll see the richness of your relationships.
Thanks all for your trust! Be Yourself. Prosper. Make A Difference!