Find your purpose with a single word

What's Your Word

How I found my word, and ultimately my purpose…

What's Your Word

Last year I joined a women’s collective in Chicago called MsTech. I initially attended events because I had lost my job and needed an inspirational outlet. I was surprised to meet other women in my industry who not only had experienced similar career strifes, but had actually risen above it. There I sat in a room full of women who were the textbook definition of “when life gives you lemons…”, and I felt something I hadn’t felt in a while. Empowered.

Even after I started another job, I promised myself I’d still go to events. I had a new job, but I felt a void. I continued to be involved, build my network, and work on finding my purpose. As fate would have it, eight months later I lost my job again and I found myself looking to this group of women for some kind of sign. What was my purpose?

No really though, it’s about time I figured that out huh?

Two weeks later I attended one of MsTech’s weekly Masterminds facilitated by two awesome career babes, Jessica Zweig, of SimplyBe Agency (my Chicago gals may know her from Cheeky Chicago), and Neeta Bhushan, of Independent Awakening. The discussion centered around creating a mission statement.  The trick? Jessica and Neeta challenged everyone to narrow a mission statement down to a single word. One word that covered it all.

Obviously as a wordsmith, the notion of picking just one was terrifying.

So when it came time for me to talk, I did what I always do when I feel grossly unprepared: I rambled on like an idiot hoping eventually a nugget of sense would tumble out.

I talked about how I felt happiest when I was helping and coaching others. I talked about the satisfaction I feel working with a business owner or entrepreneur. How I like listening to their problems and creating solutions for them. And how I love teaching. How sharing my stories and experiences with students looking to develop professionally gives me the ultimate high.

I was scarily close to recounting what I had for breakfast, when the universe sent me a lifeline. The woman across the table from me nodded and said, “It sounds to me like your purpose is lifting others up. Your word should be elevate.”

ELEVATE. 

Yes. Of course.

Then it hit me. The homepage of my business’s website. The first word you see when you type in workitweb.com: Elevate.

A year ago when I launched Work It Web’s site, I carefully picked out that word for our tag line. “Elevate” sounded sexy and looked great on marketing collateral.

In my confusion and post-losing my job stupor I had forgotten why I liked that word so much. It took this Mastermind and fellow bad ass MsTech-er to remind me that it wasn’t just a word, it was my word. My purpose.

I started my glorified side hustle, Work It Web, over a year ago and have since built it into a profitable freelancing business. I believe the long, drawn out point of my ramble at that Mastermind event was that I wanted Work It Web to be more than it was. My purpose was to make that happen, to set into motion the very words that inspired me just one year ago.

It’s amazing what a word does huh?

Now allow me to pay it forward because I’m cool like that. My mastermind ladies forced me to find my word, so I’m challenging you to do the same.

What’s your word? What makes your heart go pitter patter? What single word gives you purpose?

Don’t feel the pressure to know your word right now. Words take time (a whole year apparently!), but allow yourself the freedom to think about it, digest it, and eventually, OWN it.

 

In the meantime, you can find more information on the fabulous MsTech collective here

 

2 Comments

  • Sunita

    Love this story and your word is beautiful! I have been trying to find a sentence which describes my purpose for quite a while now and so far I have failed. A single word is even harder (or is it maybe easier?). I will definitely think about it. My favorite word in general is intensity because I believe that intensity is what makes life worthy (even if it means experiencing the bad stuff intensely).

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