Heart in IceToday, I want to tell you a story — an important one — that goes to the heart of why I’m in business for myself.

For the longest time I’ve really not known why I was in business. Oh, I thought I did but it wasn’t really driving me.

Then, starting somewhere around the first of March a series of events started that would change my life — and my business — forever. And as these things usually go, it wasn’t until just in the last week or so that I began to see how this chain of events has impacted me so far, and now, well, who knows what the future will bring?

Just by chance I was alerted to a program that Valerie Young was presenting about becoming a Profiting from Your Passions Coach, and while I figured that the last thing I needed was to take yet another program and get yet another certification, there was something about this idea that called to me and wouldn’t let me go.

We hit the road again in the RV to head to Florida to see my parents just as that program was starting and it proved to be an intense course. In a good way, mind you, but I was out in the desert depending on solar power to keep me connected to the sessions and somewhere in there Valerie invited us all to attend Suzanne Evans’ Be The Change Event.

Since I was going to be in the Orlando area anyway, and because we could go as Valerie’s guest, I said, “What the heck, I’ll go.”

I knew virtually nothing about this event and nothing at all about Suzanne Evans so I was just going on Valerie’s word that it would be well worth my time.

And boy was it. I won’t try to recount to you the whole event, just suffice it to say that “life-changing” is too tame a word to describe it, but I can’t think of any others so we’ll just go with that.

I spent three days at the event getting a sore butt from sitting on the most uncomfortable chair on the planet while soaking up content and training that was so incredible and right-on that I was mesmerized from the get-go by this amazing woman named Suzanne Evans.

I’ve since likened it to a religious experience or conversion because here, again, I don’t have the words to adequately explain it. All I do know is that something huge shifted in me when I realized — and accepted — that I had been simply toying with being in business; that I’ve been treating it like a hobby.

And then I really got excited — and scared — when I finally accepted that I really do have a gift to share with the world through my business. (You do, too, by the way.)

But something was bothering me…

You see, Suzanne is very much about making a lot of money in your business; a LOT of money. And sometime during the event I decided I wanted to stop playing small and to put myself out there in a big and challenging way so that I, too, could make a lot of money.

But to tell you the truth, I’ve always been one of those who said that the money part didn’t matter to me and so I was still having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this notion of making a lot of money until Suzanne said something that got my attention:

“The more money you make in your business, the more you can give away.”

Whammo! Ton of bricks moment!

Several times during the event Suzanne had asked us again and again — as a way for us to get a handle on why we want to be in business — “What pisses you off?” Then she proceeded to parade people in front of us to tell their stories of what had pissed them off so much that they started a business to right those wrongs.

Well, I could think of a few things that aggravated me but nothing that had really pissed me off enough to tackle it in my business.

But then in a subsequent training session, Suzanne asked the question that hit me really hard and made me sit up and take notice, because I immediately knew the answer.

She asked, “What breaks your heart?”

And I knew: It breaks my heart that some kids are bullied so badly that they feel the only way to get relief is to take their own life.

This trend has bothered me for awhile now but it really came back to the fore when, yet again just last week, a 14-year old boy who had just come out as gay, killed himself because he was so unmercifully bullied about it. It brought me to the brink of despair because I’ve been heard saying lately that we have to find a way to stop all this bullying, but what could “I” possibly do to help?

And when Suzanne asked the question, “What breaks your heart?” I realized — another ton of bricks moment — that if I could make a shitload of money in my business then I could give a shitload of money to the organizations that are already out there working so hard to bring bullying to an end. (And I could get involved with these organizations in other meaningful ways too.)

And then just yesterday, the Universe provided the opportunity for me to see the documentary movie “Bully” as if saying, “Marty, you really need to get this message.” If you have not yet seen this film, please make the effort to do so at your earliest opportunity. And then, if you’re so inclined, join me in this effort to stop bullying.

I have no idea how this is going to play out for me personally, nor how it will affect my approach to my business, but I do know that I can no longer just sit on the sidelines and let someone else figure it out. I have to do something — at least use my resources now — to help.

Now, this is certainly not the only reason why I’m in business and I’ll eventually share all of those other “why” reasons with you, too, because perhaps in my struggle to find the “why” answers it will help you to start thinking about why you are really in business, too.

I’ll tell you that I always thought that I was in business for the freedom that I get from being self-employed and yes, that’s a part of it, too, but I know that my being in business goes way deeper than that. I bet it does for you, too, even if you value as much as I do the freedom that being self-employed brings.

So, as I close today, I’ll ask you the same question that Suzanne asked me: “What breaks your heart?” Somewhere in your answer I believe you’ll find the stirrings of the “why” of you being in business, too. I hope so. This has been major for me and there’s more I’ll be sharing soon.

If you’d like to comment publicly on this topic — either about bullying or the “why” of your business, please do so below.

**You can learn more about Bully at www.thebullyproject.com/ and if you’d like to help support an organization that is near and dear to my heart, check out www.TheTrevorProject.org.

In a future post I’ll be sharing with you more details in this chain of events that has so dramatically changed my life. I look back in awe at all that has happened just from making that one decision to attend Valerie’s training and I can hardly wait to tell you about everything, especially my chance meeting with two amazing women that I look forward to introducing you to. For now, just know that their names are Mary and Candy and they are amazing, too.