Surfing Is Not Something You Retire From – Create a Purpose-Driven Life
For the last 10 years of my life, I have been in marketing. I have told myself that I really love the puzzle of figuring out how to reach more people and expand businesses.
However, I sit here during the 2020 pandemic, I have found that I really do not like what marketing has become. Yes, I still like the aspect of generating more traffic to a website, attending a tradeshow, and the overarching theme of marketing because it is creative and challenging. I love that stuff!
Here is the part that has started to turn my thinking. I see people that are not getting enough to eat, kids that are being traded and sold, and people being discriminated against. I sit here at my current job and we have a great mission statement, good people, and great attitudes. I mean we create software to help at-risk children in the school systems get food for lunch. All good. This is why I signed up.
The reality is over the last year and a half I have been exploiting the industry and using government funds to create new solutions (it is a business and I get it), ultimately selling them to our customers. The end goal is not the mission that I signed up for.
My biggest gripe is that we continue to use messaging that portrays that we help children in need, get meals. But when it comes down to it, we give our profits to our board of directors, not the kids and families that actually need the help. We market and message one way, but act another way.
As I watch ads, see the media, and see how marketing is actually being used to take advantage of situations. We see this all over the place. Social media, advertising, or just walking down the street. We are a narcissistic society that needs to get our message out to the mass.
Don’t get me wrong, in order to grow Hawaiian Island Clothing, I am going to have to get down and dirty marketing the website and promoting the brand. I need eyeballs on our products. This is why I wrote this blog post.
The difference is that I can actually give back to the community. I can build a business that really cares about people and does something about it. This is why I donate 51% of our proceeds to those in need.
It is time to use my marketing powers for good.
So over the last 2-3 months, I have actually figured out my purpose-driven life. Helping people. More specifically, kids in need.
The surfer quote ‘surfing is not something you retire from” reminds us that we need to find something in life that we love doing. We need to find our purpose and continue to pursue it. It does not have to be your full-time job or even how you make your primary living. There are tons of organizations that need volunteers to get things done. But if you can make a living with your purpose, you are a lucky dog.
Today, I want to talk about how to find your purpose-driven life and give some examples of how Hawaiian Island Clothing is helping me do this. Sorry for the long personal story to kick things off, but I think it helps build the context around the actual article.
So, let’s get started
Get To Know Your Soul
Raise of hand if you have actually sat down and asked yourself what is in your soul? What do you really stand for? Anyone?
At the time of writing this, I am 37 years old. I have never actually sat down and reflected on my purpose-driven life. Life gets in the way of this. I met my wife in high school (still the best decision ever), we went off to college, we got jobs, and then we had kids. Typical story, right?
We ended up getting “trapped” in the daily routine. Get up, get the kids to school, head to work, get the kids from school, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Wake up and do it again. The routine did not leave a whole lot of time to “get to know our souls”. We were going through the motions.
This is dangerous because at some point in your life, you look up and the time is gone. You are looking forward to retirement. You are looking to the end because this is when you are able to actually find our purpose. We have the time to do what we really want.
Now, it is never too late to find purpose, but we should not be looking to the end of our lives to find our purpose.
In order to find your purpose, you are going to have to sit down, maybe with your spouse (recommended), and figure this out. Maybe, if you are lucky, you can take a Hawaiian Vacation, sit on the beach, and find your purpose.
Side note and personal story alert.
My wife and I were planning on taking 10 days to vacation to Hawaii. Our plan was to celebrate our 15 year anniversary and really find out what we wanted for the next 15 – 20 years. The 2020 pandemic happened and we were not able to go. Bummer!
As we continued to plan about when we can actually celebrate our 15-year anniversary, we decided to start Hawaiian Island Clothing. This was a way to drive our purpose and give back to the people we try to help.
Long story short, we took the time to find our purpose-driven life. Selling Hawaiian vacation clothing to help kids. It was an idea to help kids, our true purpose, and fulfill my creative side. Win-Win!
Shameless plug, we hope you follow along. It is our goal to donate $200,000 per year to help kids in need all over the world.
Find Who You Serve
Ok, here is where the rubber meets the road. We know that we need to make money to live. We know that we need to be productive. We know that we have to work. I mean the bills do not just pay themselves.
However, 99% of us look for the biggest, fattest paycheck. I was guilty. We think that this is going to solve our issues and problems. Many of us take the gig, like it, but don’t love what we are doing. We try to get behind the “mission” or “vision”, but we really are not working to serve others (the board of directors does not count).
In business, as a marketer I know, we tend to shine a light on the business, on profits, our employees, and never really think about who we are really serving. “It would be nice to serve others, but…”.
So, if you are looking to find your purpose-driven life, you need to think differently about business, work, and life. You need to look to serve people. Serving others will help you find your purpose. Maybe, it does not come with a big old fat paycheck or a less fancy title, but you will be happier serving people.
Start to focus on who you want to serve. I have 4 children. Love them to death. I also look at al the kids out there that do not have food, are put in harm’s way through trafficking or slavery. These are the people that I want to serve. This is what Hawaiian Island Clothing is all about and the reason I spend time working to fulfill orders and designing sweet t-shirts.
Know Your Limitations
You are well on your way to find your purpose and live the life that you dream of. Personally, I am rooting for you. I want to give you one roadblock that might come up along the way. You have limitations.
Over the years I have tried to follow a purpose-driven life, I have also taken on too many projects. This is when you burn out and your purpose becomes a “once was”. Remember, there is only one of you. There is only so much time in the day. Funds are not unlimited. There are limitations. These limitations come in all shapes and sizes. From time to skill, there are limitations that are going to pop up as you find and drive your purpose.
Here is the good news about limitations. You can get help, you can learn a new skill, and more importantly, you can get past any obstacle that comes your way. You just have to continue to push forward at a manageable pace. Don’t overdo it.
For example, when you first learn to surf, you have to learn a lot. You don’t just stand up and start shredding epic waves like Kelly Slater. It takes time, practice, and patience. Maybe even your entire lifetime.
The point here is to not give up on your purpose-driven life when you hit these limitations, get to know them, and how you can overcome them. You and your purpose will thank you later.
Purpose-Driven Life – Never retire from what you love
Do you ever look at people and wonder how they are still going strong well into their 90’s. Well, I believe that this is because they have found a purpose in life. They have never truly retired. This purpose or passion has continued to keep them moving.
So, the surfer quote, surfing is not something you retire from, helps us illustrate this. Find that thing you love, find the people that you serve. Never retire!
Mahalo and thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, make sure to pick up a t-shirt and show your appreciation. Remember, 51% of our proceeds go to help kids in need.