When I was eight years old my parents ran a not-for-profit organisation called Breaking the Cycle. Breaking the Cycle would take long term unemployed youth off the streets, put them through a three-month training program and then help them find employment.
They were the most successful job placement agency for long term unemployed youth in Australia and therefore a large amount of their funding came from the Victorian Government. Although they were a not-for-profit organisation they would turn over millions of dollars each year and change the lives of tens of thousands of kids, some of who lived with my family and me.
Although they were a not-for-profit organisation they would turn over millions of dollars each year and change the lives of tens of thousands of kids, some of who lived with my family and me.
Seeing how so many young people were brought up and how the traditional system didn’t cater to or support these kids, made me realise at a very young age that there were more important things in the world than what I was supposed to be learning at school.
When the Victorian Government got re-elected and pulled the funding from Breaking the Cycle, the organisation collapsed and the thousands of kids they would see every year would now be without the kind of support they needed to lead purposeful lives.
This sent a very loud message to me at a young age that the world does need people who can change things, although to do this also requires business smarts and a commercial nous that see’s these types of social enterprises run in a sustainable and meaningful way.
In my father’s words, “You can’t just rely on love, trust and pixy dust.”
This is why I do what I do. Business for me has never been about the money or the ‘stuff’. It is about gaining financial integrity, a reputation and a team of great people that can make a lasting difference to the way people live their lives.
Having a strong “why” means that when things get hard, which they often do, you can see past the challenges and keep moving forward.
Why are you in business? Why are you so intent on facing and conquering this challenge?
Discover this and remind yourself of it every day.