The art of reflection to identify your purpose

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle.

I expect you’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t worry about what others think of you. It’s complete BS. We live in a world in which the consumer is increasingly making decisions based upon the values of the company they are buying from. 

In fact, research from Accenture found that almost two-thirds of consumers prefer to purchase from companies with a purpose that reflects their own values and beliefs. And that link to values-based buying is getting stronger.

The upshot is that how you are perceived by others makes a big difference to your business performance. You better spare a little time each week to make sure that what you are doing is aligned with your values and purpose.

The perpetual circle of performance is fueled by purpose

The fuel that energizes this is your values and purpose. This connects your business, employees, contractors, suppliers, and customers.

Let’s forget the consumer for a moment, and consider when people work best. Not just from our experience, but from empirical evidence we find that people who understand their purpose and feel a part of something bigger put in the discretionary effort that drives high performance. Because they enjoy their work more.

The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Globoforce’s Workhuman Research Institute conducted a global study and found that employees with positive work experiences were almost twice as likely to put in discretionary effort. 

Now when your employees go the extra mile, this translates into things like higher-quality products, greater productivity, and better customer service. That snowballs into better customer retention and more referrals. It’s like a perpetual circle.

Your values drive a collective purpose 

In our Black Diamond Podcast discussing ‘Defining the entrepreneur’, Kate Jamarillo says that entrepreneurs, “Start with a good idea, begin dreaming right away, with dreams based on the idea of freedom.

Now, that good idea comes from deep within you. It is conceived because of the values you hold dear, and these direct your purpose. 

You create products and services and build businesses because you feel that it is the right thing to do because you believe that by doing so you will help others achieve what they desire in personal and professional lives. 

Why Level 5, for example? Because we believe that all entrepreneurs should achieve the 5 Entrepreneurial Freedoms of Money, Health, Relationships, Purpose, and Time – and we believe that as experienced entrepreneurs it is our responsibility to help others do this. Our connection to this purpose drives us – and those clients who feel the same connection to that purpose are driven to outperform, too.

If you don’t know your ‘why’, neither will others

Your purpose stems from your ‘why’. Why are you where you are? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you create the products and services you do? It’s not enough to create for profit. As Ken Andrukow tells us when talking with Kate, “(The entrepreneur) who focus on a financial number loses all other things that are important to them – because they are trying to hit a number.

If you are focused so heavily on the numbers, you lose sight of what is important to you. And so, too, will your customer and employees. And this is when these people will start to drift away, and you’ll find yourself in another sort of circle – one that spirals downward.

Eric Malzone says, “Sit down and think, ‘What do I want out of this life? Where’s all this going? What do I want for the people around me?’ Having clarity of vision of where you want to go starts to dictate the choices you make, the actions you take, and why you are doing them. And that’s powerful.

When you have this clarity of your why, you can then communicate this through your words, deeds, and actions. But without such clarity, others will never fully connect. Your employees won’t work quite as productively as they could. Your customers won’t be as loyal as you’d like.

When was the last time you asked your team about your company’s purpose? When did you last sit down and think about why you are doing what you are doing? Let us know what drives you and if you are achieving the 5 Entrepreneural Freedoms™ in the comments below. And hop over to our Black Diamond podcasts to catch up with the collective wisdom of entrepreneurs who think like you.

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