How To Build A Business Around Your Purpose For A Meaningful Life
How To Build A Business Around Your Purpose For A Meaningful Life

I recall the numerous clients who have sat across from me counting the days to retirement while lamenting the disconnect between what brought them joy and how they spent their days.

It was painful to watch so many people with all the socially prescribed trappings of success counting the days till they could enjoy life!

The importance of purpose.

Countless studies have been done on passion and purpose. What’s clear is that there is a correlation between life satisfaction and how you spend your days. Your satisfaction with life increases by doing something that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning.

Living a purpose-driven life is good for your mental and physical health. 

A study conducted by researchers from UCL, Princeton University, and Stony Brook University found that people’s lived longer when they had a purpose.

For most people, work is separate from other aspects of our life. But what if we uncovered what makes us come alive and what gives us meaning. And upon knowing those, we build a business around our calling?

Here are the steps to achieve that:

1. Why do you want to serve?

Building a business around your calling starts with having a clear sense of who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re hoping to achieve through your company. This is the essence of your business.

It encapsulates your expertise, your values, your mindset, your personality, and your passions. It’s your value proposition.

When we look at people like Oprah Winfrey, it is clear what she stands for — to make a positive impact on the lives of her viewer. Even as she evolved in how she delivered her message, there was consistency in the essence of her message.

Elon Musk is the epitome of technological expansion. Steve Jobs became synonymous with digital design. You are your message. Know what that is.

2. Who do you want to serve?

Who specifically would benefit from your expertise? Decide on the group of people you believe are most likely to buy from you. How much do you know about them?

You cannot be everything to everyone.

If you’re targetting Millennials, be specific. Which segment of Millennials do you hope to reach? Home-owners? Professionals. How much do you know about them? What are they viewing on TV? Decide who you want to target and get to know them intimately. The more you know your target audience, the better you can hone your message.

3. How do you want to serve?

Once you know your “why” and your “who,” now we can go to your ‘how.”

How can you enrich the lives of those you want to serve with your current time and resources. How can you package what you have to offer to set you apart from others offering something similar? That’s essentially your brand.

Social Media

How can you leverage the various media platforms available to you? Study the ones where your target audience resides. Baby boomers inhabit Facebook, Millennials dominate Instagram, and Generation Z appears to monopolize Tik Tok.

Ebooks

A great way to increase your presence and authority on your subject matter is to self-publish a book in your area of expertise. It can be the launching pad for a multitude of marketing ideas.

Start a website.

Buy a domain name and a hosting plan through hosting companies such as GoDaddy or BluehostCreate a website that is easy for visitors to navigate.
Start blogging on your expertise. Look for speaking gigs. Build a YouTube channel.
Write articles for publications that focus on your niche.

4. Your mindset.

Your mindset drives the way you approach your business and life in general. That is foundational for the success of your business. Adopting a growth mindset is essential for success.

Individuals with a growth mindset believe that one’s capabilities, talent, and intelligence, can be developed over time. People with a fixed mindset have difficulty learning from their mistakes because they believe that a person’s qualities are unchangeable.

The good news is that while many personality traits remain stable over time, your mindset can be changed. Building a business requires a high degree of adaptability. The right mindset will make learning that much easier.

5. Capitalize on your strengths.

Be attuned to your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Capitalize on your strengths and hire people who can take over the part of your business that you find most challenging.

If you are starting and cannot afford to hire someone full-time or even part-time, then seek the help of freelancers on sites such as fiverr.com.

6. Clearly define your goals and outcomes.

Have some clearly defined goals. These can be over each quarter or annually. But go beyond dreams. What outcomes are you hoping to achieve?

Making $200,000 a year is a clearly defined goal. Maybe your outcome is to be financially free or reinvest in the business. What would that entail? Maybe your overarching outcome is to make an impact on this world. How can you quantify that?

7. Have a road map.

Once you know your goals, set a plan on how you’d like to achieve those goals. E.g., If your goal is to increase the readership of your articles, be specific about what that would look like. Increase your readership to 1000 readers each week? How would you do that?

If you are unsure of how to create a road map, then start by using the SMART way of goal-setting.

The SMART way.

Use the SMART goal-setting process to set your goals.

Specific — your goal must be clear. E.g., my online business will generate $100,000 in the next year.

Measurable — Can you measure your progress and goals?

Achievable — While it is not impossible, it is unlikely that you will make a million dollars in your first year.

Realistic — how much time and resources do you have for your business?

Timed — when do you hope to achieve your goal?

Break down your plan into daily microtasks.

8. Rituals.

Keep to daily rituals that support your business. Regular exercise, a healthy breakfast, and sufficient sleep are paramount to the self-care needed to nourish you and your vision.

9. Learn from the pros.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of learning from people who have succeeded in the business you are establishing.

Watch their videos and read about them. Speak to people who can mentor you. For mutual support, join a networking group of entrepreneurs at varying stages of growth in their businesses.

Learning from the mistakes of the pros can save you a lot of time from making them yourself. You may be an expert in a particular field, but it does not mean you’d be an expert in running a business. These are two separate skillsets.

10. Be kind to yourself.

Develop a process to handle setbacks because they are part and parcel of building a business. Become aware of your emotional state when these moments arise. Decide how you will deal with them. Create a support system that can be both honest and encouraging.

Take time off when you need to. I found that exercise and journaling were effective in helping me deal with setbacks as I was setting up my business.

Running a business is a challenge. Don’t lose sight of why you got into business in the first place. And while you’re at, have fun.

No amount of success can take the place of a deep sense of fulfillment. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it’s time to reconsider if you should continue on this road.

Bringing it all together

Living a life of purpose is crucial to our well-being. But discovering a way to do that can be challenging. Use the steps above to uncover, create and execute a business that aligns with who you are and the lifestyle you’re trying to make.

What would that look like for you?