SoulBeing January 2023 Newsletter
There are times in life when it feels like everything is coming full circle. Some people call this “flow,” others call it living out your purpose, some might simply call it coincidence. But I find these moments of synchronicity, of things falling into place, uniquely fulfilling.
Last week we were interviewed for a feature in Medium and Authority Magazine. The publications have partnered to spotlight start-ups that are working for the social good. This premise for a discussion really appealed to me, as “doing well while doing good” has been the personal credo that has guided my career and led me – however circuitously – into social entrepreneurship.
As an undergraduate business student at Boston College, I wrestled with the concepts of ethics and morality in the corporate world as Bernie Madoff and Lehman Brothers dominated the WSJ headlines. I worked on theoretical projects and case studies that mirrored real-world scenarios without accounting for the real-world motivations of greed and ego that seemed to drive so much of our economic system.
I entered the corporate world post-graduation with naïve optimism and a lot of questions.
Sadly, I learned while wearing pants suits and guzzling coffee that many of my fears about working for a corporate giant were reality. The people around me were smart, driven, and motivated to make a real change. But the system we operated in was hugely flawed, rewarding only financial performance and ignoring annoying nuances like human needs and changing market dynamics. This corporate world was not interested in pursuing social good if it meant risking maximum profits.
There was a notable moment for me, however, sitting right at that transition point from student to member of the corporate workforce: I was selected to deliver the commencement speech for my graduating class.
I have been granted a gift not afforded to many: a perfect snapshot of who I was at my core at this pivotal transition in my life. This young woman, newly twenty-two years old, standing (shaking) in front of her classmates, their families, and faculty, knew even then the truths that have been proven out in her life today:
- People are generally good
- Most people want to make a positive impact in the world
- Companies are a vehicle to make this impact, for good or bad
- All it takes is a vision and the courage to pursue that vision
- Doing the morally right thing is usually profitable
- Doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive
Right after the Medium article was published last week, a video of my commencement speech made its way to my inbox. I had not heard my own words in over a decade, the original transcript living on a hard drive long ago discarded. Now I am an entrepreneur striving to “be the change” and make evidence-based healthcare services more accessible to all. But on that day, I stood on stage having no idea what the future would hold, encouraging my business school classmates to remember the Jesuit calling to be men and women for others, and to pursue business that promoted social good for our communities.
I even (unoriginally) concluded the speech with the oft quoted call-to-action from St. Ignatius of Loyola to “go, set the world aflame,” a sentiment almost eerily echoed in my 2023 interview, stating: “My job is to be a catalyst for change — a small spark that has the potential to light a much bigger fire. Find the niche where you can make an impact, give it all you’ve got, and watch it burn.”
Maybe this is a sign that I haven’t matured in the years since college, but I prefer to take a different perspective: my core values are consistent. My work to make a real impact started long before I became an entrepreneur.
My life’s work is to prove that “doing good” is the best way to “do well.”
The shift from a corporate career to entrepreneurship has exposed me to a world of people taking huge risks in pursuit of a chance to change the world. Each founder has a unique perspective, skill set, and niche problem they are working to solve.
The providers in the SoulBeing network are among the most visionary and most deeply committed entrepreneurs and practitioners I’ve ever met. They strive to practice on their own terms, to meet their patients where they are, and to provide evidence-based services to anyone who can benefit. If you are inspired to meet true visionaries in their respective fields, I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of them and simply witness the magic that occurs when these providers follow their calling. They are the ones truly setting the world aflame with their services to our communities.