“Work for yourself. You get to wear what you want, work when you want, and make the decisions you want.” This idea sounds exciting, but these statements are not sufficient enough to be the foundation of a successful company. Building a business requires sacrifice and hard work. Business owners sacrifice sleep, job security, time with family and friends, salary, comfort and sometimes even their health. In order for someone to make these kind of sacrifices, they have to believe in something with their whole being. They have to be excited about creating or founding something with a purpose greater than themselves. Whether it be solving a problem, providing a better answer to an already solved problem or changing the world, all successful businesses are founded by someone with a vision much bigger than themselves.
So, how do we discover our purpose?
I believe the first question we have to answer is “What is our personal purpose in life?” In order to create vision for a business where we will be responsible for directing others, it is important to nail down what our personal purpose is. We should ask ourselves “What would I live, breathe and die for?” We each have a unique set of skills and expertise so how are we going to use these attributes to better the world? What invention can I create that makes life easier, happier, or more interesting for others? What service could I provide that will bring excellence to my client’s life or business?
The next step would be stepping outside of ourselves and asking the question “What does the world need, desire, or lack? By asking these questions, we are being intentional about solving a problem for others rather than focusing on how we can benefit ourselves. A company with a purpose that solves problems and helps others will thrive because we are designed with an innate desire to contribute towards something with a purpose.
Lastly, we must ask ourselves “How can I take my unique talents and abilities and provide something useful and excellent for others?” This step requires us to align our skill set with what people want, need, or lack. When we align these aspects, we not only get to do what we love and are good at, but we are able to provide something amazing for other people.
Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Benjamin Franklin and all of the other amazing innovators in history all had one thing in common: purpose. They believed in something with such passion that they became obsessed. Their passion wasn’t reliant on simply working for themselves; It was all about changing the world with their invention. How can we change history? How can we take our unique skill set and provide something excellent for the world? These are the questions that will lay a strong foundation for our businesses.
By: Ashton Long