Let’s talk about purpose and why it’s so important to have one (or several) to live a happy and fulfilled life. As human beings we need to feel needed. We want to be a part of something bigger and make a difference. It’s part of our nature and our DNA. It’s why we work so well together in a society – at least for the most part. Finding your purpose as an entrepreneur will change the trajectory of your life, along with your business.
Sometimes this is referred to as finding your “why” and even entrepreneurs differ in their beliefs on this topic. My colleague and co-author Ellen Finkelstein has published an article sharing her views on why she believes Finding Your Why is Overrated.
Without a purpose we’re just drifting through the days. We don’t have the drive or ambition to work to our fullest potential. This is true for all areas of our lives, both at home and at work. Purpose energizes us and helps us focus on what we want to do. Without it, we feel lost.
Having a purpose and doing something regularly to fulfill it, is one of the best way to increase your overall feeling of happiness and fulfillment. Since striving to live a happier life is on the agenda of most people out there, it makes a lot of sense to spend a little time discovering what your purpose in life is and how you can begin to fulfill it.
Living with purpose also gives us a nice boost in confidence. We notice that we’re making a real difference and have an impact on those around us. It’s a great feeling and great for your self-esteem. Think back on a time when you did something worthwhile that touched others and made their life better. It doesn’t have to be a big “live purpose” thing. Even something as simple as helping a neighbor carry in groceries, or explaining a math problem to your friend will work. Do you remember how good it made you feel?
That right there is why it’s important to live a life of purpose. It’s having that feeling over and over again. It’s also about being able to look back and seeing the difference your actions made.
Having a purpose and working towards it also adds structure to your day. You are able to plan what you want to do and what you should be doing on a daily basis to reach your goal and begin to fulfill your purpose. This type of structure can give you a feeling of peace. You don’t have to worry about figuring things out, or being afraid that you’re wasting the precious life you’ve been given. Instead, your purpose acts like a beacon guiding you on your path through the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
The end result is improved mental well-being. You have a reason to get up in the morning and receive validation from the results of pursuing your purpose. As time goes by, that purpose may adjust or even change completely, and that’s okay. By simply embracing a purpose-driven life, you’ll increase your happiness and feeling of self-satisfaction. Doesn’t that make it worth a try?
For some people finding their purpose in life comes easy. The purpose finds them and it becomes glaringly obvious what they should be doing to live a happy and fulfilled life. For most of us though, things aren’t that obvious and it’s completely normal to struggle with finding something purposeful to do. If that’s you, here are three questions you may want to ask yourself to help guide you to a starting point.
Before we move on to the actual questions, I want to share that this is often a process. There is no right or wrong answer. You simply start by making the choice to life a purpose driven life and then start to figure out what that purpose may be. You don’t have to get that answer on day one. Instead, try a few things, see what feels right and what doesn’t and come to your own perfect answer organically and over time. In short, work on it, but don’t stress out about it.
Finding Your Purpose as an Entrepreneur Requires Some Effort
Now let’s move on to the questions. They are designed to get you thinking about what your purpose may be. They are a starting point and a great way to brainstorm possibilities until you come across something that feels just right.
What Am I Good At?
Start by making a list of everything you are good at. It’s much easier to pass on a skill or work in an area where you have experience in. For example, you may be great at planning meals and living frugally. You can pass that knowledge on by helping low-income moms in your community stretch their food dollars as far as possible.
Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve learned in College or where you excel at work. Instead think about all the little skills you’ve taught yourself in your spare time. Don’t forget about hobbies. Those woodworking skills you’ve acquired over the years can come in handy when you’re building nesting boxes, or are creating an after-school club for at risk youth. No skill is too small or insignificant when it comes to living with purpose and making an impact.
What’s Important To Me? What Do I Value?
Another great starting point is to think about everything that’s important to you and that you value. Maybe it’s climate change, maybe it’s making sure that children in your community have enough food, or maybe it’s insuring the safety of abused women.
Start with your values and see what opportunities there are in your own community, or online to get involved in. While you can certainly start your own organization, or do something on your own to make a difference, it’s often easier to start by working with people who have experience in the field.
What Needs Do I See In My Community?
Last but not least, look at what’s going on in your community. This can be your local community, or an online one that you’re a part of. Start to pay attention to the needs of your people and see if there’s something you can do to help.
The needs aren’t always obvious. Be prepared to read between the lines. By simply paying attention and starting to look for a need that needs to be filled, you’ll quickly find opportunities to make a difference.
Above all keep your mind and eyes open. You will come across your purpose. It may just not be exactly what you had in mind to begin with. It’s a journey and a process, but that’s also what keeps life interesting and full of surprises. I’d love to hear your thoughts on finding your purpose as an entrepreneur.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.