Reflections on 2013

December 31, 2013
Terri Maxwell

Reflections on 2013

At the end of each year I make a list of lessons and insights to take with me into the next year. It’s become an amazing and powerful ritual. For the first time, I want to share them publicly.

2013 was a transformational year, personally and professionally. Everything shifted. To put this year in perspective, it’s important to know what preceded it.

We spent 2 ½ years (July 2009 to Dec 2011) building the foundation of our business enterprise. It was an exciting time. I remember our 2011 New Year’s celebration at the Melting Pot with a few business owners. We were filled with so much satisfaction, optimism and hope. It felt like everything had come together. We were on the cusp of rocket ship growth and had a large cash cushion to fuel it. Keep in mind, our enterprise was and is, designed to earn profits in service to others. To do well, by doing good.

Then, less than 2 weeks later on January 13, 2012, the first business failed. In February, the second business failed. By June, it appeared as if the entire enterprise would crumble around us. Our cash reserves were now being used to survive, not grow. Years of hard work and a personal investment of $1 million dollars were disappearing into what felt like quick sand.

Oddly, my faith in what I was doing was solidly in tact. Although my business mind doubted every day, my soul knew it was part of God’s plan. So, I let it crumble and trusted it would be rebuilt in a more powerful way. I remained committed to the belief that true abundance only comes in service to others. I now lovingly refer to it as the “Million Dollar Bet.”

At the end of 2012 there were many insights about where I had gone wrong, but we still had to rebuild everything with very little cash reserves with which to do so. It was daunting to say the least.


Step One: Reevaluate our Vision

The original vision was simple: we believed in AND; that meaningful work AND financial success were goals that could be simultaneously achieved. I still believed in that vision at the core of my being, in spite of great financial loss. Where I had gone wrong was focusing too much on serving others, without the balance of financial success. I had lost the AND in my eagerness to serve, and made poor business choices trying to “help” others. We exited many of the brands that had been incubated, accepting great financial losses and much criticism along the way. We kept brands that were financially viable and grounded in our core values.

Step Two: Define our Guiding Principles and Culture

I credit the time spent consulting with Tim Houlne, the CEO of Working Solutions, for teaching me the value of culture. The Working Solutions’ culture sustains them in good times and bad, and I realized we had no clear definition of culture. So, we assembled what we called the Core Team (pictured above). We began to define our Guiding Principles. We discussed and debated the kind of company we wanted to build. All of the Core Team members had chosen to work for a smaller salary than they were worth, but each month, as we got clearer, they became more committed. The foundation would be built WITH them, rather than by me. This was an extremely powerful phase.

Step Three: Reestablish our Brand

There was confusion between “Succeed On Purpose” the training and coaching brand, and our portfolio of businesses, which actually provide the majority of income. In a flash of divine insight in May, the name of our portfolio was born. We branded it Share On Purpose, as it solidified the vision of “sharing” purposefully, when our cup is full.

Step Four: Rebuild the Infrastructure

Piece by piece, we redefined target markets and product offerings, established processes, built infrastructure, and rethought the technology required to drive growth. We will be rolling out these changes in 2014.

But the BIG personal breakthrough came in

Step Five: Develop a New Model

I wanted to develop a model to explain my own personal transformation, which was occurring during this process.

I wanted to answer the age-old question: “How do you build belief and confidence when results are not happening?” My goal was to shorten the learning curve for others who desired both meaningful work and financial success.

I challenged myself to create a new model for success. A formula, so to speak, that would make it easier for people traveling this journey, whether they were building a business or looking for a job.

The winning formula had to make it easier for all of us traveling this journey to find meaningful work AND financial success

What resulted was Success Excelerator™. We tested it during the August 2013 Talent On Purpose program, and to our amazement, 53% of the professionals who completed the entire program (2 ½ day workshop plus 8 weeks of coaching) found jobs in 90 days or less. 72% found jobs in 120 days or less. 

The majority of people taking Success Excelerator found a job within 90 days

We refined it, and tested it again in the October class, and the results improved. A large majority of these professionals are interviewing now, less than two months into it, and our estimates are that 60-70% will find meaningful work in 90 days or less.

What is Success Excelerator™? Simple: it’s a formula for tapping into your God-given potential, and using natural, unlimited “forces” to propel you towards your goal. It’s a tool kit for eliminating doubt, as you build confidence and fuel the desire to BE MORE.

Please join us for the January Talent On Purpose class if you want to find meaningful work, or our next Launch On Purpose class if you want to grow a purposeful and financially viable business. Success Excelerator™ will be the basis of my next book, which will launch later this year. I will also be blogging about it in the coming months.


As we bring this rebuilding year to a close, here are the insights I will take into 2014, which will truly be a year of amazing growth for our entire business portfolio and the customers we serve:

Be Who You Are

Regardless of what others say or do, stay true to your authentic core.

Expect More

Rather than make trade-offs between doing what you love and financial success, look for ways to do both. I will prove this truth in 2014.

Assume Positive Intent

People are doing the best they can. When others criticize or judge you, assume they are doing it from a desire to help, as they work through their own issues, rather than trying to hurt you. This insight was instrumental when many were quick to judge without having all of the facts.

Be More

Rather than striving to be perfect, or fit in, tap into the power of just BEING more. Not having more, or doing more, but BEING more.

Everything Happens for a Reason

Regardless of how bad it seems, trust that life is giving us exactly what we need when we need it. Look for the good that could come from your personal, professional and financial challenges. We are not being punished, we are simply being prepared.

Have an amazing and prosperous 2014!

With the soulfulness of Wayne Dyer and the entrepreneurial spirit of Richard Branson, Terri is a world-class business growth expert, social impact investor, and serial entrepreneur whose purpose is to inspire potential. With her own money, Terri built a portfolio of purposeful companies, Share On Purpose, Inc., and now invests in and creates mission-driven start-ups.

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Terri has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 companies. She is known for her game-changing business models and personal transformation frameworks.

Everything she built came directly from a wellspring of perseverance and soulful resiliency, which she openly shares through her first purposeful brand, Succeed On Purpose.

Get Career Clarity
Your career plays a significant role in your life, but what if you’re unhappy with your chosen path? Or you aren’t sure what path to even take? That unease can have far-reaching implications. It’s time to get career clarity.
What Is the Definition of Success in Life?
Success doesn’t have an exact definition. It doesn't have to be about money or a job title unless that matters to you personally. But, how do you identify your own definition of success?
Mindset Matters: 4 Strategies for Fulfillment
The key to maximizing the quest for more is to focus on mindset. Consider these Mindset Tools to achieve goals and overcome obstacles, accepting massive setbacks along the way as part of the journey.