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The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your purpose

While browsing the internet, I came across several inspiring videos and people that have found their personal and business purpose. They set amazing examples of what is possible when you decide what you want to achieve and go for it.

The video below is about Claire Wineland who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. In response to her diagnosis, Claire decided to normalize death through the use of social media

By using social media as her platform, she now has over 15,000 likes on Facebook alone. On this platform, she uploads videos, photos and other media to show people that even though she is dying, she is just like everyone else. She uses her influence to help others and has been granted even larger influence by speaking to audiences about her condition.

While not everyone finds their purpose in a life changing way, sometimes it can start small. Neymar started playing soccer at a young age and thought he might be good at it, so he kept practicing harder and longer than his peers.

The video above shows what can be accomplished though a lifetime of practice and honing Neymar’s goal of becoming a professional soccer player. While the overall achievement is different than Claire, it still shows that finding your purpose and honing your energy toward it can create a powerful outcome.

This type of focus is outlined in Good to Great, a book by Jim Collins, which calls this pursuit of greatness the Hedgehog Concept. The idea is both simple and difficult. It requires understanding: “what you are passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at, and what drives your economic or resource engine.”

Both Neymar and Claire have found what they are passionate about and what they can be the best in the world at. While Neymar’s more obviously drives his economic engine, Claire also gains drive and resources from the work she does.

But what about in the business world? Success can come from a purpose derived from childhood or from a life changing incident.

Jennifer Kapahi founded her business out of her childhood love for beauty products. After twelve years in the industry, she created her own line of products called trèStiQue. She says:

We empower women by giving them everything they need to apply their own makeup without tremendous skill or training. Our routine offers 2-in-1 products that combine high-performance formulas and refillable twist on and off tools.

— Jennifer Kapahi

Like Jennifer, Jacqueline Fink had a childhood hobby she turned into a business. However, her impetus was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal lung disease. While under emotional pressure, Jacqueline decided she needed to “knit big” which grew into the successful Little Dandelion.

Each person may have started at a different time, with a different reason to pursue their purpose, but they honed their Hedgehog Concept so they produced something unique that people respond to.

Find your purpose is not easy, it’s not something accomplished in a day or a week. Finding what you’re meant to do takes time, effort, and contemplation about what you want for yourself and what you want to impart to others. Some people may find their purpose easier than others, but it’s never too late to figure out what you’re meant to do.

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