The Value Of Paying It 4word
You’ve heard the saying about paying it forward, right? Well, I happen to know a non-profit group of highly successful women who are doing this in a big way. In fact, the name of the organization is 4word (www.4wordwomen.org), and I had the wonderful honor of being the keynote speaker at the group’s recent gala celebration in Dallas.
Diane Paddison, founder and CEO of 4word, asked me to speak about my very favorite thing – living and leading with values. But I was the fortunate one who walked away with so many examples of outstanding women doing that very same thing with 4word. The event at the Dallas Country Club was sold out. And the room was full of successful women with a powerful mission: Give back to others.
At the 4word gala with Founder Diane Paddison (center) and Baylor University associate professor Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray (right).
Women need to value balance for their lives.
The mission of 4word is: “To connect, lead, and support women in the workplace to achieve their God-given potential.” This mission speaks volumes to me, because women today are juggling life, work, faith and family with hectic schedules and big demands that can pull them in so many different directions.
That’s why an organization like 4word is resonating with so many women in so many communities across the country and around the world. I learned that 4word has reached a record-setting 2 million women through its local chapters and online initiatives. And it’s only getting stronger.
The women who have connected through 4word are finding important mentors and peer groups that are adding meaningful connections to their lives. And through their involvement, they are finding balance for work, life and faith.
Diane had this vision when she wrote her wonderful book Work, Love, Pray. She asked and answered the questions: “Is my only choice career or family? Or can I be fulfilled having both?” And today, that book and her organization are successfully helping countless more women navigate that journey with astounding results.
Break the stereotype of all or nothing. When it comes to careers, the real goal is to design your life.
When I see the example that Diane has set in her own life – balancing her roles as a successful executive, a wife, a mother and a devoted Christian – I see someone who has designed her life to succeed at all things. And today she is paying it forward, literally, with her non-profit so that others may find that harmony.
It is the same kind of balance that we promote at Dwyer Group through a class I have taught for years called Design Your Life. I wrote about it in my book Live R.I.C.H.
Design Your Life is a rigorous self-appraisal of defining one’s life targets. Because, let’s face it, even though most people don’t say it out loud, they don’t want to work forever. We teach this special seminar each month for future franchisees, new franchise owners, and new Dwyer Group associates.
This class asks people to define their biggest dreams and then to design their life to achieve those dreams. Keep in mind this audience is typically just starting an association with Dwyer Group, and we’re already asking them to figure out what it will take to achieve their biggest dreams. It’s the ultimate exercise in goal setting, prioritizing, and scheduling what’s important in life. Like the mission of 4word, this class emphasizes the value of balance. That’s not to say life won’t be demanding, or that people will never make sacrifices. The important thing is to have a plan, because wondering aimlessly is not an option to realizing your best authentic self.