What is the main purpose of your business? Your answer should not be “to make money.” Of course, turning a profit and supporting yourself should rank pretty high up there, but it shouldn’t be the most important one. Small business expert Susan Solovic writes in her blog for Constant Contact that we should consider the purpose of companies like Apple and Zappos. They have an almost cult-like following because of what they are trying to accomplish with their products other than selling as many as possible. If you are having trouble finding your deeper purpose, take a look at our list of suggestions on where to begin.
- Listen to your inner voice and hold off on asking others what they think. Before you start seeking opinions on what your purpose should be, tune into your inner voice for inspiration. You will no doubt be influenced at least partially by what others think, so define your purpose for yourself before asking around. Brainstorm some ideas, read up on the origins of other successful companies, and listen carefully to that inner voice we all have that helps us make decisions and think clearly. Once you have a definitive idea, then it’s time to gather opinions from others.
- Follow what is exciting, not what is easy. In business, just as in life, the easy choice may not always be the best one. If you’ve ever read about the history of Apple Inc., you would see that Steve Jobs, on more than one occasion, did just that. He and his team continually spent a great deal of time and resources creating products that excited him. Many times, his investors didn’t believe in the idea or didn’t think it was worthy of pursuing. Keep in mind that because of Jobs’ tenacity and commitment to follow his passion for the exciting, Apple created more instant millionaires when it went public than any other company in history, and helped make Apple the brand it is today.
- Tap into your instincts and emotions rather than logic. You obviously don’t want to ignore logic completely, but when finding the purpose for your business, your instincts should take over. Instincts and emotions are powerful enough to guide us to do great things. When faced with a difficult question or decision, listen carefully to your initial gut reaction. This does not mean to act impulsively, but rather to let that gut feeling lead the way on your journey. Keep listening to it as you conduct research, bounce ideas off others, and take any other logical steps toward making the final call. For many hard-working and ambitious people, this is not always the easiest thing to do, but it certainly is important if you want to find your true purpose that drives you toward success.
When finding your purpose, you don’t have to set out to change the world. You only have to do what makes you passionate, what motivates you, and what excites you. This is one time in business where your emotions should dominate.
What have you done to find your purpose? Would you add to our list? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!