I've been thinking about the call to national service...and what I've learned about service during my life.I've been a life-long entrepreneur. I started as a realtor in S Cal back in the 80's when real estate was a pretty good business to be in. When both the economy and my business totally crashed by the end of the 80's I was left wondering: "is this all there is? How do I start over?" I realized that re-inventing my career and my personal life would involve some deep introspection. I learned that I could no longer just work for money...but that what I chose to spend my life energy on had to have meaning and purpose. I found my way into financial services after leaving California...a painful choice as I was totally broke, did not know a soul, and had to dig out a living minute by minute. I was scared a lot of the time, just like I imagine so many are scared now. But I persevered, and today I have a business that has given me so much. I partner with talented third party active money managers who have the staff and resources to monitor the global markets. I was marvelling at my new crop of client statements that arrived this week. Accounts that not only did not lose money over this devastating recessionary cycle, but actually eked out some small gains. These statements are not pieces of paper to me: they are the widow who counts on this income to survive with her small daughter, the trust fund that two children count on to fund their college, the small retirement account for the divorcee that cannot afford to lose a dime. Real people. I'm proud of what I've been able to do, to help real people navigate during these very tough times.
I'm also thrilled about my new entrepreneurial business, PureBliss Essentials. I started this as a hobby and born out of my life-long fascination with the science of skin care, and love of creative endeavors. I can get lost in figuring out new ways to make delicious things that make people happy. I never did it for the money. My biggest thrill is to know someone has used my products and they made them feel good. I think people need that these days. In my very first year of business, I vowed that PureBliss would be a business that gave back. Every year, PureBliss will donate 10% of profits to a local charity that supports self-sustainability in our community. The Bradley Engle House for battered women and children were the recipients in 2008. I'm also launching a new program "Girl Power"...an entreprenurial course for young girls. I'll teach them how to make simple soaps and scrubs, let them sell them and make money, and teach them how to do simple bookeeping, and run a business. Who knows what could come of it for them? I think our young people need to know how to be self-sufficient. Also, a requirement of the program is that they save 10% of everything they earn...for college, or to expand their business.Both of my businesses give me as much as I give to them. They are filled with meaning and purpose. It was never about the money, but amazingly, the money comes. This is the year we've been called to serve our communities. There can be no loftier goal, and the real secret of service is that the ServOR benefits far more than the ServEE