Several months ago, during an internal discussion at RARE, I was asked by one of my staff, “Are we selling what we want to sell? Or are we selling what people want to buy?”
On the face of it there was nothing especially sharp about this line of questioning. In fact, it’s a line I’ve posed to clients many times before – usually to test a product idea against their knowledge of the marketplace they think they’re in and the consumer they think will buy it. But it cut to the quick in our discussion, because it had nothing to do with knowledge or research or due diligence.
As a husband, father, designer, entrepreneur, business owner, old building rehabilitator, public speaker, and GRIT apostle, I have often wondered, “What in the world am I doing? Why am I doing it? And how do I know if I’m doing it right?” And at RARE, our methodology gets so intense that I sometimes ask myself, “Why are we trying so hard? It seems like everybody only wants fast and cheapeesy (that stands for ‘cheap’ and ‘cheesy,’ btw) anyway, so why don’t we just give it to them?” At their heart, these are questions of purpose and philosophy, and I know to answer them with REVERB.
REVERB is our vision to, “Amplify, magnify, impact, and project positively on everything and everyone around us.” It’s a vision towards our environment as well as our relationships. It’s a vision for our roles as coworkers, neighbors, community members, and service providers. And it’s a vision that determines our purpose and drives our philosophy.
In the meeting that day, those, too, were questions about purpose and philosophy. Not about understanding them, but about challenging them with the notions of cutting corners or lowering bars just to make a buck. “Most people don’t know any better and are just fine with it anyway,” I was told.
Ask yourself those questions. But the context in which you answer them – if your efforts are about just making money, or if they’re about living out your purpose – will make all the difference in the world.