Good Profit Conference 2017
Posted on November 01 2017
A Business with a Mission
We are often asked the question at My Saint My Hero, “Are you a non-profit?” My answer to this has become, “What sets My Saint My Hero apart is that we intentionally mixed our deep faith into a for-profit business that would give us the foundation to fulfill our mission: to bring faith, hope, and purpose into everyday life and to provide a tangible reminder for people that God is real and that prayer works!”
I love pulling the wisdom of our patron saints as we look for direction in our work. Pope Saint John Paul II said, “The purpose of business is not simply to make a profit, but rather to create a community of persons that produces something good to serve the needs of society.”
The Good Profit Conference
I saw this lived out as I never have before when I had the honor of participating in The Good Profit Conference put on by The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and The Napa Institute.
The conference was inspired by the book with the same name, The Good Profit, by Charles Koch, who has been a very controversial figure in the work place and politics.
Mr. Koch lays out his many ideas in the book (you would think he was Catholic because of the way he has incorporated the ideals of Pope Saint John Paul II as noted above) and the reasons he believes his company has been so successful, not just monetarily, but more in terms of bringing dignity into the workplace and into the world. Mr. Koch speaks about Good Profit bringing something of value to people when they didn’t even know they needed it.
This is what inspired me the most, and this is what I spoke about during my few minutes in front of the microphone on the panel, titled “Spiritual Entrepreneurs”, on the first afternoon of the three-day conference.
Ultimately, I believe this idea of bringing something of great value to people when they didn’t even know they needed it is exactly how God works in each one of us. He places desires on our hearts that we would never have dreamed of.
I know this to be true because of the unlikely pair he chose to carry out the mission of My Saint My Hero. Amy and I did not have degrees in business or entrepreneurial ventures, yet, when we sat in prayer at the very start we came out with a vision for company (as an answer to the prayerful request of St. Giovani Giuseppe and our patron saints):
From Left to Right: Christine Rich | Cofounder of My Saint My Hero; Scott Kauffmann | Partner, Content Lead Praxis Labs; Jennifer Baugh | Founder & National Executive Director, Young Catholic Professionals; Robert Reynolds | President, Avesta; Bob Keith | Director – Enterprise Solutions to Poverty Project Director – Spiritual Entrepreneurs Lab Director – Summer Business Institute Co-Founder, The Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship The Busch School of Business & Economics
- To share the saints stories so that people today know that they were real people who walked this earth, but walked in union with God – and we can do this today!
- To share the stories of those walking the earth now on their path to sainthood – Bringing the SACRED TO NOW.
- To empower women/communities through meaningful work (both here at home and all over the world).
- To bring pieces from sacred sites that people may never get to in their lives.
- To share the sacredness/secrets of our faith to bring faith, hope and purpose back into everyday life.
Inspiration and Strength
Throughout my time at the conference I wore a prototype of a necklace that we plan to launch in January featuring St. Joan of Arc. I grabbed onto her medal whenever I needed the reminder to step out in courage. I was reignited in the mission that God had placed on our hearts in the very beginning through the inspiration of so many others in very successful businesses that I would never had known had based their businesses in a strong doctrine of faith.
If you are in need of inspiration, look up some of these amazing people: Dina Dwyer (The Dwyer Group), Robert Nardelli (former CEO of Chrysler & Home Depot), Claire Huang (Former CMO of JPMorgan Chase & American Express), Rob Reynolds (Avesta)… and the list goes on and on.
The Example of Cardinal Turkson
In another keynote, Cardinal Turkson, the Chief Economic Advisor to Pope Francis, reminded us to keep bringing out the good seeds that God has planted in us. He taught about ‘intergenerational solidarity’, to look to examples of those who have gone before us working for the good of society and to make sure that we work to leave behind a better world for our children and our grandchildren.
But beyond what he said at the podium, the Cardinal was a living example of the joy that comes from bringing God into our work and into every decision that we make. He is a man of great wisdom, with a great position in the church, yet I was blessed to laugh with him and pray with him and share in the joy of what it’s like to live with Christ at the center of, not only our businesses, but in every part of our life.