Finding Your Passion and Cause Marketing

passionI attended a wonderful and inspiring Girls Night Out party on a recent Friday night. We ate great food, drank good wine and watched The Glow Project, an inspiring documentary about 14 women and their triumph over adversity. Afterward we shared our thoughts and reaction to the film. A perfect evening for women!

Before we adjourned, the hostess asked me to speak about how I found my passion and as I was preparing to leave, another woman asked me about “Cause Marketing,” specifically, who she might tie her business to and how.  As I drove home it occurred to me that although the women I had just spent the evening with were considerably diverse, they basically represented the desires of all women. They want to work, they want to be happy, and they want to make a difference.

But, how does one tap into the creativity, personal potential and PASSION that secures these outcomes?  First, you must discover what entity, issue or problem moves you, grabs your heart and soul. I’m certain that, like me and many other women, not a day goes by that you don’t see, read, or hear about something that stops – or breaks – your heart.  You ponder it – FEEL it – on the way to your next business meeting or the kid’s soccer game and then POOUFF – it’s lost in the hamster wheel most of us run on day after day, week after week, year after year. Here’s what I know for sure: If you want to discover what’s important to you in the BIGGER world outside the laundry, dentist and car-pool, it’s imperative that you MAKE and TAKE the time –solitary time – away from and OFF the hamster wheel.  Whether you go on a women’s retreat (Donna Billings) or only have a few hours or a day, this is where you tap into humanity and empathy. This is where you feel the pain, the struggle, the courage, and the ongoing spirit that overcomes adversity. This is where you find something much bigger than yourself. This is where you feed your passion. And once your passion is nourished and allowed to grow, you will be committed to finding a way to incorporate this higher purpose into your everyday life, job and/or company.  You will make room for it on the hamster wheel.

Whether it’s mobilizing your office toward a coat drive, food pantry or youth home, or creating an award that your company sponsors; there are as many ways to connect to something more than just paying the bills or collecting a paycheck, as there are stars in the sky. This is the stuff that helps you jump out of bed in the morning and makes you thank God before you close your eyes at night!

Here’s a little story that points to the great outcomes that can come from “Cause Marketing”: Years ago, when I was producing a five day Paintball Tournament and Festival (The Interenational Amateur Open), I used my platform to create The Search for Excellence Awards. We took applications from both teams and individual players that had either extended themselves to community service or had overcome a personal challenge. Then we got a high-end paintball maker to provide a high-end raffle item.  The raffle monies were then given to awardees either as a college scholarship for the individual Excellence Award or, for the team award, to the charity of their choice. By honoring people and teams at our awards ceremony (attended by 1,000+ people) our event became something more than just the competition, more than just the fun factor, more than just paintball. We tapped into the BEST in people and TEAMS. But bottom line, I used my business to feed my soul. Success and a joyful heart – what a combo!!!!!

It is possible to make a difference and make a living – we just have to figure out what works for us! So think about what you care about and how you can make a difference and let us hear about your ideas! Maybe your idea can help unlock an idea in someone else – or someone else can help your idea flourish!