What Does It Feel Like to Find Your Purpose?
It’s allusive. It’s alluring. You may chase it for years, decades -- your whole life, even. And yet, when you find it, you know it. It’s simple and clear and fulfilling.
It’s your life’s purpose.
That’s how Debbie Sterling, the founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company designed to get girls excited about engineering, says it felt when she knew she’d found her calling. She was having a casual conversation with her friends when the concept came to her.
“It was this amazing feeling where I knew, for the first time ever, that I knew what I was supposed to do with my life. And ever since then, my life has really changed because I don’t have to manufacture this feeling of passion. It’s just sort of innately inside of me,” she says.
In the past two years, Sterling has been on a superlative ride that took her from a Kickstarter campaign to having the main character of her toy series, Goldie, featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. There have been some hard moments in those past two years, too. But throughout her company’s turmoils -- which have ranged from a lawsuit that could end in a seven-figure settlement to a product recall -- Sterling says her commitment to the larger goal of inspiring young girls has kept her moving forward.
“Even though building a business is incredibly stressful and challenging, it doesn’t feel like a choice. Everyday, it just feels like, this is what I have to do,” she says. “There are times that I want to go, crawl and hide in a corner, but there’s this fire inside of me. Knowing the impact it can make and knowing for certain that it is what I am supposed to be doing.”
For her work celebrating girls, Sterling was just inducted into the National Women’s History Museum. She says the honor has motivated her to do more than she already has.
“Being inducted into the National Women’s History Museum was pretty surreal. On the one hand I was so incredibly honored, and on the other hand, I feel very humble about it. You know, I feel, I feel like I have so much more work to do to truly live up to that honor and achievement.”
Watch this video to hear Sterling talk about what it feels like to have found her purpose.
Related:How One Young Entrepreneur's Quest to Encourage Women Engineers Led Her to GoldieBlox