Lauren Biegler, Co-Founder of WeJourney.

For most of my life, I have unknowingly living life prioritizing my own needs, over the needs of others. I spent a lot of time working hard at a growing startup, dating my long-term boyfriends, buying nice things for my apartments, spending weekends with my friends, and taking great vacations.

On this surface, I was a success. I had everything I was told I should ever want. I tried to tell myself this was enough, but I felt an deep underlying unhappiness, that I could not identify the source of. To make matters worse, I also felt guilty for feeling unhappy, because I knew I had so much to be thankful for. That feeling scared the sh*t out of me, and I fought for years to try and avoid it, because I honestly didn’t know where else to look to find happiness.

After 5 years of living like this, I took a big risk, and decided to pursue what I actually wanted to do, rather than what I thought I should be doing. I joined forces with my two co-founders, Taylor Conroy & Amy Merrill, and dove head deep into launching our company WeJourney.

It’s a lot longer story, but the short version is I knew two things that made me feel happy: traveling, and giving back. So, what we do at WeJourney is bring travelers to locations all across the world, and participate in 2-3 days of volunteer work (building homes, schools, skateparks) and 2-3 days of integration (beach time, workshops, shared meals, adventure & wellness. It’s been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Aside from growing in ways I could never expect as a female entrepreneur, I finally was able to identify the source of my unhappiness: I lived my life in service of myself, with no service to others. Switching this around, and putting the needs of other people and our planet before my own needs brought purpose, fulfillment and passion into my life.

But it doesn’t end there.

I want to commit to giving back in my professional life, and my personal life, and to do that I want to make effort locally. I have set a goal to volunteer once a week, for a year, no matter where I am in the world. I will be posting each experience on the blog, and on my social account.

Please follow along, and remember, giving back is no different than working out, eating right or working on yourself. It takes discipline and commitment, and sometimes getting off the couch on a Saturday is the last thing you want to do…but you always feel good after doing it, and you create ripple effects of change in your community.