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Living your purpose is scary

Can you relate to this? 

When I was at Millville High School, someone asked me once how I envisioned my life playing out.  I can remember saying I wanted to be a music director and play piano for a big church one day.  Definitely, I saw music as part of my purpose. 

When I started at Shippensburg University, my dreams were a bit different.  I planned to become a genetic counsellor.  I was going to help couples navigate the complexities of genetic birth disorders and plan healthy babies.  I took my first science course and, as my brain doesn’t compute anything mathematically inclined, my plans quickly changed again.

Fast forward to graduate school at Lehigh University, I saw myself working in business with a major management consulting firm.  I envisioned a huge salary bolstered by my junior Ivy League credentials.  Although I loved my first job, my $19,800 salary was a wide chasm between reality and my vision. 

And so on my story goes. My point is that life is about finding our way and purpose, and it’s not always a direct journey from A to B.  Sometimes finding our ‘sweet spot’ is more of a meander.  That’s because at different stages of our lives, we’ve got different ideas about our life purpose.

But for me, it wasn’t until reaching my mid-40s when I started to really ask the question, “Why am I here on this Earth?”  And as a Christian, for me that question goes a bit deeper, “What does God want me doing with my life?”  Because at 50, I’ve most likely got less than half my life left to make it happen (eek, talk about scary!).

It was a big revelation for me when I realised a few years ago that God doesn’t actually care if I’m a music director, genetic counsellor, management consultant or PR business owner (which I am today).  All He cares about is that wherever I am, whatever I’m doing as a vocation or for fun is that I am doing the good things that He’s set out for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).

So, this year, we’ve started All Good Ventures.  And while I am sure that this charitable venture is my purpose – and my husband, Rod’s, purpose – my new realisation is that living your purpose is a scary thing!

What if no one ‘gets’ it (and many haven’t…)?
What if it doesn’t work?
What if no one fills out an application?
What if our businesses don’t thrive and we have no funds to funnel into the venture?
What if people think we’re nutters!?

Yeah, sure, I’m a bit scared.

But we’re going for it.  We’re getting started small and hoping (and praying) God builds something bigger than we could ever imagine to help thousands of people in need through the ventures we fund and support.  Yep, quite scary . . .

If you’re considering starting a social enterprise business, then you’re likely thinking the same sorts of things:

What if people think it’s a stupid idea?
What if I try and the business fails?
What if I quit my job to do this and I can’t make it happen?
What if no one else wants to join me on my journey?

It is scary, but you can’t make progress if you don’t make a change, step out in faith and give it a go.
And the less scary thing is that if you want to do it, All Good Ventures wants to hold your hand at the start and help you get going on the right track. 

-Heather Claycomb