“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.” - Wayne Dyer
If you believe the purpose of your business is to make money, you’re wrong.
Generating a profit in your business isn’t the purpose of your business. It’s the result of building a business of purpose.
Purpose serves as the cornerstone of your business, because it’s the foundation upon which your marketing, your mission, and your meaning rest.
Without a clear purpose you’re like “every other guy” in your industry.
It’s only when you fully understand why you do what you do, and how it matters to the people you are meant to serve, that what you do becomes relevant …or potentially revolutionary to others.
The Three Pieces of Purpose in Business
The three pieces of purpose in your business are to serve others, to glorify God, and to help “escalate your destiny.” Once you’ve clearly identified these three pieces of purpose in your business, you’ll have set the stage for long-term profitability. So, let’s break this down.
Serving others is the first piece of purpose upon which all other pieces rest. If your business is not built around serving others it won’t survive. Period.
You don’t need a fantastic business idea.
You don’t need perfect market conditions.
You don’t need enormous startup capital.
You need to focus on serving others by solving problems, meeting needs, or fulfilling desires.
When you can do that you will have all you need to start a business of significance, and this is where our application of the 3rd P of Profit – Passion – comes into play.
In the 3rd P of Profit, we learned that passion only matters to your business when it makes an impact. But we also learned that the things you are passionate about point you in the direction of your purpose.
This is because your passion is usually the reason you desire to serve whatever issues, people, or things you are drawn to. It’s why you do what you do. And, it’s knowing (and communicating) why you do what you do that attracts the people you are meant to serve to your business.
If you want to know who you are meant to serve, you need find the people who care about why you do what you do. You need to find the people who believe what you believe.
These ideas were originally articulated by the brilliant Simon Sinek in the TED Talk posted below. I highly recommend you spend a few minutes to watch and gain a deeper understanding.
Once you are clear on what problems, needs or desires you are going meet for the specific people you are going to serve, you can move onto the second piece of purpose.
Glorifying God is the second piece of purpose in your business. I debated making it first, because in my business (and life) serving God comes before all things.
But after some thought, I decided to make this the second piece of purpose. Because if you are truly serving others with products and services of value, I believe you’ve taken the first step to glorifying God in your business.
If you’re not a spiritual person, this may seem like an unusual or “out there” idea, but if you can maintain an open mind stick with me for a moment.
Your business has the potential to change the world.
Whether you build a small sustainable business as a solopreneur, or you build an international organization that employs thousands of people, your business will affect others.
The question is how will it affect others?
Will you develop and sell subpar products and services just to make a dime?
Will you generate more revenue than you could ever need to live, and hoard it for yourself?
Will you hire people to assist you, yet treat them poorly, or nickel and dime their value?
Will you become so consumed with your business success that you forget to point the source of your gifts to being with?
You see, the size of your business is irrelevant, because your actions will affect anyone and everyone you come in contact with as an entrepreneur.
And, the question you need to ask yourself is, “How will my actions, and what I do with what I have, serve as a source of love and light around me?”
If you can see your business through that lens, I believe you will start to fulfill eternal purposes with your business.
If you will glorify God in your business, He will use you and your business to touch the lives of people in big and small ways that matter far beyond money.
But you have to be willing.
You have to allow yourself to be led by Him. You have to yield to His purpose for you. You have to leverage the gifts, talents, knowledge, skills, and life that He has given you to His credit.
Escalating Your Destiny
The third piece of purpose in your business is how your business fits into the life you are called to live.
Although we are entrepreneurs, we are more than just our businesses. We have families, and hobbies, and dreams that are part of the vision we have for our lives.
We have a destiny that is bigger than the business we build.
But, if you fail to consider how the business you are building fits into the bigger picture for your life, you will either build a business that makes you miserable or that never really “works” because it’s out of step with your destiny.
Take time to think about how you will serve others in your business and how that impacts your life. Go back to the God-given vision you have for your business and see if that really fits into the life you feel He’s called you to live. There should be a match.
From a practical stand point ask yourself questions like:
Does this business match my skills, interests, and gifts?
Should my business be virtual or should I create a local brick and mortar establishment?
Do I want to work one-on-one with people?
Do I just want to sell amazing products?
When do I need to be available to work?
In what kinds of environments will I be working in?
These simple questions can help you gain the clarity of purpose you need to make sure that you are building a business of purpose with purpose.
A “Simple” Formula for Articulating Your Purpose
Defining purpose can seem overwhelming. It’s a big thing, so we can turn into a big deal. I’m going to try to make it simple.
As you think about your purpose use this formula to come up with a clear and concise understanding of it.
Why you do what you do + who you do it for + how it matters to God, to you and to others = PURPOSE
Now it’s your turn.
If you think you’re clear on how purpose operates in your business, tell me what it is in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your website so we can swing by and check you out.
Stay tuned for next week as we cover everyone’s favorite P of Profit – Mr. Profit himself!