Image by a VeCeS Veo… via Flickr
Written by Karen D. Swim
I received an email newsletter and video from BrandU this week. In the video, Kim Castle shared a story about a Native American Long Dance ceremony and tied the lessons she learned to being an entrepreneur. I was struck by a comment she made regarding purpose and its role in the entrepreneurial mindset. Kim noted that the leader of the ceremony was “on purpose.” She had a tangible vision and determination. She was not asking the market what they wanted or how they wanted to be marketed to, but followed her purpose. The result? People flock to the ceremonies and they continue to grow nearly two decades later.
We are bombarded with messages that tell us the how, why, should and must of business. Much of the information is solid but blindly applying it can be deadly to your spirit and your business. Here are 3 reasons why Purpose is essential in business (and life!):
The court of public opinion is sometimes wrong. If you ask people what they want and how they want it, they may give you what they want but not necessarily what they need. Let’s face it we’re all pretty good at Monday Morning quarterbacking but so often we would not follow our own advice! Results don’t always come the easy way. When you have a clear and definitive purpose you are able to put feedback, suggestions and opinions in the right context.
Purpose breeds consistency. A clear determination to live “on purpose” provides a steadfast inner compass that will help you maintain consistency in action and results. When you are clear on your “why I do this” it will guide you in your day to day business activities. You will not take shortcuts, or compromise your standards. People can count on you to do what you say over and over. In business and life, your reputation is everything.
Purpose gives you a solid foundation. I have been acutely aware of this recently. Many are reacting to the economic climate with depression and desperation. Admittedly, it is challenging to filter out the negative information and soldier on, even tougher on a slippery foundation. However, when you are assured and committed to your purpose you can stand on that rock solid foundation. Your purpose will keep you grounded in good and bad times. Your plans, decisions and actions will not be driven by temporary conditions but your purpose. The storms may rage all around you but purpose is your lighthouse.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, employee, blogger or stay at home parent, life requires you to have strength of character. Without it you risk being tossed to and fro by the whims of life. Purpose keeps you connected with your internal compass, vision and values. It will not prevent you from ever making mistakes (I can personally validate this fact!) but will provide an objective standard to get you back on track when you blow it.
Are you clear on your purpose? Have you ever compromised your purpose out of fear or public pressure? What were the results? The mic is on and it’s your turn. Share your insights, comments and experiences. It’s fun to discuss and learn. 🙂
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