Is It Hard to Have a Meaningful Career?

I don’t mean finding meaning in your “job”, but creating a meaningful career that allows you to leverage your UNIQUE GENIUS to fulfill your deep rooted desire make the world a better place?

The path of a change maker is a path that often one that feels lonely, fraught with seemingly insurmountable challenges and demanding many personal sacrifices.

For many of us this looks like:

  • Working on causes you care about for no money
  • Working in corporate, surrounded by people who lack a bigger vision beyond making money
  • Spending the vast majority of your time in a soul sucking job, and your crunched personal time on projects you care about
  • Starting your own impact driven business with your own money & working furiously to make it profitable
  • Starting your cause based business with borrowed money or angel funding & working furiously to make it profitable
  • Wondering if you are making the right decisions & spending your precious time & resources wisely

You see, being a change maker is very different from being a volunteer. Because you recognize the fundamental different between donating a few hours of your time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or participate in a blood drive.

Creating an Impact Driven Career

I recently received a review copy of Work On Purpose, written by Lara Galinsky, VP of Echoing Green, an organization that provides seed funding and support to social entrepreneurs. And of the hundreds of social entrepreneurs she worked with, most of them shared the same story of struggle in finding their calling and charting their path.

work on purposeShe discovered that most of the them WANTED to make a difference, but didn’t know how. Most of them spent years working in jobs they were miserable in or following someone else’s path instead of their own.

Guess What? You’re Not Alone

Now imagine if you  didn’t have to do it alone and figure it out the hard way.

Imagine if you had a trusted team of advisers to help you find clarity, to guide you, to show you what is a colossal waste of time, and what isn’t?

Over the past few months, I’ve gathered experts far and wide to give you advice on how to launch and grow a triple bottom line business.

As a member of our growing community of change makers, you will have access to some of the most influential green and social entrepreneurs on the planet.

I can’t wait to share with you all the great information I’ve been gathering, through interviews with successful social entrepreneurs on Green Marketing TV.

And I’d love to invite you to make yourself known. Have you created a meaningful career?  Have you connected with your life purpose? Or are you still on the path to finding it? Drop us a message in the comments below – we may just have to  interview you.

This post was written by:

Lorna Li

Lorna Li is a social media and green marketing expert. She enjoys helping green businesses and nonprofits with bootstrap marketing, as well as helping job seekers leverage social media for personal branding.

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  1. I think I have connected with my life purpose but still have not created a meaningful career since I left my last job 10 years ago. Every year start with a hope this may the year but ends with the same hope.

  2. When I read your post I felt compelled to comment. I feel my experience may be relevant to your readers. After graduationg from university I worked for many years in a corporate environment as a project manager. Although the remuneration was excellent, I was not satisfied with the work I was doing. I went on to start my own businesses, which ran the gamut from a recruitment and training company for overseas English teachers to a connectivity software company.

    Although each afforded unique challenges, none of these entreprises offered the satisfaction that I was looking for. It was not until I committed myself to exploring what I was passionate about that I came into my own both personally and professionally .

    I am now a champion of sustainable business, I own a consulting firm and I write for dozens of publications. I am happy to report that I am now living the life I have always wanted to live. I am eager to get to work each day and the rewards have never been greater.

    My advice to people is to discover what you are passionate about and stay committed to goals that realize these passions. This has not only worked for me, I have seen it work for clients, friends and acquaintances.

    The old cliche is true, when you are doing what you love it ceases to be work.

  3. Lorna Li says:

    @Nani Sometimes discovering one’s life purpose is a lifelong journey!

    @Richard I can’t agree with you more. I recently did an interview on the Art of Compassionate Business, which you can find listed as a bonus here:

    The overarching theme was – how NOT to turn your socially responsible business into “a sweatshop for good”.

    One piece of advice was to see your work as an extension of your life mission as a powerful way to reconnect with your purpose.

  4. Francesca says:

    Hi Lorna,

    To be honest I totally understand you and I share all your comments.

    Actually for a moment I thought to be myself writing those words.

    I am not a changemaker yet but I work on this field. I’m a project manger for a Regional Activity Center of Cleaner Production in Barcelona, Spain and I specifically take care of promoting and developing green entrepreneurship along the Mediterranean countries. Before getting here, I changed different jobs; in 2006 I started working for a big US company in Barcelona and at the beginning I thought it was the right job for me, good environment, salary and benefits but after 2 years I felt there was something wrong so I taking advantage of an internal cutcost action, I did a master on Sustainable Development and CSR. My life has changed once again but for good, and I realized that all the past experiences, personal sacrifices, are now useful…so leasten to your heart and soul, they know what you deeply desire…

  5. Joe Miller says:

    Hi Lorna,

    Thank you for this amazing article. Wish it was not the case, but it is nice to know other change makers feel the same way. And even better that someone is working to connect, and create a community so we all can work together.

    The premise of my social enterprise, Print a Forest is simple. Print 100 Pages. Plant a Tree. Use Print a Forest’s free computer software and be open to a small message from a brand across the bottom of the pages you print. Branded footnotes from advertising sponsors fund our non-profit reforestation partner planting 75 new trees for every tree worth of paper you print. Turn your printer into a tree planting machine and literally Print a Forest. Download the free PC beta at

    This is my story:

    As an eco-conscious University student at Michigan State, I was not printing out my class notes. As a Finance major my grades were suffering because of my refusal to print; its impractical to type complicated equations. I began donating to reforestation efforts so I could print guilt free. So I developed Print a Forest because I thought; wouldn’t it be cool if I could create a system to allow brands sponsor the paper students print and allow students plant a forest with the paper they print.

    I went to Michigan States library and found out that the 45,000 students at MSU print 9 million pieces of paper at the campus libraries annually. Extrapolating, this means the 20 million students nationwide print 4 billion pieces of paper every year. Over half a million trees being chopped down to supply college students with printing paper for personal use was unacceptable.

    Print a Forest was created to partner with Universities, place the software on campus computers, take out an operating fee, and donate 100% of profits to Universities environmental funds. Tweak an existing behavior to turn 4 billion pages into 40 million trees, and contribute toward campuses becoming sustainable. Its a win-win. But unfortunately Universities have not signed on. Very naive, I thought champions would come out of the woodwork to help my bring this to fruition. But the opposite has been true. Librarians have shut it down whereever I have taken it.

    But I have not given up. And since our beta software has come out we have gotten amazing responses from our users. Their kind words has given me strength to keep working and getting the word out about Print a Forest’s free tree planting software. Like today this was an actual post from the Sierra Clubs Green Life Blog..

    “Hats off to Miller, who has started such a great cause for the sake of greener and healthier world. Yes, this is the time when our environment, world and its residents badly need such passionate campaigns. I feel only such kinds of passions and motivations now can save this world. I would say God bless him.”

    Woooo this made my day today. It’s lonely being as social entrepreneur but if we support each other we can change the world. Deforestation contributes 20% of the worlds GHG emissions. That is more then cars, trains, and plans combined. But if we could world wide sacrifice the bottom footnotes of the pages we all print and Print a Forest we could fight global warming with billions of majestic, life giving trees.

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