What's YOUR “why”?
No really, we want to know. What is your reason for doing what you do? What is your personal mission statement, your core driver, your life’s one true calling?
We don’t just write these blogs, post them, and never look at them again. We’re trying to create and engage in a thoughtful dialogue among our peers.
At Innovate Springfield, we often challenge the starters that we serve with this question to help them maintain their clarity and focus, especially in those moments when they start to feel overwhelmed. Your “why” motivates you so passionately, so intensely, so much so that you’d do it for nothing. When you’re a small business starter, you’re almost always starting at nothing.
So, what’s our “why” at Innovate Springfield? We’re glad you asked!
- Our “why” is gardening the economy of tomorrow.
- Our “why” is participating in building a future that we’re proud of. One that puts people and community first.
- Our “why” is working to ensure that every person in our region is supported in reaching their full potential.
- Our “why” is supporting small business starters.
We’re not just saying it. It’s the absolute truth. Nothing gets us more excited than the work that we do at Innovate Springfield.
Public Service is a choice. A calling. One that we’d choose over and over again. In a world where you can be anything, we choose to invest everything we have in supporting the small business starters who call Innovate Springfield their work-home. We’re deeply passionate and committed to serving them. We are privileged to serve them.
Taking it back to the beginning now, what’s YOUR “why”?
Maybe you don’t know immediately, and that’s okay. Finding your individual reason for being and doing is a deeply personal process and not one that you can necessarily sit down and know right away. To find and to know your “why” is to practice self-awareness.
Knowing your "why" and coming back to it in your daily decision-making will help you stay the course and stay true to yourself, time and time again. But, your “why” can and will evolve and change as you change. Perhaps this is a good time for us all to take pause and reflect on whether our “why” resonates with the current iteration of ourselves.
Take a moment to reflect on the following, what are:
- Your Values
- Your Motivations
- Your Passions
- Your Strengths
- Your Ultimate Dreams
What patterns or themes emerge from your process of self-discovery? How can you use this information to inform your newest iteration, or your newest “why” statement?
If your “why” includes embarking on your own entrepreneurial journey, we’re here for you. At Innovate Springfield, we’ve cultivated a collaborative and highly engaged community that we’re especially proud of. But there’s always room for more, and we’re passionate about helping the people that we serve achieve their vision of entrepreneurial success!
Want to know more about what the application of economic gardening and supporting a small business starter looks like at Innovate Springfield? There’s nothing we’d rather blog about. Did we mention our "why" yet?
- First, what is economic gardening? “Practically speaking, economic gardening entails a focus on entrepreneurship and programs that assist current residents in starting and expanding their own distinctive businesses” (Doussard, 2020).
- Second, How does Innovate Springfield engage in economic gardening?
At Innovate Springfield, we provide the “nutrients” starters need to grow and flourish. The starters that we serve span industries and stages of business, and there’s no one way for them to follow the entrepreneurial road. It’s up to the individual starter to decide how much or how little they want to engage with us. Ultimately, we’re here to catalyze their personal and professional growth through our resources, programming, and community offerings.
- Physical working space, i.e. copy, print, shred, mail intake
- Office hours with expert legal, financial, and HR advisors
- Monthly professional development programming
- One on one coaching with industry experts
- University-affiliated resources [and more]
Community Meetups like:
- Weekly Coffee and Community
- Monthly Peer Meetup
- Monthly Happy Hour
The aim is for the starters to graduate from our programming, outgrow our physical space, and establish their headquarters in our community.
Not only are the starters that we serve achieving their visions of success in forging their own paths, being their own bosses, stimulating the local economy, generating major revenues, and creating jobs, they are supporting and reinvesting in their families and in our community.
That’s the part that gets us right in the feels, and has been the experience of a lifetime. That's the part that reminds us of our "why".
Want to learn more about Innovate Springfield? You can visit us on our website and keep up with us between blog posts by subscribing to our weekly newsletter and following us on Facebook and Instagram.
Sarah Beth Ayers, MPA, is the Business Incubation Program Coordinator at Innovate Springfield.