“It wasn’t successful.”
“Oh, yeah? What do you mean by that?” I inched forward in my chair really intrigued by the statement she had just made and wanted to dig in a little deeper.
“I didn’t get the response I was hoping for.”
“What kind of response were you hoping for?”
“Something that matched the passion I was feeling so I knew I was on the right track. Some kind of reassurance that my purpose wasn’t misguided.”
I knew that feeling she was speaking to and had heard that statement made quite a few times in my career already. Don’t we all know that feeling to some degree or another? When you feel something so deeply, called so loudly, hustle so hard, and yet don’t gain the response you were seeking. When your passion gets the back door, your chair firmly planted in the greenroom, but all the while you thought your message was meant for the stage, spotlight, and microphone.
“It wasn’t successful” is what we tend to use as a ‘write-off’ line. So many variations of this exist in our world.
“It wasn’t profitable”
“I didn’t get the followers I needed”
“I didn’t have the audience I thought I would”
“I thought my team would grow”
“I’m not where I thought I’d be by now”
and so on.
She sat there, her hands on the table in submission and exhaustion while I sat on the other side of the boardroom with her. The intent of this meeting was to help her with the next business she was launching, however I knew she had unfinished conversations that needed to be closed out before she would be able to launch the next one. I wasn’t present for the ‘unsuccessful’ endeavour she was speaking of, but I knew she needed to hear these words before she would be able to put her heart into the next chapter.
“ I have two things I need to say to you, this first being,
“Not every purpose needs a platform.”
She sat back and took it in, and then we talked through all the ways that her risk became so many other’s reward. It didn’t look like how she thought it would, but the payoff was substantial in a million other ways.
You don’t need a platform in order to find purpose in your passion and calling.
“The second thing I feel the need to say to you is that,
in a world of a billion loud voices, there are none that sound like you so there’s no need to shout - it’s already decipherable.”
It’s a blessing if your vision was meant to take place on a stage with an audience of unprecedented numbers — if that’s what it was designed for. But if you force it, it can become a curse when your platform was always supposed to be in the backroom, speaking to the few or the many, in a still soft voice instead of a megaphone. It becomes an endless striving to maintain if the focus on the many discounts the few. A continual obsession for some, and for others a reminder of where your motives became misguided, mistreated, or mistaken.
Bring it back to the one.
An idea started with the one, focused on the one, followed through for the one - never fails. It’s a solid platform that may grow slowly in a direction you never projected, but the success rate is always 100%.