2nd Thursday Meeting: Powered by Purpose

Speaker: Danielle Warner, Author & Founder of Expat Insurance 

Event review by Malgorzata Grabarczyk

“In every step of my journey I asked myself, why? and what?,” said Danielle Warner at May’s 2nd Thursday event titled “Powered by Purpose”. The founder of Expat Insurance shared her own success story, how ‘purpose’ became part of her journey, and how it navigates her choices.

To figure out what our own purpose is, it is helpful to first understand what ‘purpose’ actually means. During the meeting, Danielle described purpose as:

“…the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”

Or as a verb:

“…to have intention to know not to guess; a guide; a big concept that sounds mature and exhausting; an answer to the question - why are we doing what we are doing right now?”

She also recommended the TED talk by Simon Sinek, “Start with Why” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA, which is an inspiration for millions of people and businesses around the world.

Why start with why? Danielle believes that if a company is powered by a purpose that resonates with a community, then it profits. Six out of 10 people are more likely to pay for products and services that have good values. And according to Ernst & Young’s “Business with purpose” report, companies with high purpose outperform the S&P 500 by a factor of 14.

Her journey of success began when she left her dream job at the age of 22, and navigated her way from New York to Singapore, treating it as a unique opportunity. As an entrepreneur, she started by creating education as a pillar and platform for building her reputation, establishing credibility, creating her personal profile and, at the same time, creating a culture of trust. When she was teaching people, she was learning, refining and growing as a woman, an individual, and an entrepreneur.

Danielle shared what drives her purpose and the reason she wakes up every day: she wants to inspire; empower people; protect; advise; make a bigger impact; be global; and scale a business. These are the main reasons why she entered into an acquisition with MSH International recently. She dares to be different in her industry, which is incredibly dominated by over-50s males. She also strives to be unique as an entrepreneur and as a mother; her husband left his job to allow her to pursue her dreams.

Sometimes we live at such a fast pace that we don’t have time to connect with ourselves. Danielle experienced this and soon realized that she was so connected to what she did, that along the way she lost sight of who she really was. Her recent interview with Expat Living magazine in March was the perfect opportunity to stop, reconnect, gain clarification, and focus on her personal profile.

The audience also had a chance to reflect when Danielle asked plenty of questions during her presentation:

  • Why are you playing the roles you are playing right now?
  • Do you really understand why it is so important to ask yourself why? all the time?
  • Why do you think you are happy? What drives your happiness?
  • Why did you leave your family or your friends to live as an expat? Why did you make this decision and take this big risk?

She also advised on how to find one’s own purpose: start small and ask yourself, Why am I doing what I’m doing right now? What do I enjoy doing right now? What is the most important thing for me right now? Then stop. Don’t make it bigger. It will move you along further.

Here are some of Danielle’s thoughts and other pieces of valuable advice:

  • When you are reliable and trusted, people call you when they need you. 
  • You are constantly pitching; just remember to pitch positivity not negativity.
  • When you figure out what drives your happiness, you can replicate it.
  • Your why and the reflection can help you to get back on track and move forward.
  • If you don’t have time it means you need more team.
  • Find a way to be busy with things that empower you and give you energy.
  • If you don’t know why are you doing it – stop doing it.

At the end of the presentation Danielle introduced her first book Bulletproof, which includes her ideas, knowledge, and learning. It is a workbook for HR leaders about building effective employee benefits programs. You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Bulletproof-Building-Better-Employee-Benefits/dp/9810986742

The curious audience wanted to know what was next for her. It was, therefore, surprising when Danielle answered: “I don’t know. I know what, but I don’t know how. Purpose is like a journey; I figure it out by doing.” It was interesting to hear the other ladies’ stories about their purposes, and hear their concerns about how it is to be a working mum and how to not feel guilty about it.

Danielle’s speech was energetic, inspirational and motivational, and it resonated with me a lot. It was a great evening, full of reflections, emotions, and networking opportunities. 

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