Author / Christa Nuijs
After a couple of years as a working adult, it is not uncommon to experience a moment of disillusion and start to question the purpose of our nine to five. Whether it’s watching a hard-hitting documentary, a pandemic that disrupts the status quo or just questioning your life’s decisions at the height of your midlife crisis, many of us come to a point that makes us question the purpose of mindless mass consumption, soulless capitalism or empty frivolity in business.
For me, that point came when I joined a charity with the naive ambition to truly make a difference on the frontline, only to realise that the people running the NGO full time were much better equipped for this. Their unwavering passion and dedication, not to mention working extreme hours to help others in harsh conditions, was such an inspiration and something I sincerely doubted I could commit myself selflessly to for a prolonged period of time. But it turned out that my experience in communication, operations and administrative management was of incredible value to them. I realised that supporting those who helped others is not only where my strengths lay, but also where I wanted to apply my expertise.
And I was not alone in my belief that every business should use its unique value proposition to help those that are making the world a better place. Together with my partners, we built our business with that motto in mind. And while we have been operating under our new name, The Right Mix Ltd, since only six months, we have been offering our services in operational support, marketing and design to NGOs, Non-profits and Purpose Driven SMEs for over four years. At that time, we were considered quite niche to only accept clients fitting that description. We had to take a leap of faith, as we knew that the budgets of such clients would be smaller than larger corporate clients. But it’s been nothing short of remarkable and satisfying on so many levels to engage with organisations working towards, among others, educational equality, environmental sustainability and gender gap reduction.
We are seeing a shift to “do good” in other companies too. Previous short-term feel-good Corporate Social Responsibility exercises like an annual staff beach clean-up or kindness walks handing out food to the homeless, are starting to be complemented by more in-depth and long-term support to NGOs, such as pro-bono business consultancy, IT support and accounting. It is even more heart-warming to see the business model we have implemented being increasingly adopted by other start-ups, who are dedicating their full suite of services to support cause-driven enterprises and organisations. We believe that the official agreement of the 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals has been a great incentive, as it gives companies a clear blueprint to follow, with concrete goals to achieve.
Finding purpose and balance in your work life is not new but merging job satisfaction and connectivity with a higher sense of urgency to help the world and all its inhabitants definitely seems an integral part of the current zeitgeist. Moving away from the traditional, profit- or consumption driven business model is not only more accepted, but it may also soon be expected and considered the norm.
There’s only so much control we have in this world and in this life to truly make an impact. And if you cannot be at the frontline, which honestly not many of us are fully equipped or willing to do, using your own talents to support those that are, is the next best thing to make a tangible difference!