Yesterday one of ‘my kids’ came over so I could fill out her scholarship reference paper. While she was here she told me of her plan to start a mentoring program for the girls in her high school because she felt she had a lot to offer, as she put it, ‘girls like her’. She asked me if I thought it was a good idea and if I thought she could do it, and having known her for over 15 years now, I am certain that she has what takes and I told her so.
Her decision reminded me of something I heard Jonathan Fields say during a Good Life Project interview with Brené Brown. “Most entrepreneurs get an idea for a product, or a service, or a solution, and then they go looking for a market… Rather than saying, ok, let me just reach out to a community that I feel like I want to be in service of and have really deep, intense conversations with them. It’s very likely that I am a part of that community, so let me start with my own experience and the experience of those in this community and find out what are they are feeling. What’s the message going on in their head and can I build messaging and solutions around that in a way that can make me of further service to them, and in doing so, create, a living, a career, a business, that builds around that. You’re not trying to sell something to anybody, you’re simply caring about them so deeply that you take the time to understand what they need and then just giving it to them.” –Jonathan Fields
At 19, she’s already, unknowingly, figured out an excellent way to build upon her passion of serving others. I don’t know if she’ll turn it into a business or nonprofit, but what I do know is, no matter what any of us do, we should be of service. If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business owner, are you effective? If you aren’t, think about a group whom you can be in service of, and work to meet the needs of that tribe.