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2 August 2022

Business is not your WHY. It’s the tool to achieve your WHY.

WHY are you in business?

It’s a question every business owner must answer for themselves. When the going gets tough, it’s your WHY and your PURPOSE that will keep your heart encouraged and your focus clear. And for many of us business owners during the last couple of years since the global pandemic, it has been tough. Despite the struggles and turbulent times that businesses can face, being clear and steadfast on your WHY will keep you going through the highs and lows of business.  

Alana and Tony

Unfortunately, a common trap for business owners is that business becomes their WHY and their purpose. Little by little, and often without realising, business owners find their identity and self-worth wrapped up in the successes and failures of their business and lose perspective of why they had started in the first place.

Can I encourage you that you are not your business! And whether it’s had a great week or terrible month, a goal kicking quarter, or a dismal financial year, you are not on this planet to ‘be a business owner’ rather you have the gifts and talents to build a profitable business for SOMETHING. What is that something for you? This is your WHY, this is your purpose! And it may be one thing, or it may be a list of a few. But if you haven’t written this down, I’d strongly encourage you to. 

As I sit here writing this, we are celebrating our first-year anniversary of One Co. Foundation. It is such a joy to look back over our first 12 months and the many companies that have joined our community of generous and purpose-driven business owners. Together we have repaired water wells in Uganda, supported First Nations youth in Australia, helped provide micro-finance loans to impoverished families in Indonesia to start their own business and many other life-changing projects. 

One Co. is at the very beginning of what I believe will be a global movement of passionate business owners who are committed to using their business for good.  

For me personally the clarity of WHY I do what I do, was clearly deposited in my heart on a field trip to Zambia in 2015. At that time our business was sponsoring 100 children and we had taken a 72-hour trip from Sydney to a remote community in Zambia to visit the families of our sponsor children. Two international flights, one internal flight on a very small plane that also happens to be the most turbulent flight I’ve ever experienced 😳 and six hours of driving, it was the destination of the beginning of my future.

This photo of me holding a baby was one sticky afternoon in humid Chikomeni. We were visiting a school that we had helped build toilets and latrines, so that children no longer had to ‘relieve themselves’ in the bushes at school. As we were given the honour of cutting the celebratory ribbon as they thanked us for giving them toilets, I was overwhelmed that night as I sat on my bed in accommodation that would be considered less than one star in Australia. They gave us their best; their hearts were so thankful and their African welcome songs were so full of joy. Still to this day, as clear as anything, I remember sitting on the edge of my bed weeping telling my husband Josh, “I now know WHY I do what I do. This is WHY I’m on earth, this is what I’m meant to be doing” I clearly knew my mission in life moving forward was to inspire and help other business owners to do the same. It’s a win-win for all. The communities we impact are blessed as we come alongside and empower them with a hand-up out of poverty not a ‘hand-out’. And the business owners who give, feel a sense of significance and purpose as they make a difference.  A real difference that you can stand there and witness as I did in 2015. 

Zambia 2015

And so, for me this is my WHY. This is what gets me up in the morning, this is what keeps me focused and this is what inspires me and my team to continue to help business owners bring their charitable impact to life.  

As we celebrate the first of many more birthdays for One Co., I look fondly on our past, thankful for our present and excited for the future.  

I hope you too can feel the same about your business and your purpose.  

Alana x

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