Saturday, June 13, 2009

MBA + Fair Trade = Purpose Driven Life

It’s an atypical path for an MBA, especially one that went to a school that is known mainly for its excellence in finance. But yet, here I am, partnering up with other social entrepreneurs (namely Glenn and Rebecca) to ensure that persons in other parts of the world can lead a better life. It’s something that’s truly close to my heart.

I believe in using the skills God has blessed me with to make a difference in the lives of those around me. And what better way than marketing fair trade products. I’ve been trained to be an analytical marketer and I intend on using those skills to help artisans become economically self-sufficient. I’m not into giving handouts; I’m into helping people use their skills to support themselves.

Rebecca’s speech at the Rochester chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) got me thinking again about why I made the decision to join her and Glenn to develop KVI. I could very well have been in hot pursuit of a corporate job which would guarantee a relatively stable income and a host of benefits. However the more and more I thought about it, the more and more I realized that life wasn’t for me.

I wanted to be able to know that what I was doing was going to make a significant impact on the lives of others. I wanted more than simply going out there and earning a paycheck. Albeit I could have donated a portion of my paycheck to a non-profit, I wanted to be a major part of the process. I wanted to get my hands dirty (in a manner of speaking).

Of course foregoing the cushy job means taking a greater risk. Paychecks may not flow as frequent nor be as high but you know what, I’ll be happy, because I will be doing what I am passionate about. And if you are passionate about something that has great potential then you’re going to see it through until you make it a great success.

Of course, along the road to success, I’m not trying to put myself in the poor house; happiness doesn’t buy groceries! However I realized I wanted to structure my life and career in such a way that I would always be delighted at the thought of what I was working on, even if that meant earning lower than what someone with my skills could command. Furthermore my trust in God is as such that He’ll provide opportunities for me to earn a decent living if I continue to do His work. And He hasn’t failed me yet!

So yeah, it’s an atypical path for an MBA, but it’s my path and I’m pretty sure it’s one I’m supposed to be on.

For those of you trying to find your path, be sure to watch the above video by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.


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