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Meaningful contribution at work

Mother’s Day last weekend made me ponder the concept of a meaningful contribution at work: how my mother contributed to who I am, how I contribute to my own children and also how I contribute to my business and my community.

In speaking at the Barnardos Mother of the Year event, I shared some of my own journey about being a mother juggling family and always feeling ‘guilty’. That while it looked like I had everything handled. In fact… not once, twice but three times I dropped my son off to school on pupil free days. That I would make sure that I did canteen duty so I did the right thing. But when I asked my now adult son about me doing canteen duty – he could not remember it. My daughter would bemoan that other mothers did all sorts of wonderful things. Why could I not do the same she implored (surely she could find her own school uniform?).

I remember racing onto George Street at 3.00pm desperately trying to hail a cab (at changeover time). Because pre-school pick up was rigid! And I didn’t want my girl being the last.

The voice inside my head often told me I was a ‘bad mother’.  Yet they have managed to make adulthood and appear to be thriving, independent and curious.

Do you ever think about how you contribute to your world? With all that racing around trying to be a perfect parent. Who was I as a role model to them? I would argue that contribution comes down to a ‘calling’ in this life to positively impact others. To do so, we must understand what our ‘purpose’ is. It is worth considering all those around you that see what you do and who you are.

For the parents juggling his or her own business, actively contributing to the economy, often this means we’re away from our family longer than we’d like – let us not feel guilty. Know that you are a living, walking demonstration for your children of passion, determination, resilience, drive and self-belief – a fantastic example of values any parent would hope to instil in their child. That is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, being acutely aware of who you are and what you’re here to do can only positively influence them.

Speaking of influence… what I’ve found to be important in business – and in life – is to own, understand and be conscious of my words and actions because let’s be real – they influence others. Your words and actions influence others. Put simply it’s the Universal Law of Cause and Effect.

What this Law means for us is that we are responsible for our own lives. Everything we put out ‘there’ (in life) is returned to us. And as we’re likely not living on an island – population one – we need to teach ourselves to control our contribution to the energetic domino effect that is our interconnected world. Energetically interconnected? Yep. You know how you can walk into a room and feel that someone is ‘off’, even before they speak… choose not to be that person. Instead, be in control of your energy and observe how circumstances change.

Your children, your family, your employees, even your barista will benefit from this slight shift in consciousness to ensure you have a meaningful contribution at work. The end story: your contribution counts.

Let me leave you with this: learn to enact rather than react to life.

We are all just muddling through… but consistently making the effort to be present will make the world of difference. And stop listening to that voice in your head – give yourself a pat on the back for all you did get done, don’t focus on what you didn’t get around to.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Wow how beautifully expressed, each word is true to reality and I follow the same path …..enjoy each moment without feeling guilty ….each one of us are playing a role in life to the best of our ability ! Wonderful thoughts and everyone should enjoy this wonderful jargon of life!

  2. Thank you so much. I am a mum of 3 working through a degree in Environmental Science, and hoping to one day influence the value of our natural environment in the wider public. I adore being a mum and I’m blessed enough to have a husband that works long enough hours to pay the bills so I can study and be home for our kids. But the day is quickly arriving when I’ll put my shoulder to the wheel and I just can’t wait; however I tend to flit between being excited for my new adventure and sad that my mummy season is coming to an end. Reading of your juggles and how you’ve come out the other side brings me hope and inspiration. Thank you.

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@naomisimson

  • Happiness:
Think less, Feel more;
Frown less, Smile more;
Judge less, Accept more;
Watch less, Do more;
Complain less, Appreciate more;
Fear less, Love more....
Give it a crack 😎on a weekend like this what's to stop you! #naturalbeauty #happiness
  • Friday drinks must be here soon surely ... or I'm out! #friyay
  • In the 90s I left my cushy job at Apple.

I’d be a squillionaire if I still had my stock options.

I don’t regret it. Here's why:

After 10 years of corporate, I wanted to ‘do my own thing’. I started with freelance marketing.

My strategy? Hard work and build strong brands.

It seemed to work - new clients came from referrals.

But after 18 months, I came to a realisation:

All my clients wanted was “more customers”, not complex branding plans.

SO I thought I’d build a brand of my own. Something to get them “more customers”. RedBalloon was born. The purpose? Give people amazing experiences.

16 years on, RB has delivered 3.8 million customers to 2000 small businesses.

Now, when I give talks, I always get the same question: “How did you build such a strong brand?” Funny how it comes full circle.

I can’t answer that with a time limit.

Though I think I found a way - an online course. “How to Build your Business Brand” - years of experience in one place (link in bio if interested). But, that’s not the point of this post.

If I stayed with Apple I’d be unbelievably wealthy.

Quitting was still the best thing I’ve ever done.

So if you want to take a leap of faith, do it.

All I ask you is this:

Trust yourself and never underestimate the power of brand.
  • #tbt the originals circa 2004 🎈 it reminds that an entrepreneurs journey is long and full of twists and turns. What a ride! @redballoonexperiences
  • I have always been rushing! I need to remind myself of this one regularity. I'm intentional, not frenetic. Choose the one thing that needs to get done to make everything easier! #inspiration

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