Create A Purpose Driven Business
How to engage and deliver with purpose. First, focus on WHY!
With Amy Rowlinson
With more time to consider your goals and the fulfilment of those goals, the past few months have uncovered an uncomfortable truth that your work may have drifted far from your original goals and visions of the future.
People are now taking the time to really think about their working lives and how their careers may or may not be serving them, both professionally and personally.
It’s not just the individuals that have suffered because of this catalytic pandemic, businesses themselves have also experienced immense pressures and changes to their ways of working.
Keeping heads above water feels like a victory in the current climate, but if businesses can’t remain true to their values, what does the future hold for them long term?
The employee-employer relationship has felt a nationwide strain in recent months, with furlough schemes and redundancies acting as buffers or catalysts to the ever-changing dynamic.
However, for many, this time apart has potentially revealed cracks in the ecosystem of our working lives that we’re normally too busy to notice.
In this article, we focus on purpose as the birthplace for innovation, creativity, drive and ultimately success in business.
For business owners of all sizes who have suffered during the pandemic, re-evaluating the purpose that drives your business is essential for getting back on your feet and substantiating a sustainable and successful business.
How to create a purpose driven business
With the help of Business Coach and Podcast Host Amy Rowlinson, we list the five key elements of a successful values-based business with purpose as its foundation.
Purpose is unique to everyone. Our ultimate reason for being is the long-sought-after mystery that we’re all eager to discover. As Mark Twain said,
‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’
In business terms, purpose is driven by the ‘WHY’; Why does your business exist? What is its purpose? What problem does it solve and why does this problem need solving? What does your business contribute to the world?
All businesses start with an idea, a vision. Rediscovering that purpose and re-evaluating how far your business might have drifted from that origin, is the first step in acknowledging how to recover.
The purpose for your business’s existence is both valid and valuable, so use it!
As an individual, your core values form the internal compass from which you operate both on a personal level and a professional level.
You don’t work, simply to work. You work to fulfil your needs and your values. When you align your values with those of others, you share the vision and you share responsibility.
Align your work with your values to become valued for your work. It’s staggering just what is possible individually and collectively, when you focus on WHY.
Business values should ideally reflect the values of the individual business owner or founder.
However, that assumption is not always right. Too often business values simply form a neat shortlist of social idealisms rather than genuine considerations of the principles which will ultimately formulate every part of the business’s culture.
Business values should be carefully considered in the initial stages of creation by the founders and continually reassessed in terms of progress and adherence to those values.
Your values, as an individual and as a business owner ultimately drive your decisions and dictate your direction.
When was the last time you even considered your values and are you being true to them?
Reassess your core values and think about how you may need to adapt or realign your business.
Vision and Mission
Are you clear about your company’s vision and its mission? And the difference between the two?
Your company’s vision is about the future, it compiles your aspirations for the business and gives your hopes and dreams direction through growth and purpose.
Your company’s mission is about the present, what your business does now, how it solves problems and for whom.
Where is your Vision and Mission Statement kept? Perhaps it is nestled deep in a filing cabinet somewhere!
Uncovering this vital document and bringing it to the forefront of your business’s daily operations is a great way of assessing how your business is performing and whether it still does what you promised it would do.
Don’t have a vision and mission statement? Here are three sections you should consider when writing your business’s Vision and Mission Statement:
Vision – think about your future. This part of the statement focuses on the ‘where’ of your business. What do you want your business to achieve and over what timeframe? What are your goals and aspirations?
Mission – think about today. This part of the statement focuses on the ‘what, how, who and why’. What is its purpose? How does your business serve the world, who does it serve and why?
Values – To collectively achieve the Mission and Vision Statement, you will need to align them with your company’s Values. Have you got clearly defined company values?
TIP: Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be long, it needs to deliver clarity. You should be able to sum up your business mission and vision in one concise sentence.
e.g. Tesla’s Vision – To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
Tesla’s Mission – To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy
As your business grows, you will need to adapt your Vision and Mission Statement to reflect the changes, but make sure to keep a copy of your original document as it’s a great measure of the company’s success and growth.
True motivation comes from within and while there’s something to be said for the perks and the yearly bonus, external motivation has its limits.
A good working culture naturally occurs when people are perfectly suited to their roles in every respect.
This is achieved when their work fulfils their goals and serves their purpose which is ultimately derived from their core values.
A mismatch of the individual’s values and the business values means that ultimately, the growth of the business and of the individual as part of the business is not only limiting but often damaging.
As an employer, perfecting the recruitment and ongoing leadership and management process not only allows you to create a productive work flow that benefits the business, it also ensures that all employees are allowed the opportunity to fulfil their own goals and perform to the best of their ability.
People need to feel wanted, understood and valued and if you can create that environment for your employees, your business will benefit hugely because of it.
If you don’t, you risk toxicity seeping in from all areas of your work force which will limit productivity, impact staff welfare and affect customer satisfaction.
If you are a sole trader, creating your own positive working culture is just as important.
Set yourself clear boundaries for a good work/life balance and ensure your own core values match, and continue to match, your business’s values to truly feel fulfilled in your work.
Finally, it’s important to understand how to get yourself back on track.
The past few months have brought their challenges but focusing on how to realign yourself with your goals, your purpose and your needs is key to finding or restoring your motivation and helping you feel more fulfilled in business.
As a business owner without staff, your focus should be entirely on ensuring your core values and principles are implemented throughout the business.
You should be able to take pride in your work and your business should not only be able to fulfil its purpose, but your own.
Rebuilding or refocusing on the purpose behind your business or your career choices is essential for prospering post-pandemic.
We hope this article has pointed you in the right direction and allowed you a moment to really consider how you engage and deliver with purpose.
Does your business Focus on WHY?
If you’d like to hear more from Amy Rowlinson why not check out her Focus On Why Podcast.