Everyone talks about finding your “Why” and purpose, but so few people actually are able to define it, let alone understand how to use it.
First, ‘finding’ your Purpose is work, and through this work, you actually discover and develop your Purpose.
Many entrepreneurs and leaders believe that their purpose is simply making money, but that doesn’t keep you on the razor’s-edge of determination when times get tough.
It also doesn’t make you a better human being who can lead people in a way that’s in everyone’s best interests.
Besides, scaling a business takes even more work if you aren’t grounded in a strong and compelling Purpose beyond money.
Strong and compelling to you, your employees, and your prospects and clients.
But many businesses ‘succeed’ and have no apparent purpose.
So is it really needed?
The Average Answer: No, it’s not needed - but you are limiting your level of success without a stronger purpose that goes beyond ‘client satisfaction’ with a focus on profits.
The Real Answer: It is absolutely required if you want to attract and surround yourself with amazing people, make handsome profits, and transform yourself into a leader that has a powerful impact on others and events.
Think of your Purpose like planting a seed.
It can grow into a scrub-bush like in the desert, or a giant redwood.
Both survive and have their place in the eco-system.
But a business like a scrub-bush isn’t very pretty to look at and rarely reaches high levels of success.
Then picture a giant redwood.
Majestic in height and reach.
Everyone ‘oohs-and-awes’ when they see it.
In fact, people make seeing and touching a giant redwood a destination.
How would it make you feel if your business became a destination, like Amazon, Netflix, and Disney?
The size of your business doesn’t determine if you are a destination.
What you stand for is what makes you a destination, and what you stand for is your purpose.
And because purpose brings order and structure to your business, everything becomes easier to manage and direct.
It becomes easier to attract and retain better and more talented people who can develop ‘must-have’ products and services.
And when you combine highly talented people with great products and services, organized through a compelling purpose, you’re on your way to building a giant redwood.
If we had the right microscope, we could see deep into the seeds that produce the giant redwood, and we’d see a pattern that guides the growth of what the tree will look like in the future.
It’s the pattern in the seeds that makes the redwood look the same every time a redwood seed is planted.
The same is true for your business.
There is a pattern that determines the business’ shape and beauty and is made up of a lot of ingredients.
Ingredients such as your intent, your ability to focus on the right mental and emotional passions, your culture, and the picture of your future you create in your mind.
These ingredients are organized within a container we call Purpose.
And that’s why discovering and developing your “Why?” is so important.
Ever find yourself buried in work for um-teen hours and then suddenly, you feel guilty because you should be with the family?
Your purpose for work is in conflict and competing with your purpose for family.
Again, look within your business.
Certain employees often have a different purpose than you.
When multiple purposes are in conflict within the business, your ability to grow and scale in size is compromised.
So what are the signs that tell you when you and your employees are in the zone of your purpose?
1) You’ll be flooded with positive emotions.
Notice I didn’t say you’ll experience positive emotions, I said you’ll be flooded with positive emotions.
I've usually felt it after a vacation and going back to work.
I go through the door, sit at my desk, and I feel ‘home’ and back in their groove.
You discover your purpose by noticing which activities are accompanied by a flood of positive emotions.
Impact is key to developing your purpose.
2) You’ll have no problem being engaged with the activities of your purpose.
Engagement is the degree of being completely absorbed by whatever you’re doing.
Time stands still when you are working through your purpose and you feel at a loss when you come back to the ‘other’ world.
In fact, when you’re in the zone of your purpose, you’ll be totally engaged and overwhelmed with positive emotions.
That’s a sign you’re falling in love with your business.
Decide which activities help you further develop your purpose.
3) The relationships you develop.
You’ll do the work of finding peers who you can talk to, openly and honestly.
You’ll feel comfortable talking about what keeps you both awake at night.
You’ll share experiences of the difficulty you both have in scaling your businesses.
And from these conversations and interactions, you build a deeper relationship because you know they are part of your social safety net that is there to help when you are in trouble.
At the end-of-each day, review the interactions you can remember and form two lists:
Ask yourself what you can learn from these interactions that help you develop your purpose.
4) The meaning and sense of accomplishment you experience.
In business, entrepreneurs and leaders who discover and develop their purpose all feel the love for ‘the hunt.’
They love the game of business because it means so much to them.
To these leaders, their purpose and their work not only becomes sacred, they know it is the only path to achieving their purpose.
It’s something they protect and is a statement of the meaning of their life.
After all, isn’t living in a constant emotional and mental state of accomplishment a meaningful part of your purpose?
Living your purpose makes you happy, and in fact, we’ve learned that people who have a purpose always seem to be happier.
The same is true for a business.
So which picture, the shrub-bush or the giant redwood, best describes the business you are building?
Or even more importantly, are you refining your ingredients of intent, mental and emotional passions, and the picture of your future in a way to build the shrub-bush or the giant redwood over the next 12 months?