Start with your heart...
My dear friend Polly Laughlin Craig began her website, Horse Connection Center because she loves horses and she loves horse people. But more than either of those, she loves creating connections and hearing peoples' stories. Her website began as a labor of love. Literally. She refused to take a dime for anyone and did it all simply because she can and she wanted a way to connect. After several years of building her site and welcoming everyone to participate, she is beginning to realize the value of her work. She got a phone call from actor/producer Ricky Schroder's people to promote their Hallmark movie (premiering tonight), "Our Wild Hearts". What they said to Polly was that her website was the obvious place to go for public relations regarding anything to do with horses.
Then the marketing person for a major jean company called Polly because she needed "15 cowboy butts to test out new jean designs" and again Polly heard that her website was the obvious place for finding cowboys! (The marketing person called Polly back to report on the testing and said that some of the feedback included "not enough ball room" but that is another blog story for another blog site.)
As a consultant to small businesses and non-profits I hear a lot of talk about how in this new and changing world, successful businesses and organizations are the ones that lead with the heart. And the new jobs and business models that are thriving are the ones being created out of the heart space and where the people developing them are doing so as their authentic selves and not from a place of forced agendas or artificial goals. But as a way to serve for the greater good while being true to themselves.
Sweet Polly is a prime example. If you ask Polly (and I encourage you do) what her motivation is for working 12 hours a day, talking to anyone who calls her and supporting business people from LA to Red Bluff to Boulder and everywhere in between, she'll simply say, "Because I love what I do."
I am so thankful to have such an amazing role model in my life. Thank you Polly. You are a leader (I can imagine you blushing as I type).