This post will show you how to find your business purpose and how to find your WHY. You will learn the importance of writing your business purpose (and why it matters) and how to find the WHY of your company and your personal WHY.
Please answer this question:
“What is the main reason for having your business?” If you haven’t started yet “why do you want your chosen business?”
Be really honest with yourself when you are answering this because it is very important.
Years ago, I would start businesses with one intention – to make money.
But I always felt that this was not enough of a reason. After all there are a lot of ways to make money. I used to have a corporate job and I could have got another one, but I decided that was not the kind of life that I wanted.
Now I am not saying that money should play no part in your business. I would always encourage you to set financial goals and targets and strive to achieve these.
But money on its own rarely makes people happy and fulfilled.
I like having money and I am sure you do too. The thing is that when I based my reason for existence on making money, it didn’t motivate me as much as I thought it would.
It didn’t make me jump out of bed with excitement totally motivated for the day ahead.
So, I decided to change my approach. I had heard many times that you needed a purpose and a big “Why” to continually drive you to achieve your goals.
I was a little skeptical at first, but I looked into this more and discovered my business purpose and my “Why”.
I have not looked back since.
The Power of Purpose in Business
What do you think of when you hear about the power of purpose in business? For me, it is all about why the business exists and it goes far beyond what it sells and the profits that it makes.
When your business has a purpose, it will inspire you and all of the people that are involved in it.
Having a business purpose will help you to think strategically about where you want your business to be.
It will help you to make those important decisions for the future and should lead to an increase in overall performance and productivity.
BCG conducted a survey of 50 companies that were in these 3 sectors:
They discovered that organizations in these sectors that had identified their business purpose and were living by it are much more likely (more than twice) to produce shareholder returns that are above average.
If your business does not have a purpose right now, creating one for it is likely to transform it. When you create your purpose, you need to ensure that it is articulate and then activate it so that it becomes embedded in what you do.
5 Crucial Steps to Finding your Company’s True Purpose
It takes more than writing a mission statement for your business to uncover its true purpose. You need to examine your business goals to identify the emotions and passion behind them.
In addition to this, you need to identify the emotions and passions of those that work for your company. At the end of the day, all of this needs to resonate properly.
Here are the 5 crucial steps to finding your company’s true purpose:
1. Create a List of Questions for your Employees
By asking the right questions you can establish what your employees think is really important about working for your company. Here are some example questions that should provide you with good insight:
- What is the reason that we are in business?
- What is the reason for our existence?
- How did we get to where we are today?
- How did we become so good at what we do?
- What is the perception of us in the market?
- What are we really good at?
I am sure that you get the idea here. All of these questions will make your employees think about what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Record all of the answers that you receive from your employees to the questions that you go with.
2. Ask the same Questions of your Executives
Get your senior executives together and put the same questions that you asked your employees to them. You need to maintain control of a meeting like this because it can quickly go off the rails if you don’t.
Everyone will have their opinion, so you need to be disciplined here so that you capture all of the responses to make the right progress to discovering your business purpose.
3. Create a Purpose Message and Check that it Resonates
From the responses you garner from your employees and your executive team you can create your first business purpose message. It is essential that you test this message with people that you trust that are not part of your executive team.
Your message must resonate well with them.
4. Refine your Business Purpose Message
The best business purpose messages are simple and short. More important than anything is that your business purpose message is genuine.
Remember that this message will be the guide for your business going forward so it needs to be the best it can be.
5. Roll Out your Business Purpose Message
When your business purpose message is finally ready, you need to roll it out to everyone that works at your company. You want your business purpose to inspire everyone, so roll this out in a way that everyone will feel part of it.
How to Develop your Company’s Purpose
A great place to start when developing your company’s purpose is to look at the business purpose statements of others. Do this for inspiration only.
After that you can follow these 5 steps to develop the purpose of your business:
- Define how your business solves problems for your target audience
- Create a list of what makes you passionate about what you do
- Consider the rational and emotional elements of what you do and combine them
- Create your business purpose in plain language
- Ensure that your business purpose makes sense to all employees
It is crucial that everyone in your company can relate to the business purpose statement of your company. Whether they are part of the sales team, operations or the finance department it needs to resonate with everyone.
How you can find your Personal Why
Before we start here, I need to tell you that there is no reason that your personal “Why” cannot change as you move forward. In fact, I have changed my personal “Why” a couple of times.
I have used a number of different ways to discover my “Why” in the past but these are the ones that I keep coming back to:
How do you Define Success?
We all have our own definitions of what success means and that’s fine. So, do you have your own success definition?
There is no right or wrong definition, so don’t waste your time searching for this on Google.
Sure, there are definitions there but I don’t want you to be beholden to someone else’s definition.
You really need a definition of success that you are happy with. The reason for this is that without it you will never know if you have achieved success or not.
Your success definition can be financially related and it can also contain other aspects such as your personal growth and so on.
After you have written your success definition, or if you already have one, then take a good look at it and ask yourself why you have this as your definition.
Dig deep and it will help you to make your “Why” a lot clearer.
What about your Passions?
A passion is completely different to a skill. You can have a lot of different skills but you may not be passionate about them. Many business owners display a lot of passion in their business but they may actually hate certain aspects of it.
So, think about the different aspects of your business and whether you are passionate or not about them.
If you find this is difficult for you then that’s OK. Ask yourself what you are truly passionate about. Think about what really makes you feel excited.
Think about what really motivates you and keeps you going when things get tough.
When you are defining your “Why” it needs to be something that you are totally passionate about. Once you identify your passions then you can tie your natural talents to these and you have all of the ingredients of a truly motivational “Why”.
If you could do anything you want what would you do?
I want you to take money out of the equation here. Just imagine that money is no object. If you didn’t have to worry about money any more, what would you do?
Be realistic here – if you are in your mid 40’s then it is pretty unlikely that you are going to play professional football or become an Olympic athlete.
The reason that you need to do this is that it gives real purpose to your business. You can add this to your “Why” so that it drives you to making your business successful so that it will provide you with the freedom that you desire.
Ask yourself the right Questions
To further determine your real “Why” you can ask yourself these important questions:
What Truly Inspires You?
When you are inspired to pursue something in your life then you will feel a lot more alive. Do not get bogged down with small things here. Following a football team is not what I am talking about.
It is something much larger than that. This thing is bigger than you and really puts fire in your belly.
Think about a cause that means a lot to you in life. This can be inventing something or making an impact in the world. Once you have found this you can connect with it and add it to your “Why” statement.
This will be a reflection of who you really are and what you are looking for.
What Are Your True Strengths?
Think about those things that you are really good at. There will be a number of things that you can do easily which others cannot do at all. Are you a creative person?
Can you see the “forest for the trees?” Do you have a good eye for detail? Are you an excellent communicator?
It’s a good idea to create a list of your strengths. This does not mean that you cannot acquire new talents and skills but using some of the natural talents that you already have will certainly be an advantage to you.
How Do You Add Value?
If you keep on doing things that you dislike it is unlikely that you will ever be truly fulfilled. It’s a good idea to identify where you are able to add the most value.
This can be mixture of your experience, knowledge, skills and education.
It is natural for people to undervalue their worth and the value that they can bring. So think about how you have used your talents and experienced in the past to solve problems.
Which of these problems did you particularly enjoy solving? It is easier to go with your natural strengths than try and improve your weaknesses.
How will you Measure Your Purpose?
Look for meaning in everything that you do. Use your business as a learning experience. Your “Why” statement is your purpose in life.
Make it specific because you want to measure when you have achieved your “Why” and then create another one to inspire you.
My Final Thoughts On How Do You Find Your Business Purpose
You now know how to find your business purpose. It is time for you to put what you have learned into action.
Use the 5 crucial steps to finding your company’s true purpose and then develop a purpose statement that everyone in your business can sign up to.
Having a purpose for your business will help you to move in the right direction and will galvanize your company into a formidable force.
It really is worth the time and effort involved. Make a commitment today to discover the purpose of your business and share this with your people. You will never regret doing this.
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences now. Please add them to the comments section below.
Thank you very much and have a great day.