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On-Site Staff / Opinion / Partnerships and Building Relationships / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

Knowing My Why Is The Root Of My Success

In 2008, I got the courage to start my own professional development company. I have been designing my purpose for this company for the last 11 years. “Dignity of Children believes that all children are born with inherent dignity. They have a right to be loved, nurtured, and valued. Children and youth deserve to be kept safe. They are entitled to a proper education. Children thrive when adults understand their developmental needs, recognize their strengths, and foster their resilience. To evoke the best in children, adults must recognize their own strengths, capacities, and inherent worth. Dignity of Children aims to spark the inner light of adults, so they may impart this to children.”  I am clear today that this is my why! Every service that I create is based on the statement above. The goal is to communicate what we believe to attract people who believe what we believe.

My friend Christine, a businesswoman herself, told me back then when I started my company to be clear in what I intended to create, and I had to write goals every year.

Writing my goals made sense to me, but I still had a lot of unclarity in what I was going to create. Well, I did pay attention and every year I always created my goals and I was able to make so many things happen, but I must say not until I started working from the base of knowing my why, did I really begin to see my company blossom. Coupled with clear goals in the last few years, my company has increased its revenue by 15% every year. And I continue to create products that speak to my target audience, youth development professionals. Everything has not always been peaches and cream, but knowing my why gets me back up and determined to figure out what’s the next step to make that difference in my work with youth development. I think Michael Jr. can explain this theory much better than I do!

“Michael Jr. Hailed as one of today’s most gifted comedians, Michael Jr. got his start when George Wallace took him to the legendary Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. Listen to his YouTube video: Michael Jr: Know Your Why

In the beginning, I started with a few clients that believed in my work, because I had made an authentic impact with them and their staff. I have to say, it was not always so clear to me then, even when I wrote it down on paper, but I kept refining and adjusting until I became clear. The first statement I ever wrote about my company was that I wanted to establish a company that had credibility and participants will leave with tools and strategies that they can apply the very next day in their classroom. Today, I have the opportunity to listen to what my clients are saying about Dignity of Children. I hear my why when my clients share on the evaluations. There is evidence everywhere to show me that I am on the right track. Here are a couple of evaluation responses.

  • “These trainings are inspiring; Ready to return to my site and implement immediately! – Maya Doyle, MMCC DIRECTOR (Evander Campus Beacon)
  • “I came to this training with a mentality of what else I need to learn? I have a program to run but now I’m like wow! I’m glad I’m here! I need to be here!” – Maria Panora
  • “Diving more into me as a leader is always surprising. Getting more insight as to how I can be better for my team, my parents, my participants and most importantly myself.”  – Anonymous

I still get choked up when someone comes up to me and tells me that because of me they have taken their commitment and work with youth development to another level! It is amazing to hear others speak my why! I plug in every day to remind me of my purpose and every day I know I am making a difference to our children, by empowering professionals to be their best, for our children sake.

There are so many resources about “knowing your why.”  Motivational speakers like Eric Thomas – WHAT’S YOUR WHY (Eric Thomas Motivation) and Simon Sinek, Start with Why — how great leaders inspire action TEDxPuget Sound describes it so clearly. Also, check out “The Why Institute.” Yes, there is a whole company dedicated to teaching people to live from “Knowing your why.” I inspire to make a major difference in the youth development field worldwide, and I am clear that developing myself emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally will keep opening the path to make that dream a reality!

I am also clear of what I am up to and I don’t allow myself to get distracted by activities that do not move me forward, closer to my life purpose! So, ask yourself, What’s your Why?

For breakfast, my wife made us a protein shake with super greens, almond milk, fruits and pine nuts. I also had to have my ¼ cup of Bustelo Coffee. I take it black with a teaspoon of sugar. 

Author: @soniatoledo

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