This week’s conversation on SUCCESS Line is one you will not want to miss. I talk to Philip, a man who has experienced unimaginable loss: his 14-year-old son disappeared at sea while on a fishing trip with a friend, and they still, to this day, do not know what happened. It is a loss so profound that I am not sure I would have been able to survive it myself. But Philip has, and his perspective on life is one that is truly inspiring.
Now, he wants to use his experience of grief to help others who have gone through a traumatic loss. He came on the show to discuss how to build his speaking business and create meaningful content for his audience. He feels that this work is his life’s calling, but wonders how does one turn a calling into a business?
If this is a question you’ve grappled with yourself, read on for my top three tips to align your career with your calling.
1. Hone in on the problem you solve.
When building a business or brand, you need to figure out what problem you solve and you need to be able to state it in one word. This is the very first step we take with clients at Brand Builders Group, and it is also the most important.
I’ll put it bluntly: most entrepreneurs are lazy about this work. They don’t want to do the work of honing in on what problem they solve. It is much easier to throw up a bunch of random products and services and hope something will stick. But what these entrepreneurs will soon discover is that without clarity their business will go nowhere.
Try this exercise with your own business. First, identify and write down what problem you solve in one word. Then, write down how you solve that problem in one sentence. If you find yourself drawing a blank, you need to stop everything else you’re doing for your business and get clear on those answers first. Without pristine clarity on the problem you solve, you are going to end up with a random smattering of ideas and products that lack the laser focus required to get the job done.
2. Embrace your season of obscurity.
It is very possible to do the right thing at the wrong time. So many of us type-A personalities (aka, most entrepreneurs) want to skip straight to the end of the process where we get on the big stage or land the big book deal. But there is a process we need to follow before we get there to ensure we (and the products/services we offer) are ready. If you try to shortcut the process, you will end up piece-mealing a rickety boat that cannot withstand much pressure. There is no elevator to shoot you straight to the top; you need to take the stairs.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from speaker and YouTuber Sean Cannell: “Use your season of obscurity to prepare you for your season of popularity.”
You’re not going to be famous right away. You must trust the process. Focus on helping people and creating something beautiful. Spend time developing your product or service and steadily grow and get better over time. If you do this, and you come back enthusiastically every day, then your season of popularity will come.
3. Pain prepares us.
I am in awe of Philip’s story of perseverance through loss and grief. His ability to use his experience to help others serves as a powerful reminder to us all.
The pain that we are going through prepares us to become the person we one day need to be for someone else. This perspective can help us endure all the difficulties that life throws at us. It is not about you, and it is not your fault. You are being strengthened, shaped and molded through every hardship.
Trusting there is someone who will need you and your unique perspective in the future will help you survive your pain. When you do survive, and you hear a little voice in your head calling you to serve, listen closely. The calling that you hear results from a signal being sent from someone else out there who needs your help.