Recently the topic of greatness has been brought up to me several times, including at a LuluLemon event and during interviews. As this is also an important subject to me, I thought I would share it with you here too.
So what is greatness? It seems to be a commonly used word these days, but what does it mean for you? Many people think that to be great, you must be another Gandhi or Mother Theresa, which is, for most of us, so unattainable that it can be paralysing. No, greatness is within each and every one of us. In my view, it can be about doing one kind act every day, impacting one other human being.
This is how Moeloco started. I was horrified when I discovered that over 300 million kids around the world had no shoes. I was horrified when I learnt the consequences of having to go barefoot, including diseases that many of us had never heard of. How is it possible that a child might never, ever own a pair of shoes in their life? Not owning a pair of shoes also means they are not allowed to attend school, for fear that they would spread foot diseases.
My first thought was that it would really be something even if I could impact one life, by giving them access to school and education so they could free themselves from the circumstances they were born into. I had no idea what I was doing, but had a burning passion to help. I just knew with every cell, I had to try. I did have a strong vision – that I had to sell a product to raise the necessary funds to buy the shoes.
From the time I had my epiphany in February 2014, to the launch date in November 2014, and to now I have just been continuously in action, making things happen. Over 4,330 shoes later in 20 months, I’m pretty chuffed, thanks to our community. Who would have thought that I would visit India, and take some gorgeous members of our team with us to experience the gift of making a difference together?
That’s the other point on greatness I have learnt: that in order for us to connect fully into our greatness, we can only do this through others. Greatness is never achieved on your own. It has been a big lesson for me, to ask help and then to fully receive it. I am no different to anyone else; I may have chosen not to just stay in and watch one of those boring reality shows, because I instead choose to have conversations like these which make my heart soar. But when you step into your greatness, others will connect and everything I needed, from the charity partner, the manufacturer and the logistics, have all found me. Any business is tough – I’ve had other successful businesses. In fact, my last business allowed me the good fortune to retire in my early forties. However, I’ve never spent so much time on a project I was truly passionate about before. I’m fully stretched in every way possible, particularly because social enterprises take longer to become profitable than non-purpose businesses.
I am Kathy Wong, a dreamer, a doer!
My journey of self discovery has spanned 20 years of twists and turns, and riding along the freeway of learning has brought me here to you, today!