Monday, November 8, 2010

Pyramid of Purpose

I love supporting entrepreneurs, but to be completely honest I’ve always been slightly irritated with the pyramid scheme business model.  To my understanding, the basic premise is that the CEO sits at the top and makes all of his/her money by getting people to sign on under them.  Those people make their money by getting even more people to sign up as well.  I’m sure this method works for many, but I’ve never been impressed.

So you can imagine my surprise when someone said that my business of motivating reminded them of a pyramid scheme business model. They pointed out a specific example of how I motivated one person who then went on to motivate another person.  In essence, they believe that I have a group of people that I motivate, who then go on to motivate others, and so on. I’d never looked at it that way, but once I was forced to, it didn’t seem quite as bad.

In my early years as an educator and social worker, my goal was to save the world.  I quickly realized that this was an unrealistic goal.  So I took a step back because I found myself getting far too emotionally attached to and involved in the lives of the children and families that I served.    Many nights I’d cry myself to sleep at the mere thought of some of the things that my students had to deal with.

In my mind, saving the world may be unrealistic, but it’s not impossible.  I had to re-evaluate how I could accomplish this without expending so much emotional energy and ultimately burning myself out. This is what brought me to being an author and a “Motivator.” (I think that might be my new title now since that’s what they called Iyanla Vanzant when they honored her on the Black Girls Rock special on BET.)

When you share your gift with the world, you have no idea how far the reach and how powerful the impact can be.  Think of yourself as the CEO at the top of your own pyramid of purpose.  Whether your audience is your family, your co-workers, your clients, or the masses like me, know that you are making an impact that reaches farther than you can see.  With this being the case we must operate with integrity, because when you are a person of influence, negativity spreads even more rapidly.

This week, I challenge you to ask yourself a couple of important questions…

“What am I passing down from the peak of my pyramid?”

“Are people genuinely benefiting from what I am offering, or is it ultimately all about me?”

As you answer these questions and begin to pass on positivity, keep in mind that a pyramid is nothing without its base or foundation and that the foundation must be strong in order to get to the top.

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