When I was a young man, before I really knew myself, I went to London in search of the gold that surely paved the streets. I started working at one of the largest financial advisory groups in the world, and was ambitious with it.
I asked my boss one morning, “What is it that will get me on the fast track?” What he told me would, in time, kickstart my journey to self-awareness, as well as herald the beginning of Insights.
He said, “If we can beat the return our clients can get on cash by between half and three quarters of a percent we will have done our job.”
I nodded along, but inside my heart sank and I realised something about myself: making money would never feel like enough of a purpose for me. I had an urge to return home and find something of real worth there; I was thirsty for hard work and reward of a different kind. I headed back to Dundee and, along with my father, we established Insights Learning and Development.
When I look back at that crossroads in my life, I recognise that I had the most marvellous opportunity: I was fortunate enough to be able decide whether I wanted to work purely for financial return, or spend time building a life centred around a very different type of reward. As it happens, I made the right choice, and the Insights community has spent the last three decades proving it to me, in hundreds of different ways.
I couldn’t have articulated it then, but what I sought when we founded Insights was a community, the beating heart of which wanted to change the world for the better. And I’ve been lucky, through the work of Insights, to have found myself part of multiple communities, all of them purposeful, challenging, and continually nudging the world into becoming a more human and welcoming place.
One of the most inspiring communities I’ve been part of is that led by Josh Littlejohn, Co-Founder of Social Bite and inexhaustible promoter of the Big Sleep Out. If you don’t know about the Big Sleep Out, it’s an annual event where people ‘sleep out in unison … in solidary with and in support of those experiencing displacement and homelessness.’ With a worldwide target of $50 million, the ultimate goal is to eradicate the world of homelessness, and I firmly believe that Josh is the man to make that happen.
Insights wholeheartedly supports Social Bite and the Big Sleep Out – how could we not? Insights’ purpose is to create a world where people truly understand themselves and each other, and are inspired to make a positive difference in everything they do; by being part of the Big Sleep Out community we’re helping to make a positive difference in a really meaningful way. When a company with a big purpose meets a person with an equally big goal, the universe is forcing you to sit up and take notice of what is possible. Ending homelessness is possible. Creating a different world through self-awareness is possible. It just takes the work of a dedicated community.
We’re thrilled to sponsor the Big Sleep Out; we’re privileged to be able to donate £25,000 this year to the cause; and we’re humbled by the experience of sleeping outside for just one night in the pursuit of ending homelessness for good.