Chasing A More Meaningful Path

I run a boutique marketing agency specialising in digital campaigns and strategies. We assist businesses in growing their communities and in turn, increasing their bottom line. However, I’ve recently been reviewing my moral stance and questioning why I’m doing this in the first place. Why am I helping other companies sell goods and services to consumers without any real value to my life, their lives, or the planet. I feel like my talents are being wasted.

I love creating things and problem solving. I’m a starter, and recently I have been working on a project with some of New Zealand’s biggest digital agencies. Together we have been creating what is essentially a startup within one of New Zealand’s largest companies. Despite my reservations about this project piercing their veil of bureaucracy, I went along for the ride. I couldn’t resist the scope of the problems it’s set out to solve. But then suddenly everything came into question.

My auntie, my dear friend and source of inspiration and humility to me, became unwell. To say the least. Massive surgeries, stem cell treatments and modern medicine couldn’t reverse the years of damage done by our so-called healthy diet. As she currently lies on her death bed, in agony, with a slowly decaying body, surrounded by loved ones, I can’t help but question why I’m supporting a company that has contributed to her pain.

Why does it take these extreme events to put our own lives into perspective?

Reading under a dim light early one morning, while on holiday in Argentina, I was struck by what I saw to be an omen. A realisation that to live a meaningful life one must first understand what one stands for. Then the question begs, what do I stand for? What makes me happy? What is success to me?

To be honest, I still don’t know, but I’m getting closer. I know that I don’t want to work for, or support, an entity that doesn’t provide intrinsic value to it’s community. I know now that success to me is not ‘getting the big contract’ it’s much more humble than that.

Leaving TradeGecko, my first startup, back in 2014, was hard because it had a purpose, real meaning. We started it for the sole reason to assist wholesale businesses, the makers and creators, and to this day, that purpose is still at the heart of everything they do.

Our Personal Legend is made up of our selfless acts of kindness. If I died today, could I be content with the impact my life had on the people around me, my extended community, my planet?

We get so fixated on the outcome, like money, that we forget that the real meaning of life is in the journey and the people we connect with along the way. What is life if not a timeline of emotional connections. The result of being truly successful at life is the number of personal connections we have.

Gone is the desire to fill my 9-to-5 with soulless money orientated work. My focus now is to fill each and every day with more meaningful projects.

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My beautiful friend drifted away before finishing this article. Elaine, I hope you understand how much of an impact you had on my life. I hope I impact others in the same way.