Guest blog post by Eboni Gee
BRIDGING THE GAP PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY
In the Beginning
With sixteen years in the dialysis field I have seen so many ways that information delivery could be improved with dialysis patients, while strengthening and supporting the patient in a deeper, more meaningful way. I always knew that I wanted to make a difference, but when the time came a funny thing happened--I forgot my vision. I got caught up in the never-ending Google searches, asking for answers and following too many people who said different things. All I knew was that dialysis wellness and the wellness of patients' families was important to me. I didn’t have crystal clear clarity on my intentions, and that created a lot of confusion due to lack of having a plan.
During my distraction, I was told that I needed to have a non-profit to make money in my business, because the people we were looking to serve could not afford my services. I was also told that wasn’t necessarily true. Living With A Purpose Consulting was started as an LLC. There are pros and cons for choosing a specific business structure and they should be explored thoroughly before making a decision. Having intellectual property to protect and wanting to own my first business outright were among the reasons I didn’t want to be a non-profit business. Despite my wants, I felt that being a non-profit would somehow make it easier for me so I chose to go that route. The outcome was that I proceeded with the non-profit and things did no go as planned. The accountant was paid thousands of dollars and didn’t anything, so the business stayed a for-profit by default and I was out two thousand dollars. Be prepared for many obstacles to come your way; they are not failures. Use them as what they are--learning opportunities--do your homework and keep moving forward. I kept on pushing to find my place in the world.
My Moment of Clarity
I wandered around aimlessly for close to two years researching and learning what I could until I met with a business professional who told me to focus on ONE thing. That simple piece of advice started me on a path of insight that I hadn’t known before. The first thing that happened was that I became really clear about who I was serving. The problem and the solution were identified! Bridging the gap was the key phrase. The goal of Living With A Purpose Consulting, LWAP for short, is to bridge the gap for dialysis and their families at three crucial intersections:
Patients and their doctors
Patients and their families/social groups
Patients and their education, knowledge level, health and the solutions available to help them
What I find is that many new entrepreneurs start out looking for the what and the how instead of really zeroing in on the who. Once you find the who, the what and the how will show up. It doesn’t seem like they ever will when you are lost in the sauce, but believe me, they will.
It Was In Me All Along
The more clarity I gained the more I realized I had had all that I needed the entire time! It’s funny thinking back on it now but it wasn’t funny at the time. The clarity was really just the first step. I still had to figure out how to get this thing off the ground. Since I now knew who I was serving, all of the different ways to serve them and how to execute started flooding in. All of the research I did and what I learned had started to serve me well. There was still the question of monetization which required even deeper thoughts. I am pushing through the income adversities by asking myself strategic questions about what I could do to generate income that falls in line with my one thing. Questions steer focus and being able to ask yourself strong, positive questions will be an asset to you.
In the end, bridging the gap was relevant in my business and in my life. We all hear those stories of how people persevered to make their business a success and they are true. My business mentor told me success won’t come for me, I have to go to it, and so do you. I could have given up a long time ago, but I know what I have is necessary. I will continue to educate myself, know my market and keep my finger on the pulse of anticipating the needs of my audience and so should you. If you don’t have a thorough plan, go back and create one; I can’t even tell you the amount of time you will truly save by going through this process.
We are all in this together, lol! If you would like to connect, contact me through my website, www.lwapllc.com. I can’t wait to hear from you. For more about me and my story click here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/598b0166e4b030f0e267c8bc