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Stay The Course

Living Your Why

8/13/2019 | Roger Burnett, CAS, The Burn

“Why would you want to do THAT? You’re gonna go thru all kinds of pain, and you certainly aren’t going to make any money for a while.”

Those words, as spoken to me during a chat at PPAI EXPO 2019 by an insightful and quick to the point owner of a Top 10 Distributor, ring in my ears to this moment, and it’s the ways they ring in my ears that finds me writing about this topic today.

What I’m doing is extremely tough. It’s not like I started the Company with, well, anything. No customer-list. No “accounts that will follow me”. No e-mail list and certainly no permission to interrupt the busy lives of those who know me but have never had the chance to see me in action as a business-person.

It’s the symptom of a varied career across many industries and disciplines. While I have an enormous contact base, if you were to break down the groups within those contact communities, you’d find people who know me for a variety of reasons, and while many of my connections would strongly recommend me in person if asked about my skill, most have not had an opportunity to work alongside me to have a first-person account of where I excel and where my skill set might be lacking. As a result, there is not a built-in customer base waiting for me to dazzle them with the sum total of what they’ve seen from me here on this blog and on all the other channels where I might be found.

It’s a paradox. One that can be solved only one way. Hard work. Being present. Making connections. Sharing value. Being a genuine person who gives a shit about other people and has a plan to do amazing things, scary things, big things, for it’s the big things that people seem to rally around these days if the heart behind it is in the right place.

I won’t lie. There have been sleepless nights. There are times when I entertain the notion that I’ve made a gigantic mistake thinking I could beat the odds and make a go of this. More than one tear has been shed in the process and my poor wife. If you see her, give her a hug for me. I’ve had the phone in my hand on more than one occasion, considering how I might again alter the future if I followed thru on making a call, knowing with certainty that I might be quitting before I even gave myself a chance.


I’ve found myself repeating that phrase more with every passing day. It’s way too soon to give up on this dream, this notion that the marketplace will respond dramatically and positively toward businesses making a daily impact on the lives of people – not merely the people who work for and do business with us, but those causes so desperate for the resources our partnerships can create for the people in our communities that need that kind of help in ways none of us can manage on our own, much less with the caring and grace found in the people who work for those causes. It’s their passion that drives our effort to find them more resources, no matter how hard the work is in the process. 

Believing as I do, what I’ve come to understand is how many other distractions need to be discarded, no matter how worthwhile or valuable those efforts may also be, in order to create the largest opportunity possible for success connected that which aligns most closely to my why.

So, when that comment from the early days of the business fills my ears, I find myself repeating “Stay the Course”. If you feel the same about your own efforts, I offer you the same advice. If you’re living your why, stay the course. If you’re not sure, spend some time on alignment, and get back to work. See you on the other side.

Roger has spent 20+ years making complex concepts more understandable for both buyers and sellers alike, and has devoted the majority of his recent career to injecting purpose via philanthropy to his sales and marketing efforts. He’s intent on making the world a better place and his nirvana exists at the intersection of Mission, Passion, Profession and Vocation. He loves the outdoors and seeks memorable experiences whenever possible. Contact Roger at roger@socialgoodpromotions.com or 810-986-5369.

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