I’m writing from an airplane coming back to San Francisco from Austin. I just went to the Conscious Capitalism Summit , which was a great event for about 100 CEOs running companies that, get this, actually give a shit about their customers and team members and doing good for humanity.
It was great hearing inspiring stories from the founders of Costco, Whole Foods, Shake Shack, and other A+ companies that are committed to their employees and communities.
Do you ever find that when times get tough—when you’re working long hours, laser-focused on serving clients, coding new features, meeting your goals—it’s easy to forget about what brought you to your job in the first place?
The biggest thing I took away from the 36 hours I spent there was how much these companies focus, and continuously refocus, on purpose and why they exist. Even a company like Shake Shack, which you might assume just makes greasy fast food, finds purpose in helping the people who flip those delicious burgers pull themselves out of housing projects and learn new skills.
This sense of purpose is something I’m re-emphasizing in our day-to-day lives at inDinero.
Take my team of 140+ engineers, client advocates, and CPAs. They could have easily taken jobs at traditional financial services or tech companies. But we have to remember that there are reasons that we ended up at inDinero instead.
People have told me that they wanted to work at a place where they could have a huge impact on the entire organization. Others say they just love talking to and learning from all the smart entrepreneurs we work with. Others see themselves as under-the-radar superheroes who are helping small businesses succeed.
What all of us have in common: We would have been terminally bored working at one of those traditional financial services or tech companies.
For me, there are two fundamental reasons I come to work at inDinero every day:
1. I want to create a great place for my team to work.
I know I’m not amazing at this yet. I have a long way to go, but I’m working hard to get better. I know that everyone at inDinero thinks deeply about this too.
The reason I care so much about bringing in new revenue and growing our company is because growth creates more opportunities for my team to advance in their careers (new clients mean new roles). Right now, we have more responsibilities that we have team members! Growing slowly means losing out on opportunities for everyone.
2. I want to make a difference for our customers.
I love talking to entrepreneurs, especially those who are early in their business lifecycles. It has always been my mission to help these revolutionary thinkers their dreams a reality, whether it’s through making a connection, answering a question, giving advice, or handling their accounting and taxes.
I attend events like the Conscious Capitalism Summit because they’re good for the business. But they never fail to remind me why my co-founder, Andy Su, and I started inDinero in the first place.
We all need to be regularly reminded of why we do what we do. And if you don’t know, it might be time to make a change.
Ask yourself this: Whether you’re a CEO or just starting your first entry-level job, what brought you to your current position? Can you find a way to remind yourself of that purpose on a day-to-day basis? It’s easy to forget when things are stressful, when you’re under the gun with crazy deadlines and workloads that go through the roof.
By reflecting on our real purpose, it’ll be that much easier to make the impact and difference that others will love and appreciate you for. More importantly, it'll be your pleasure.
P.S. If you’re having trouble remembering your reason why, this video is a great place to start. I probably watch it five times a year.