What It Takes to Build A Mission Driven Company


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Your purpose is where your passion and the problem you want to fix collide.

Frederick Beuchner writes, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meets.” In other words, your purpose is where your passion—what you are good at—and the problem/hurt in the world that you want to help collide.

I never dreamed that I would own a lipstick company. I started college as a musical theater major minoring in dance and ended with a Biology degree and a minor in Chemistry. Throughout my science-based career, I never gave up music or my dream of being on Broadway.

But life took a different turn.

After years of singing at church and on radio jingles, at events, and even being handed the music to learn to be the lead of a North American tour of a Broadway show, I got cancer and it took my voice away.

I thought my dreams, my passion and my purpose were over. But I learned that life is constantly in motion and dreams and passions change—and it’s ok. Old dreams and passions give birth to new ones. It happens consistently. It’s usually based on your experiences. And every day is a fresh start.

For the next 10-plus years after that initial diagnosis, the cancer came back again and again, and I now live with cancer in my lungs.

Every day is a fresh start.

I learned a few things over those years—I am resilient, I could find my voice again through writing and I liked using different colors of lipstick as my expression.

My passions became my writing and my lipstick colors. I became good at analyzing colors, ingredients and textures of lipsticks. The hurt I wanted to ‘fix’ was the hurt that I personally felt at times—fighting cancer alone. After my Stage 4 diagnosis, I knew that my message of hope and resilience would come from my own lipstick line; The Lipstick Journey lipstick company was born.

I also knew I wanted to bring joy to cancer fighters and help them express themselves through lipstick while giving back to cancer organizations. I didn’t know how to start but the internet became my friend. I knew what ingredients I wanted in my lipstick and the texture I wanted. And I had already been working with a couple of cancer organizations, so I knew where I wanted partial proceeds to go.

It was a longer road than expected but The Lipstick Journey lipstick company just turned two and it has been amazing. 

The distractions are endless. There are always competition and critics. But whatever your mission is, keep your purpose before you and at the top of your mind. Never forget the core of your business. Write your mission down. Whenever you get overwhelmed with the ‘shoulds’ or ‘ifs’ or even ‘but theys,’ read your mission and stay the course.

And never stop sharing your why. If you don’t constantly share why your business exists, people don’t know—and your product, whatever it is, will get lost in the sea of the others.

Think about your passions. Figure out what problems you want to fix or what hurts you want to help heal. Know your purpose and share your why. Keep evaluating. And remember, at the core of it all, it’s about you. The key to building a mission driven business is you.

What are you passionate about? What problems can your passions help solve?

Image via Elsa Noblet


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