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Customers are asking "What is the Purpose"... What is yours?

Updated: Apr 23



Entrepreneurship is back to its core! Purpose-driven companies are steering the ship toward a future where profit is only a by-product of a higher calling.  


I define “Purpose” as what we are uniquely positioned to do. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs should ask themselves: what are you—given your passions, experiences, and skills—able to do to make this world better?


Everyone has a purpose; however, the question is whether you are aware of it and hustling to bring it to fruition. If you are clear on what and how you want to make the world a better place, then your opportunities to do so are endless. Your purpose can show up in how you treat your employees, where you source from, how you make decisions, where you are located, how you market, who you partner with, knowing your businesses seasons and how you use your platform.



So, what is a Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur...

To be a purpose-driven entrepreneur is to be an entrepreneur who understands their WHY. An entrepreneur who understands their Why will be resilient and focused even through challenging times. The answer to their “Why” acts as a compass and drives the decisions, and in extension, the direction of their life and company.


When many think of a purpose-driven entrepreneur they think of a social entrepreneur such as a company on a mission to impact a social or environmental cause like poverty eradication or provision of clean water.


However, this is a misconception because there are social entrepreneurs with no purpose. Shocking? But yes, that’s true. Purpose is the song in our hearts that drives us even after the instruments have been put away. Each of us was born with a different song in our heart that only we can sing. As an entrepreneur, your company will answer the question “Why” in a unique way that cannot be duplicated.

 

Your company’s purpose can be as simple as making people smile every day or it can be as complex as revolutionizing the way people think about space.

The common theme is that it is uniquely yours.

 

  • Identify your Purpose. It’s okay if you’re unsure but now is the time to put intentional thought and give yourself the space to explore in order to identify it.

  • Recognize distractions as distractions. There will always be distractions posing as great opportunities.

  • Before you make a decision, ask yourself what decision will align with your Why.

  • Write down your Why and review it daily.

  • Surround yourself with constant reminders of your Why.



The North Star Effect: Guiding Decision-Making

Aligning Decisions with Purpose:

A well-defined purpose acts as a North Star for the organization, guiding decision-making at every level. From strategic choices to day-to-day operations, a clear purpose ensures that actions align with the company's core values.

  • Strategic Planning: When crafting long-term strategies, refer back to the mission and vision to ensure they align with the company's overarching purpose.

  • Employee Decision-Making: Empower employees by connecting their daily tasks to the broader purpose. This fosters a sense of purpose in their work and enhances overall job satisfaction.



Building the Bedrock: Purpose as the Organizational Foundation

Cultural Integration:

Purpose is not merely a statement; it becomes ingrained in the organizational culture. This cultural integration is vital for the long-term success of purpose-driven businesses.

  • Employee Engagement: A shared sense of purpose boosts employee morale and engagement. When employees understand and believe in the company's mission, they are more likely to be motivated and productive.

  • Customer Connection: Purpose-driven companies often build strong emotional connections with their customer base. Consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that share their values, creating a loyal customer following.



Adapting While Staying True to Values

Transparent Communication:

  • Open Dialogue: Foster a culture of open communication. Keep employees, customers, and stakeholders informed about the reasons behind strategic shifts, emphasizing how these changes align with the company's overarching purpose.

Ethical Decision-Making Frameworks:

  • Integrate Ethics Into Decision-Making: Establish frameworks that embed ethical considerations into strategic decision-making processes. This ensures that even as strategies evolve, they remain rooted in the company's moral compass.




Leadership's Influence on Focus and Flexibility

Visionary Leadership:

  • Setting a Clear Direction: Visionary leaders articulate a compelling vision that serves as a guiding light for the entire organization. This clarity enables teams to stay focused on the overarching purpose, even as circumstances evolve.

  • Adaptable Mindset: Leaders must cultivate an adaptable mindset. By embracing change themselves, they inspire a culture of flexibility within the organization.

Maintaining Focus

  • Aligning Decisions with Purpose:

  • Mission-Centric Decision Making: Leaders should ensure that every decision aligns with the company's mission and purpose. This ensures that flexibility doesn't lead to a drift from the core values.

  • Regularly Revisit the Mission: Periodically revisit and reaffirm the company's mission. This helps in keeping it fresh in the minds of the team, fostering a sense of purpose.


Every business has the opportunity to serve its customers and leave a positive impact on the world, whether they're building orphanages or designing t-shirts. A t-shirt design business that creates designs that question the traditional norms or incites a movement uniting groups of people can absolutely be purpose-driven because their purpose is at the root of what they do and why they do it. It's not just about the money. It's about the impact they're having and the value they're adding to their customers' lives.

 

It's not enough to just create a company with a strong purpose. A true purpose-driven entrepreneur must live and breathe that purpose every day.

 

Every action taken by the company should go back to the overall purpose and the core values, and the team should continually assess everything they do against the benchmark of that purpose.

 

Over time, that purpose may evolve or take on different forms, but it's crucial to continually gain clarity on the purpose. To remain purpose-driven, the business must continually keep a pulse on its purpose, thread messages of its purpose into all communications, and revisit their purpose often to make sure that it still rings true for the business.

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