Category Archives: Purpose

If Profit Isn’t Your Business Purpose…What Is?

4.29.15Profit isn’t a purpose, it’s a result.  To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others. 

-Simon Sinek

The most important contribution that a business coach can make is to keep the client in touch with their purpose.  When a client has lost touch with his purpose he usually has a meltdown, begins frothing at the mouth, mad with desire for more and more profit.

I am not exaggerating.  Think about it.  When you lose touch with your purpose in life, you go adrift; you begin to flop about like a fish out of water.  You say you’re out of touch with yourself.  You may display it in various ways: eating too much or too little, over drinking, over shopping, or finding that you gleefully hate everyone around you and the horse that they rode in on as well.

I have worked with people who do not know why they are starting their business since making pots of money seems like the best purpose in the world to them.  It takes some time and detective work for us to coax out the real purpose of their business, and once we find their purpose, hidden under plots and schemes to make money, it’s as if the world shifts and implementing their business plan becomes easy, effortless, and triumphant.

I have also worked with people who have lost touch with their purpose.  They are listless, not creative, and generally think that anything and everything is too much to handle.  They end up being a big “no” to suggestions and good ideas.  When this occurs in a coaching session, it is my signal to question their purpose.  What I mean by that is: Why did you start this business?  Usually, the response is to make money.  The tone of their voice indicates to me that everyone knows that.

Of course, that is not why they are in business.  They started their business with a vision and mission that had nothing to do with money.  Money, as Simon Sinek says, is the result of fulfilling the purpose.

To me, the most important conversation I can have with someone is “what is your purpose?”  Try it out for yourself.  Have a conversation with someone about their purpose and watch them light up with enthusiasm.

I offer a free consultation to anyone who is interested in discussing their purpose and how to make it real.  Call me.

 

What Will You Do To Get The Result?

1.28.15Driving to yoga class on Tuesday I stopped at a red light.  A man stood on the side of the street.  He was holding a sign, and he had something around his waist.  Was that a catheter bag?  YES!  His sign was asking for money.  Oh my god!  Really.  How could he be so graphic with his need for money?  The light changed and I drove on to yoga.  I was repulsed and angry with him for putting his plight in my face.  An hour later, there he was again . He had moved to the divider in the middle of the wide street, standing on the grass.  Same sign, same catheter bag—now almost full.

My revulsion changed to realization, admiration.  He was a real living example of intention, determination and getting the job done.  He was going to raise money to pay for his medical care in the only way he had.  His purpose was clear and his actions were aligned with his purpose.  He was not stopped by glares from drivers, nor by a cop trying to move him along.  He was going to raise the money.

The man became my hero.  A real life illustration of what it takes to make purpose become reality.  First we have to want something so much that we are willing to risk our dignity.  We fail; we feel humiliated; we are sometimes mocked—but if we are willing to face the obstacle we can win.

I think in the end, we as entrepreneurs are creative and courageous; we demonstrate that we have what it takes to get the job done.  Just like the man with the bag, we are willing to do what it takes to cause the result.  We are the heroes of our business story.

Please use the space below to comment.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Purpose Part 2: Why Do You Want To Work With Those People?

1.21.14Purpose does not need to involve calculations or numbers.  Purpose is about the quality of life.  Purpose is human, not economic-Simon Sinek

We had a discussion last week about “Purpose”.  Here is an excerpt from the discussion: As you can see, “purpose” has power behind it.  Purpose gives one inspiration and drive.  By its definition, it is active, it is dynamic, and it has the power to pull you out of yourself and become a bigger, bolder you.  What I mean by a bolder you is, a purpose which inspires you, allows you to step up and be more than who you know yourself to be right now.  Reminding yourself of your purpose each day will set you up to go up the road to success not down the road to mediocrity.

Purpose is not about your numbers.  And, yes, measuring sales numbers can be just that– a measurement of success.  As Sinek says, purpose has much more weight and importance than numbers.  It is what gets you up in the morning to provide your services to people because purpose is about the people you are serving not what you are serving.  That being said in order to give you more direction in looking at this valuable question: What is your purpose?  Pamela Slim, author of the book Body of Work, has provided us with some valuable questions to answer about what you are up to in your business.  Consider answering these questions:

  • What do you want to create?
  • Why do you want to create it?
  • Who is it for?
  • Why now?
  • Why you?

As you can see in Slim’s questions, she is pointing to your specific intentions with your target market.  As you answer these questions continue to think about your target market.  It is useful to have a composite of your target market as one person who embodies the elements of your target market.  For instance, my one person is named Chris, he is a small business owner, married with two teenage children.  Chris is 50 years old and plays golf.  He is stuck on a plateau of working a lot and not making much money.  He does not have any idea of what to do to break the cycle of business mediocrity.  He wants results now.

Knowing your target market and why you want to work with them is vital for your business success.  It is through doing this deep work on your business purpose that your business will exceed your expectations.

I am looking forward to your comments in the space provided below.

 

What Is Your Higher Purpose?

1.14.15I don’t think life is absurd.  I think we are all here for a huge purpose.  I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for.

Norman Mailer

If you are making a business plan for 2015, you have followed some steps to have that plan be brilliant.  You have completed on the results and failures of 2014.  You may have defined a bold purpose or not even thought about having one.  Experience has taught me this: Successful people have a purpose and live their purpose every day.

Yes, you may think.  I have a purpose, it is to make more money this year than last year.  Really?  How has that been working for you?

Purpose is defined as: something set up as an object or end to be attained a.intention b.resolution, determination (Merriam-Webster)

As you can see, “purpose” has power behind it.  Purpose gives one inspiration and drive.  By its definition, it is active, it is dynamic, and it has the power to pull you out of yourself and become a bigger, bolder you.  What I mean by a bolder you is, a purpose which inspires you allows you to step up and be more than who you know yourself to be right now.  Reminding yourself of your purpose each day will set you up to go up the road to success not down the road to mediocrity.

In developing your purpose, think about the problems that you are solving for your clients or target market.  What is your purpose in solving them?  Why are you solving those particular problems?  Questioning yourself rigorously will provide you with a solid purpose for the work you are doing and service that you are providing to your target market.

No purpose is too big or too small, neither honorable nor unworthy, as long as it is your authentic purpose.  When you discover your authentic purpose, you will know it.  You will feel more clarity and energy about your work.

If you get stuck and want some help with your purpose, please feel free to contact me.  I am happy to help you.

You can also use the space below to share your purpose.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Image courtesy of papaija2008 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Are You Doing That?

11.5.14When we know Why we do what we do, everything falls into place.  When we don’t know Why we do what we do, we have to push things into place.

Simon Sinek, Author

This quote is a perfect companion for being clear about the purpose of your business.  And also upgrading your purpose if it’s expired.  (You can read more about “purpose” in the blog: Has Your Business Purpose Expired? How To Know )

Many entrepreneurs go into a habitual routine of completing tasks without thinking about Why they are doing the tasks.  Just because I always do them this way is not the right answer.  We become addicted to habitual behavior most likely because it is familiar and comforting to us.  In general, we are repulsed by change.  Remember the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?  Good advice.  However, if we have an expired purpose and rote activities that we don’t question, it may mean that “it” is not working and does need some transformational thinking.

Sinek is suggesting to us to question everything that we are struggling with in our business.  And, just because what we are doing is hard doesn’t mean “hazza!” now we won’t do it.  For instance, it’s not a party to file taxes, do monthly accounting and billing for our business, but the why we do it certainly is valuable.  I am sure you could make a list of things you do that you could easily say aren’t tons of fun, but why you do it is worth the temporary pain of completing the task.

What Sinek is saying is look deeper where you are struggling with your business and asking why you are struggling with it.  Your answer becomes the pointer to you about what you can do to change the struggle into a more fulfilling activity, or a clue for you to stop doing it all together.

Certainly, this type of questioning is not for the weak of heart.  It takes courage to question Why you are doing the things that you are doing.  You may not want to do it and that is fine too.  Just remember, when you are as Sinek says “pushing things into place” you may just want to ask yourself Why?

I am looking forward to hearing from you about what you are trying to push into place and Why?  Please comment in the space provided below. 

Has Your Business Purpose Expired? How To Know

10.22.14“Money like health, love, happiness, and all forms of success that you want to create for yourself is the result of living purposefully.  It is not a goal unto itself.”
- Dr. Wayne Dyer, best-selling author

 This quote from Dr. Dyer is chocked full of good advice and most likely he is right BUT what if you do not know what your business purpose is?  Or perhaps you had a purpose a long time ago when you started your business and now that particular purpose has expired.  Maybe you have not even noticed that it has expired.  So, you are slogging along not feeling particularly energized or enthusiastic about your business anymore.

This is a good time of the year to reassess your purpose and see if you are in business with a purpose which is not as Dyer says just to make money.  Making money without having it be informed by your purpose is the booby prize for a business owner.  When your purpose has expired you experience a tiredness that rest will not resolve.

What do you do if you do find that your business is without purpose or has expired?  The first step is to declare your former purpose complete.  Complete meaning that it is whole and without flaw.  You give up the right to use it against yourself.  What I mean by that is characterized by beating yourself up for not noticing that your purpose is finished.  Those first two steps sound easy to do when they are on paper but are very hard to do in real life.  This is something that you must work on with yourself.  You will know it is complete when you feel a certain space and lightness of being.  When you are really complete with something a space opens for you in which you can create again.

Revising your purpose or creating an entirely new purpose will fill you with energy and intention; it will lead you to new places and new business adventures.  It will also, as Dyer promises, give you results that provide happiness, and all forms of success including money.

This is an appropriate step to take during the fourth quarter of the year.  This step will set you up to create new actions and intentions for your business in 2015.

Use the space below to declare your purpose complete and share your new revived purpose.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

If Profit Isn’t the Purpose, What Is Its Cause?

mapProfit isn’t a purpose, it’s a result.  To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others.

-Simon Sinek

The passing of Labor Day has signaled the end to summer and perhaps, for most, the end of summer holidays, leisurely passing time in the vacation mode.  It is time to ease our way back into the business of our business.  September allows us to transition to a more focused back to work mode.  It is a time to consider what it is that we have accomplished so far this year in our work and what it is that we still want to or will accomplish before the end of the year.

It is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the quote from Simon Sinek about purpose and the place profit has in examining our purpose.  For some entrepreneurs, profit is the all-encompassing measurement of our entrepreneurial success.  For some it is as if profit is synonymous with purpose.  However, as Sinek points out: “Profit isn’t purpose, it’s a result.”

If what Sinek says is true then it is best to look at what your purpose is in business.  Is it, as he says, to provide “real value” to others?  If so, what is real value?  Only our specific target market can speak to what they see as valuable.  That is why it is very important to get to know your target market to the point where you see that market not as a group but as a person, who, at least to you, has a name, gender, marital status, a specific income, certain worries, concerns, and lives in a specific place.  If you pass over this step in doing your target market research, and developing the target market profile, your intention to be of service or to provide real value will be diminished.  And mostly likely, since profit is a result not a purpose, your profit will also be smaller than you had hoped.

Fortunately, we have the time now in early September to make changes in our business that can impact our bottom line for the year.  If you find that your target market isn’t defined enough, now is the time to do that.  There is plenty of information about doing so on the internet.

What is your response to the Sinek quote?  And what exactly is he pointing to, from your point of view?  I look forward to reading your comments about this topic.

What is Your Purpose?

5.21.14Does this question bug you?  What is your purpose?  It does me.  Hell, I don’t know, maybe make money?  That is my reaction—on a good day.  On a bad day—bug off!

So first of all, although we do have our own interpretation of the word “purpose”, let’s look at it from the view of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary which states:

Purpose, noun:

: the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something

: the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something

: the aim or goal of a person : what a person is trying to do, become, etc.

There is quite a lot of breathing room for “purpose” when looked at strictly from the dictionary’s point of view.  Here one is given a way to utilize “purpose” in both life and in business.  What it points to is not some lofty goal but simply our intention in doing something with determination.  It also points to the possibility that we may achieve it without the pressure of having to achieve it.  It is a far more reachable outcome.  We can try to achieve or become it as the dictionary says.

Perhaps, in looking at purpose as not a result but as an action, it can be achieved or at least worked on.  Being asked the question “What is your purpose?” can then be answered in a way that makes sense.  And if we are puzzled by someone’s actions, we could ask them the question, “What’s your purpose?”  It may open up some interesting conversations that clarify the puzzling actions of other people.

The next time you are confronted by another person’s actions, ask them the question about purpose, and listen to what they say without judgment.  You may find some common ground you didn’t think you had.

My purpose for writing this blog is to make you think and to make a difference today in your life.

In the comments below, please tell me about your purpose or purposes.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Are You Using These Simple Questions to Bust Up Your Blocked Creativity?

Blog 4914Does this ever happen to you?  You have a great idea.  You know it’s going to change the way you do business or live your life.  You know it’s going to be great.

But—and this is a big BUT—you are stuck.  How do I start?  And how do I deliver on this great new idea?  All of us have been there.

Well, here’s a tip to get you moving.  Ask yourself these questions: What is my purpose? What are my three intentions in achieving my purpose?  Write out your purpose and three intentions for the project.  If you know both the purpose and intentions, the planning to execute it will come naturally.

Of course, you do have to do some critical thinking.  It sounds easy at first, but at second glance maybe not so easy.  The best way to go about it is to brainstorm the purpose.  I doubt seriously if your first purpose is the one.

Here’s an actual example from one of my clients.  She said to me that she was stuck in her email campaign for LinkedIn contacts.  She didn’t know where to begin the email after “Dear”.  She knew she wanted the contacts to know about a new program she had created; she wanted them to know how this program would enrich and enhance their lives, and she knew she wanted them to buy the program.  But what could she say that would communicate what she wanted to say?  The more she talked to me about it, the more upset and stuck she got.  She was stuck in a loop of thinking about it, getting more upset (therefore even less able to think clearly) and thinking about it some more.

I suggested that she brainstorm with me about the purpose.  She immediately said well, to make more money from having sales in the new program.  Really?  Is that the purpose or the end result?  “Oh,” she said, “That would be the end result.”  So, then let’s look at the purpose.  Suddenly, it was as if the creative gates opened up.  She said the purpose of the email was to introduce the new program to her list of leads, to tell them the about the availability and the benefits of the new program.  That was it.  That was the purpose.  After landing on her clear purpose, the beginning of the email started to flow.  The intentions were also clear.  Her intentions were to build trust and relationship, to inform, and to create interest in her program.  If she accomplished those three intentions it was a sure bet that they would contact her, and from there she would be able to enroll people in her program.

When you are stuck, please use this simple tip: Ask yourself “what is my purpose and what three intentions do I have?”  You will find that this action will move you toward your goal with ease.

I look forward to reading your comments.

What is the purpose of your business?

hay rollsGreatness doesn’t start with a market opportunity; it starts with a problem that needs solving.  The opportunity comes from marketing the solution.

Simon Sinek

If you are struggling getting your new business venture off the ground, it’s time to visit with one of the masters of business success, Peter Drucker.  He was the leader in the development of management education and invented “management by objectives”.  He wrote dozens of books about business and management.  Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

The article by Eric Wagner, contributor to Forbes Magazine, lists Drucker’s 12 Keys to success (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/05/07/entrepreneurship-according-to-drucker-your-12-keys-to-success/)

Today, we will continue to consider the next three keys to success as defined by Peter Drucker.

He delineated the following as the first and second key.

Key 1: “Those who perform love what they’re doing.”

Key 2:Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until “the Muse kisses them” and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.”

Let’s exam the next three keys.

Key 3: “What is our business?”

In the eye of the daily working storm we often forget why we are working.  What is the purpose of your business?  Why did you start it?  What happened that pointed you to this particular business?  Has your purpose changed?  How will your business make a difference?  Do you intend that it does make a difference?  These questions are reflective, of course.  And it’s useful to pull yourself back into yourself and look at your purpose newly.  In order to maintain your passion for your business you really have to be clear about your purpose.  If your purpose is to only make money, I assert that you have lost your way.  Keep your purpose alive.

Key 4:  Who is the customer?”

Knowing who your one and only one customer is, is the key to pointing your business marketing to that person.  Notice that I say “that person” not to them.  Your business is intended to provide a product or service to one person.  Who is that person?  Can you see him or her in your mind’s eye?  This is not time for generalizations; it’s time for specifics.  Be specific about your one and only one client.  It is important that you take the time to define that one person down to what that person likes, who he admires, and how smart she is.

Key 5: “Neither studies nor market research nor computer modeling is a substitute for the test of reality.”

Ah, yes, reality.  This is where your efforts in marketing and selling become the check for “is it working?”  I recently began advanced training to improve my business marketing acumen.  This program is a Master course with lots of homework and requires a great deal of thinking.  I love the challenge and notice that I have to prick the balloon of my own magical thinking that just by excelling at the homework doesn’t mean anything.  The reality check will come when I apply what I am learning to marketing my business and see how my customers relate to it.  As entrepreneurs we must rely on reality and be able to pivot and switch our approach when reality tells us to.

Now, it’s your turn.  Please tell me in the comments below how these next three keys to success relate to you and your business.  I am looking forward to hearing from you!