Want proof that you can do the right thing AND do well?
The Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli donates up to 20% of his profits through his foundation, is married to his hometown sweetheart, and is hugely successful.
He gives new meaning to the term, fashion conscious.
We know that some of the most trusted brands combine cause and passion, don’t we? Well, Mr. Cucinelli’s life is a demonstration of what happens when your cause is a full-time effort. I found myself drawn to his work philosophy after reading this:
The objective of my life has been to give work a moral and economic dignity. ~Brunello Cucinelli
His commitment to treating workers and the environment with respect was inspired by his dad’s work experience. The family grew up on a farm where they had a happy life. When he was 16, his dad wanted to live in the city and to work in a factory so he moved the family to a suburb of Perugi and found work in a cement factory. Soon after, Cucinelli watched his father change–became dejected and beaten down. As he told the New Yorker, “They didn’t beat him, but still they treated him like a slave.”
This work of finding a purpose, I believe, is not something we should stress.
Even without early influences and inspiration, we’re always been shown by what we love and what we care about, who we are and what we value. By being more present, tuning out the distractions and paying attention to what we deeply care about, our purpose finds us.
I’ve always believed that the human being is more creative when he is at peace with humanity. ~Brunello Cucinelli
Cucinelli believes work should ennoble us, so you could say he values fairness and cares deeply about humanity. How he expresses those values in his life and work is what translates to purpose.
He lives in the small Italian town of Solomeo, not far from Perugia; population, approximately 4,00 at this writing and gives a lot to the community. He has put company profits into paving streets, building a theater, a park, renovating a church and doing other capital improvements to benefit his little village. And as you can imagine, he treats his employees–his company is the town’s main employer– with dignity and consideration.
The coach says
Although it may take time, finding purpose is kinda simple. Ask yourself:
- What do I believe in (what are my values),
- How can I use them in the service of others, and
- How can I inject those values into every single thing I do?
Like you, I’m trying to find my purpose. I know what my values are, and one of the reasons I wanted to start a business and be my own boss is because I’ll be able to express them without restrictions if I’m working for myself.
This is my life’s goal–to look after the soul. ~ Brunello Cucinelli
I’m on the fence about whether everyone needs to have a purpose, but I know I need to have one. I’ve learned, thanks to people like Cucinelli, that purpose needs an outlet and must be in the service of others. From 2007 to 2015 I worked for a large corporation that prohibited its employees from taking part in protests. In that time, there were so many issues and causes I cared about but couldn’t show my support for–even on my own time–for fear I could lose my job.
Having a purpose is a wonderful thing and if you’re really looking for yours, you’ll find it by injecting your values into all areas of your life (not just some) and letting them dictate how you live and treat others!
To learn more about Mr. Cucinelli, visit his bio page on the company’s website.
Other references: The Prince of Solomero, New Yorker article