It often takes time to fully realize your purpose if no one holds you to truly discovering it for yourself.
You started a business for a reason, but that reason is often self-serving. Perhaps you wanted more time at home with your kids. Maybe you want to be able to work from anywhere and live a nomad’s lifestyle. For me, I wanted control over my life back. And while that is not my purpose today, it certainly played a big role in developing my brand purpose.
However, I never would have realized the change if I didn’t actively seek it out. You see, I started branding because taking control of my own life, inspired me to want to help others do the same. That’s why my initial plan of building an art business took such a drastic turn. Heck, I didn’t even know all that much about branding at the time (although I certainly thought I did but the less you know about something the less you realize you don’t know).
The thing is that my purpose inspired my business to become what it is now, and I believe, that only through pursuing your purpose with your business can you truly thrive.
I’m going to assume that you know what a brand purpose is and why it’s important to have one. If you’re not familiar with it though then you should check out this article.
In short your brand purpose is your reason why and can act as your guiding principle as you grow and develop your business.
I’ve got to be honest.
I can’t tell you what your purpose truly is, but I can help you recognize it and dig into it to understand it better. I do this with clients through asking them questions, so today, I’m going to do that with you, and it’s up to you to put in the time and effort to answer them as fully as you can.
1. Why did you start this business?
Notice I asked this business? Not a business or some business, this one. And if your answer is because you know how to do it, then ask yourself why you started doing (or studying) this work in the first place. Also, time and money freedom (like being home for your kiddos or traveling) is not a purpose, it’s the result you are striving for. Dig deeper than that.
2. What do you want your clients to have or be able to do as a result of working with you?
A lot of times we start our purpose statements with how we help others. I get it, I do to. Well, more accurately, I did until I realized that it’s often more powerful to just state what you do than preface it with ‘I help’ but that’s not the point. The point is that we can use this commonality to better understand and dig into what it is we truly want to help with.
By the way, you can always dig into these questions more by asking why once you’ve answered the first.
3. Why do you persevere?
Starting a successful business is not easy. If you find it is then please, for the love of all things holy, tell me your secrets. Heck, tell us all your secrets. But, since it’s not (for most of us) then why we keep struggling is a critical question to ask to better understand why it’s so important to you.
You see, often the reasons we used to justify starting a business get forgotten. Time freedom? I’ll bet you’ve never worked more or harder at anything else. Time is a paltry price to pay as you build your dream. Financial freedom? Have you ever made less for the amount of work you are doing? Sure, you’ll likely achieve both if you keep at it, but that start-up phase is no joke. So why are you still here in spite of it?
My purpose inspired my business to become what it is now, and I believe, that only through pursuing your purpose with your business can you truly thrive.