Top 10 ways to tell if your business is ‘on Purpose’

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again - I believe Purpose = Profit.

What do I mean by this?

When you work out what really fires you up about the work you do – and when you understand the mission or ‘Purpose’ behind this work - something amazing happens.  You become much more motivated by what you’re doing – and it becomes much easier to sell what you offer – because you are now talking about something you love, rather than something you like doing.

And this excitement becomes infectious. The people you talk to – your clients, your prospects, your business partners, your staff – they become interested, engaged and enthusiastic about what you’re telling them.

I know this from first hand experience. I’ve gone from being ‘interested and motivated’ by what I do to ‘out there with excitement.’  In fact I’ve moved from Mr Bean to Martin Luther King on the excitement scale.

Then if you take the next (and the crucial) step of embedding your ‘Purpose’ into your business – that’s when the profitability comes in. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Why? Because we are conditioned to be cautious – to play it safe.

We become nervous about sounding too excited about what we hope to achieve – and how we can make a real difference to our clients. We become worried that it won’t come across as ‘professional.’

Been there – got the T shirt. For me it took a boiling hot cup of tea to wake me up to the fact that I simply couldn’t ignore my purpose. That’s another story that will have to wait for the moment – but the point is that if we ignore our purpose, we simply can’t access the real profit that can come from the work we do.

By ‘profit’ I don’t just mean monetary gain – from the extra work that comes your way form clients who ‘get’ you, and who end up being long-term supporters - I also mean the lower stress levels, the rush of endorphins, and the shear happiness that working ‘on purpose’ brings.

So how do you tell if you are working on purpose?

Here are my top 10 questions to ask yourself - and to answer honestly from your gut:

1. Do you find it genuinely exciting to tell people about what you do?

2. Do the people you tell about your brand say things like “wow – that’s sounds great – tell me more?”

3. Do the words that appear on your website look pretty much the same as those used on your competitors’ websites?

4. When you go to networking events, do you dread that inevitable question ‘what do you do?’

5. How do you feel on a Monday morning when it’s time to go to work?

a) Great

b) Not so great

c) Do I have to answer that question?

6. When you talk to your business partners or staff about the year ahead - do they look excited, bored, or worried?

7. Can you explain - in one simple sentence - why you love the work you do?

8. Can you explain – in one sentence – how you make a real difference for your clients?

9. Can you explain – in one sentence – the one thing you do that no one else does in your market?

10. Have any of these questions caused you to start sweating??

‘Purpose’ is a term that we are all going to hear used a lot more in the next few years – in the context of work. It will probably replace ‘authentic’ as the latest buzz word. But don’t let that put you off – ‘Purpose’ is here to stay.

And just as well – because people are over doing dull, monotonous work just to earn money. They want more from life. And they have every right to demand it. It just takes a little courage to decide to take the first step to do something about it.

Justin Cooper