I've spent pretty much all of my career working with big corporate businesses. That has had its advantages and disadvantages and I have no complaints, it has served me well... plus, I've always tried to push myself to be a leader not a follower, to create change in the business I'm in and to apply a creative and collaborative mindset to my work. Yes, I've considered my own business and perhaps I will one day but up until now I've found applying this mindset helps off-set the corporate madness.
If you follow the corporate track though, it's important to have your own thing. Something that you can challenge yourself to develop on your own, to push you into spaces where you're less comfortable so that you can grow (hence why I launched CurveFinder) . If that thing has a true purpose to it then even better... you're effectively contracting yourself to something that matters, making it harder to give up when the going gets tough (and it always does).
I'm always impressed by the many people I meet who balance the day job and family with their interesting sideline, but when that sideline blossoms and becomes 'the thing' that people decide to leap for, well, I find that infinitely more impressive. What I've observed is that, at the very least, it takes guts, commitment, passion, discipline and the ability to sit with the statement "this may not work" rolling around your 'lizard brain' day after day. Oh, and you guessed it, purpose.
Today I met my good friend Gennaro D'Onofrio and was inspired to share his story. 'G' is exactly the type of person I describe above, he's taken a side-line and is gradually making it into a great business. One with purpose.
As kid growing up in Italy, he watched his grandmother mix various herbs and spices, creating incredible sauces to compliment her dishes. G learnt from her and has been recreating her sauces for many years, sharing them with friends and family and they have become very popular. So he decided to make a business out of it and to market his hot sauce, it's called 'G and Sons Sauce Company'. His purpose is not only to create a business that he and his family can be proud of but he's also built in a charitable element to the enterprise by committing 10% of his profits to a charity very close to his heart, the Dante D Foundation for Wilsons Disease.
The sauces are getting a great reaction across Facebook and from around the world. Bravo G!