I know this business owner — let’s call her Baller Boo — who runs a virtual PR firm. Her mission is to help women of color share their stories and broaden their audiences, so they can increase their impact and their wealth.
Although she works from home, she wears heels five days a week, because they make her feel like a boss (also because, why not??). She recently hit her first 7-figure year in her business, and she’s so proud of how far she’s come.
But lately, she’s been feeling a little lost, too.
She would love to shift her focus away from the daily operations of her business, so she can put more energy towards her passions — in particular, social justice and advocating for the causes she cares about.
Every morning, as she reads the New York Times on her tablet, she takes in the accounts of systemic racism, immigration crisis, climate change, reproductive rights issues, natural disasters…
And suddenly she’s overwhelmed by the dumpster fire that is our society.
Over the last couple years, she’s dedicated a portion of her business revenue to various different causes as they come up in the news. But lately, this form of activism hasn’t been feeling quite right.
She always thought that passing the million dollar milestone would make her feel more fulfilled than ever, but in reality, she feels like she’s not having the impact she could be.
She feels like she should be doing more, but she doesn’t know where to begin. She feels like no matter how much she gives to all the different causes, it’s never enough.
The thing is, Baller Boo is not alone in her overwhelm, her confusion, or her desire to do more. I’ve heard many different versions of this very same story from my clients at this stage of business growth.
On the Hello Seven Growth Scale™️, we call this stage Hello 07: Baller. At this level, you’re making at least $80,000 per month in your business, or $1,000,000 or more per year. According to the US Census, only 2% of women-owned businesses in the U.S. are at this level.
And in my experience, one major problem that so many business owners face at this level is feeling like they’re not having the impact they want to be having.
Take Baller Boo, for example. In trying to have a little bit of impact on everything, she’s actually not having a significant impact on anything.
Not only does this make her feel lost and inadequate, but it’s also keeping her from seeing the long-term, bigger picture — which affects her ability to continue to grow and scale her company.
So to all my Baller Boos out there, this is my solution for you: you HAVE to define the charitable purpose of your company, and come up with a concrete plan to act on it.
Now that you’ve built a seven-figure business, it’s time to establish your brand as a vehicle for change.
For example, you could support anti-racist activism, intersectional feminism, environmental justice, or any issue that you care deeply about.Think about what moves you, and decide what cause you want to take on.
Then, make a plan of action. Consider the different ways you and your company could contribute. Maybe you could make donations or organize campaigns. Or perhaps you could partner with a nonprofit, offer scholarships, or donate your time and expertise to folks who could benefit from it.
In Hello Seven’s case, we’ve taken anti-racist action in many different ways. Last year we ran an Anti-Racist Small Business Town Hall for entrepreneurs committed to running anti-racist businesses. More recently, we called on our audiences via social media and email, and asked them to donate alongside us to support Haitian refugees and activists on the ground.
There are lots of different ways you can make a difference with your money. Maybe you can’t start a philanthropic foundation tomorrow, but you can do something with your resources and power as a business owner.
If Baller Boo could find a way to narrow down her charitable focus to just one cause, she would find all kinds of creative ways to make a difference, and feel much better about the impact her business is having on the world.And if you’re at this Baller stage of growing your business, this is probably true for you, too.