I hope Make Do Co. will bring about more unique businesses with character and heart, more connected people with empathy and purpose, and more meaningful innovation, as a result of people listening and working to their values.
After 10 years working in communications for various startups, agencies and businesses – and through my own lived experience – I became convinced of the strong correlation between wholeheartedness and happiness.
I saw wholehearted leaders guiding their teams with integrity and authenticity. I saw teams responding by doing great work and leading richer lives. I saw customers and the world at large return this energy with gusto. Working for these businesses was easy. An invisible but palpable momentum made getting press coverage simple, producing meaningful work fundamental, and happy customers inevitable.
I also witnessed the opposite: Ugly leadership and tight control in place of conviction and integrity. These people were hell to work with and tended to have a band of employees with one foot out the door at any given time.
Seems obvious no?
And yet time after time I found myself frustrated, miserable in my job but unsure what else I could do. I felt drained by a life tipped in the balance towards too much work and sad that many of the interests I’d had as a kid had fallen away because of busy-ness.
I had passion and fire, I had skills and curiosity, and I had causes I cared about, but felt helpless to make any change.
I never had to look far to find these feelings echoed in others. And I still don’t.
Gradually, I began to remove my barriers to living, stepping out on my own as a freelancer to gain some much needed freedom and autonomy. I quickly learned that outside of rigid workplace rules, I had the opportunity to live differently. I moved around more as an antidote to sedentary desk-bound habits, I allowed time everyday for swims and walks on the beach, I got to cook the majority of the food I ate and I got to spend time with the people I cared about. I spent my money on learning and was flying with this newfound knowledge in design, yoga and permaculture.
But my biggest lesson in those two years was free: the barriers I’d felt so bound to, were not really barriers at all, but choices I’d made out of an infinite number of choices available to me.
Wholehearted living for me meant reconnecting. I wanted to remember the things that made me feel alive. I wanted to be more connected to people around me. I wanted to be in the real world – not a synthetic office with fluorescent lights – and I wanted to fill my days with purpose. I wanted to make things, not just consume things and I wanted to build on the knowledge of others, not struggle on my own.
Writing content and conducting interviews for Make Do Co. is part of my own wholehearted process, gathering knowledge around the topics I care about and sharing it with others. If we see and hear enough stories about people living with purpose, I hope it will give more of us the ideas and courage to do the same.
Along with the free content presented on the site and in the Make Do Co. newsletters, we work with businesses on higher purpose, employee culture and storytelling; as well as hosting events, courses and retreats for individuals. The best way to keep in touch with announcements and news is to sign up to our mailing list.
This is not about finding work / life balance, but making a life. Whether you only attend a couple of public events or join us on the full journey, I hope you sense the effects.
Wholehearted leaders are barely distinguishable from the businesses they are building, because values are so strongly aligned. This kind of authenticity cannot be faked and the end result will be different for everyone.
The Make Do Co. workshops do not aim to provide you with all the answers, but offer space and guided process to help you reconnect with your purpose and empower you to make the change. Our approach is not dogmatic, but offers a suite of tools and ideas so you can pick and choose the ones that resonate with you.
It’s a deeply personal journey that I hope will bring about more unique businesses with character and heart, more connected people with empathy and purpose, and more meaningful innovation, as a result of people listening and working to their values.
Since launching in early 2015, this venture continues to evolve … So please stay tuned as we introduce more events and ideas. If you’d like to learn a new skill or reignite the fire for an old interest, let us know. We are continuously working on our calendar and are only looking to produce events that people genuinely want to go to.
If you have something cool to share with the world, let us know that too. We are always looking for great teachers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you in class some day soon!
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