Originally published on Entrepreneur Magazine on September 27, 2016.
The driving force for many business owners is success. Success is money for some and freedom for others. However, I do believe success is just part of the real goal. For many that get success, they wonder what is next. They think “is this it?”
After hundreds of interviews, working with clients and analyzing my journey, I think what most people want is significance. I think of significance as living out your purpose with your talents and gifts. It is about serving others which goes beyond traditional goal setting which is focused personally and on your business growth.
It is easy to rest on your laurels in business when your reach a milestone of success. I get it. You climb the mountain of building a business. Then you begin to think about what is next. You can keep doing what you have always done or go for something amazing.
I was there back in 2005. I wanted to create something of meaning in the world of business. I wanted it bad. Really bad.
Then it came to actually doing it, and I decided to play small. It didn’t want to risk my money and reputation to create significance. I share this with you to help you avoid my mistake. To be clear, I failed to listen to the calling inside me.
Until I became a coach, I never felt significant in my work. I just kept making more money. Money is easy to make when you understand how marketing and sales work with operations and leadership.
It is even hard to share this right now. I felt a like I didn’t matter in the world. I mattered to my family for providing a steady stream of money. I look back at that period knowing that could have made better decisions. I am writing a book about this right now called The Trap of Success. It is about making the shift from success to significance.
The journey of significance.
The journey to creating a new way of living and seeing the world will run into homeostasis. It is our natural drive to keep things the same as they have always been. To stop change. To keep you right where you are… even if it is no good for you.
Making anything stick takes commitment and discipline. But it doesn’t stop there. You need to have the right strategy, develop the right practices and be persistent. The journey of significance is filled with challenges to overcome and doubt to surmount. Yet significance is the fuel that makes living and working worth it.
48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours.
Yes, you read that right. It is possible to create 48 websites in 48 hours. Check out 48in48.org. It is a bold mission, and that is exactly why I am sharing it with you. Significance takes courage to pull off something that has never been done.
I interviewed Adam Walker and Jeff Hilimire who set out to pull this off. Adam is a Co-Founder of Sideways8, a digital marketing company that builds and improves custom websites. Jeff is the Founder of Dragon Army, they develop mobile apps and mobile strategies for businesses. Many others joined in the crusade like Joe Koufman, CEO of AgencySparks, to make this dream come alive.
You can listen to the interview “Creating a Life of Significance Takes Courage with Adam Walker and Jeff Hilimire.
The big idea was hatched by Jeff to go further in giving back to nonprofits. It would be easy to donate time to them in various ways, but Jeff wanted to figure out how to leverage his and other’s talents to make a huge impact to these nonprofits. Then the idea came to do 50 websites in a weekend. That changed when Jeff thought about the marketing possibilities of doing 48 websites in 48 hours. It does have a ring to it.
Adam and Jeff were told they were insane and even it could not be done. But using their background and lots of pre-planning they knew they could pull it off. I want to point out that this is a great example of giving back with your talents and skills instead of just giving time.
I asked them, why nonprofits? Quite simply they deserve to spread their message with great looking design and copy.
I share this you as they are preparing for another 48 in 48. This time, they are expanding beyond Atlanta (October 21-23). Calling all Nonprofits for New York (November 4-6) that want to get in on the action of a new website. This year is bigger and badder than 2015. Jeff and Adam learned their lesson last year and vowed to be bold for 2016. They have some great sponsors this time with Delta Air Lines and Friendly Human among others to support the cost of pulling off such a big feat.
It is about significance.
Do you see the significance in this project to the founders, the participants, and even the organizations? I share this story to inspire you to take action to create significance with your work and in your life.
And the path of significance will cause you to grow and expand who you are. Now you are at “choice.” The choice is to continue your current path or take another that fulfills you. I assume that because you are reading this now, you are ready to create significance in your life.