Tuesday, April 15, 2008

P is for Purpose

What is the purpose of your business? Many years ago Peter Drucker said the purpose of business is to create a customer. That answer remains true today as customers are the lifeblood of your business, but it does not fully answer the question of why you are in business.

"Purpose is what gives life a meaning." --Charles H. Perkhurst

Purpose is the reason for which something exists; an intended desire or result; to set as an aim, intention or goal for oneself. To do something on purpose is to do it by design or intentionally. I think of purpose as the framework in which you operate. Purpose in short gives you a focus.

When I first started in business I carried a little note in my wallet that said "Freedom." As I struggled to build a portfolio of clients and establish a relationship, there were times when I questioned why I was doing it all. Why had I walked away from Corporate America with its fancy titles and fat paychecks to struggle to make ends meet? I would pull out that note and read "freedom." The note reinforced my purpose, my aim and intention for being in business. My purpose then guided every business decision as I sought to stay on course.

Your purpose connects you in a deeper way to the reason your business exists. Yes, you want to make money and to do so you have to create customers but why do you want to make money? Answering this question is essentially defining what is most important in your life. Is it freedom (financial, time, of expression)? Your family? Is your business purpose also your life purpose?

Defining your purpose provides you with a compass that you can monitor daily to stay on course. It is worthwhile to clearly identify your reason for being. Write it down, post it on the wall, save it as your screensaver. Check in with your purpose as you wrestle with business decisions. Your purpose serves as the guidepost for every decision you make.

If you want to keep the hot flames of passion burning, define your focus. Only you can answer the question: What do you want and what are you willing to give up in order to attain it?

3 comments:

Robert Merrill said...

This is a great post. Thank you.

My father, Frank Merrill, said to me: "Powerful people focus on their purpose, not their problems."

...and that has made all the difference :)

Words For Hire said...

Robert, thank you for reading and sharing your father's wisdom. What a powerful quote. I now have some insight into the upbeat energy you constantly display. I am copying this quote and posting it. Thanks!

Karen :-)

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