At some point in the process of getting really fired up about an issue or excited about an idea, we all realize that we can’t do this work alone. Even while living out our own unique purpose, we need the support of other people!Stepping into your purpose takes a lot of courage. Being a Purposeful Hustler may be the hardest work out there, but it can feel easier when you have a circle of people who have your back. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have people who make you feel like you’re not the only one who thinks about something in a certain way or who has such bold ideas. There is so much to be learned and gained from the insight, collaboration, accountability, encouragement and love of other people who share your passion or want to get behind you and your work.
We all need people to lean on, and these are the five places I look to find them:
- Look back - You’ve probably failed once or twice before in your life. When that happened, who was there? Who could you rely on? Odds are, when you take risks in the name of your purpose, the people who had your back in the past will still be by your side. Make sure you express your gratitude for these people in your life and be explicit about how you are in the process of pursuing your passion and may need their support again as you take risks and make decisions that feel scary.
- Look to the side - Who are your peers in the space you are entering? Who is already doing this work and doing it well? Who is putting on events, leading meetings, running organizations in your city related to your purpose? Can you attend these events? Just showing up in certain spaces is the first step and makes a huge difference. Who do your friends or other people in your network think of when you tell them about your purpose? Are there Facebook groups or LinkedIn pages you can plug into? Can you follow them on Twitter? Better yet, can you directly contact them about meeting up with you? Building relationships with people who are already working in the area you hope to work in can be comforting and insightful. It can plug you into an existing network and can help you grow into your purpose. It also helps you learn what work is already happening around you so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Finding people to work alongside or existing efforts that you can bring your unique talents and skills to can oftentimes be more fruitful than trying to embark on a project all by yourself!
- Look ahead - Who do you admire and hope to emulate within your purpose area? What organizations and people are mentioned in news articles related to your purpose? Who comes up in a simple Google search when you’re looking into the issue you care deeply about? Research these peoples’ work and see if it is what you want to learn about and pursue. Could they be valuable connections for you to make? If yes, then reach out! Express to them that you appreciate the work that they’re doing, that it aligns with your purpose, and that you’d love to learn from them. If they agree to chat with you, share with them some of your fears and ask if they’ve had to deal with those things. How did they overcome them? What other challenges did they face? What advice do they have for you? Is there anything they wish someone would have told them when they were at your point in the journey? Lastly, ask them if there is anyone else in the space that they think you should be talking to. Most people will be flattered that you reached out and will be excited to share their purpose with you.
- Look across - It’s healthy to have people in your circle who are interested in other aspects of what makes you, you. This group is important because Purposeful Hustlers need an occasional break from talking about the things that grip them. Find friends who can be supportive but can provide reprieve from the grind of your work by bringing out other sides of you. Join a book club, a beach volleyball team, a ceramics class - anything that allows you to tap into other aspects of your being alongside other people. Providing these spaces and communities for yourself will help sustain you in your Purposeful Hustle and will combat burnout.
- Look inside - You are the most important person in your crew. Sometimes the person you need in your corner most is yourself. Be gentle with yourself. In purpose-driven work, self-care cannot be neglected. You need to be on your own team and look out for your own wellbeing. Otherwise, the quality of your work will suffer alongside you. And if you’re so depleted, it will be difficult to pour into others and build out your network of other Purposeful Hustlers!
The key here is to be intentional about surrounding yourself with the right people to help you pursue your purpose. You will not find your crew if you do not LOOK for them!