Finding My WHY Through Grief

2017 started out as a year of great change for me, my family, and my business. On January 16th, while sitting in my office at Brand Yourself, I received the phone call that my dad had died. He fell in his garage. And died. At that moment, and many since, I have lost my footing. For the past 4 month’s I have found that running a business while slugging through grief and trying to find the answers to what I really believe about death is exhausting (but not entirely impossible).

I’ve questioned my WHY at least 1 million times. WHY am I doing this? WHY are we here? WHY did this happen? I’ve spent a lot of time looking inward. I’ve read a lot of books, talked to a lot of people….and you know what? Defining my WHY is still a work in progress.

But, here is what I do know.

I know that I love what I do. I love that I get to work with good people who provide important services that make this world a better place. I get to help them define marketing strategies, see a brand come to life, or build a brand spanking new website for them to be proud of sharing. I get to see results from my efforts and manage ad campaigns. I can measure growth from what I provide in many different areas. I get to meet all sorts of really cool people (and some really cool dogs, too).

I love that I have the privilege of owning my own business, setting my own schedule, and enjoy the creativity involved in developing new services and techniques.

I am fortunate enough to live in time where Facebook and other forms of social media exist. People have found great connection on Facebook – they are able to share stories in times of happiness and grief. (I learned a lot about my dad in the weeks following his death. A HUGE thank you needs to go out to the people who took the time to share their stories with me about that man.) Individuals or groups can find connection with other ‘survivors’ or old friends. Social media allows for us to share our lives and inspire others with someone we will never meet in person. I, myself, have connected with many generous people online that I will never shake hands with. I hope I’ve inspired others. Our impact may not be entirely visible but it definitely exists and is REAL.

A friend of mine told me my WHY is helping other companies define and share their WHY. I kinda like that one:

Brand Yourself uses digital strategies to connect consumers to services and products they need. We help companies share their WHY with the world.

I get to help the healers. I get to help good people share their WHY with the world. I can evoke emotion using images and stories. I get to be creative all day long and really connect people to services or messages they need to hear. I get to help grow businesses. I get to learn new things. I get to live my WHY.

I also get to redefine my WHY during trying times. I can search for new meaning and provide services that I find valuable. I can be generous with my knowledge and talents. I can help people and businesses in my own way. My dad used to tease me that I “sell air.” I think he’d be proud of the breath of fresh air I’m contributing now. It’s air filled with reason and love.