As James discussed in his blog post on how to build a rock-solid brand, your purpose isn’t just corporate mumbo jumbo. If you’ve ever had to endure the pain of reading a typical mission statement, it probably included a bunch of dry and meaningless babble about “increasing shareholder value” or “providing the best customer service around.” That’s not a purpose. It’s not what drives them to get up in the morning, guides their decisions, or inspires their tribe. It’s what the CEO or board thought would sound good during their annual strategy meeting.
Purpose is powerful because it causes everything else to make a lot more sense. You no longer have to deliberate your goals for the next few years or the concept for your next campaign. You don’t have to figure out what qualities you’re looking for in a new employee or how to train them to do their job right. You don’t even have to think twice about how you should handle that really angry call from a customer you’ve been avoiding. Why not? Because the path is illuminated for you when you’re driven by a deeper purpose.
A while back, Forty discovered our purpose. We realized everything we do goes back to championing humanity and building experiences for humans instead of spreadsheets or robots. We feel fulfilled in our purpose when we help others reveal theirs.
What’s your purpose? If you haven’t ever thought about it before, take a few minutes to ponder these questions.
(Here’s a tip: With each response, ask yourself, “Why?” a few times to get to the root of your answer. And if your answer has anything to do with money, keep going. You could do a lot of things to make money. Why are you doing this?)
1. Why did you get into this business instead of something else?
2. What difference are you trying to make in the world?
3. What one problem do you want to fix?
4. What’s your brand archetype?
5. You feel happiest when _____.
6. What happened last time you were excited and ran home to tell your spouse, mom, etc.?
7. What are your strengths from StrengthFinder? How do you use these strengths to serve, help, and contribute?
8. What do people typically ask you for help with?
9. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
10. Who inspires you the most (anyone you do or don’t know), and what qualities about them inspire you?
11. What causes do you strongly believe in or connect with?
12. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch. You’re happy with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life, all that you’ve achieved and acquired, all the relationships you’ve developed. What matters to you most?
13. If you woke up tomorrow morning with enough money in the bank to retire, what would you do with your time?
If all of this just isn’t your cup of tea or if you want to bounce some ideas around with someone, feel free to chat with us.
Photo Credit: Photo by iDowns.net