The shriek of a 4-year-old girl pierced the silence in my shower. In a panic, I peeled back the curtain without a second thought about the water flow.
“Whaaaat?!” The word pounded out along with the heartbeats in my chest.
She stood on a pink foot stool just about 12 inches above the ground, staring into the mirror with makeup strewn above the bathroom vanity – mimicking the adult steps to getting ready for the day. She pointed to her feet.
There, my 9-month-old had pulled herself from the ground to standing using the stool as support.
Not an emergency. Not a disaster. I settled back into the warmth of the water, still peeking out the curtain to share my amazement in the baby’s first. My oldest is always overly excited about the ways the youngest is growing. Which is fine, it is amazing.
And while its not an emergency, or a disaster … it is a reminder. A reminder about our precious time. That time, passes. Quickly.
I stood there in the shower, the water dripping about me and the celebratory shrieks of the baby and her sister now back on the other side of the curtain and thought about how it was only yesterday my littlest was born. In fact, it was only the day before that I found out I was pregnant, and minutes before that we had talked about having a second child. It was like a week before that my oldest was born, within hours of our wedding – I think. … You get the point.
I am grateful for the passage of time because it’s taking me where I want to go. While I have unfulfilled dreams, there are many that have come true – and I have confidence in others and the path I’m heading. Since my pivot moment at age 28, I feel blessed to maintain focus on those dreams and my sense of purpose.
The Presence of Purpose
Purpose is proven in various studies to positively impact our longevity.
“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose. So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.” Lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada said in an article for the Association for Psychological Science.
Self awareness is a key step in developing your sense of purpose. When you are able to identify and embrace your key qualities and desires, you can move forward in your pursuit of something bigger.
Here is a simple starter set of questions to kickstart this exploration.
1) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2) Sticking in your childhood, what were your favorite hobbies or activities? What you would do during your free time without any prompting?
3) Dissect these answers a little more and consider: What qualities are involved in this role or hobby? What about it sounds exciting or attractive to you?
If you want to take it further, download our entire questionnaire which also includes how to steps for writing your personal purpose statement.
The Business of Purpose
“Having an audience that cares is better than having a big market.”
– Rand Fishkin, Founder, SparkToro
We know that consumers prefer to buy from purpose-driven companies. Ninety percent of consumers would make a purchase decision because a company aligns with his or her personal values, according to this article about 2019 entrepreneurship trends, and 80% expect businesses to care more about impact than profit.
And purpose is proven to positively impact the company, too. The Global Purpose Index reports that 85% of purpose-led companies reported growth in 2016, versus 42% of non-purpose companies who actually cited a drop in revenue.
It’s incredible to explore purpose-driven brands and how its impacted the existence of the organization. Starbucks is a widely-known example. Here is a note from it’s website:
“What is the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company? We have always believed Starbucks can – and should – have a positive social impact on the communities we serve. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
The company’s 2018 Social Impact report explains how it has made an impact on ”sustainability, strengthening communities and creating opportunities.” Some examples include:
- Using more renewable energy in the stores: “we are partnering with developers to bring new projects online, including a wind farm planned near Olympia, Wash., and a new wind farm in Illinois that will power 360 stores in that state, including the future Chicago Roastery.”
- Helping hungry people: “More than 10 million meals have been shared through our FoodShare program, including 7.4 million meals in 2018.”
- Hire 25,000 Veterans + Military Spouses by 2025: “Since 2013, we’ve hired 22,500 veterans and military spouses, including 3,000 in 2018, and reached the milestone of 50 Military Family Stores.”
If you want more about purpose-driven brands, check out this article with 5 examples of brands (Starbucks included) you’ll likely recognize.
Ok, but I’m not Starbucks …
Right, but that’s part of the point! Purpose-led brands are founded first in the authenticity and originality of the people at the heart of its story. How your brand is purposeful needs to sync with this, to align with your core objectives.
It doesn’t need to have the scale of Starbucks to matter. When your purpose-driven, and you communicate about that, people will pay attention.
When you’re grounded in direction, it helps you make decisions about the next steps for your business. When you are capable of making a purposeful change in the way you operate, in the people you employ, in the resources you use or the ways your company donates — you can reflect on your core purpose to determine the best way to do just that.
“If you look at companies that enjoy long-term success, you will notice that … their core belief – their purpose – hasn’t changed since the company’s inception. Even though business strategies change and evolve, the core purpose stays consistent.” — from “The Laws of Brand Story Telling by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
Where to start?
Understanding personal purpose is vital to feeling confident in determining your brand’s purpose. We have a worksheet that will walk you through this self discovery process, all the way to writing your statement. If you struggle with writing, we even offer free sessions to help (details on the worksheet.) Download that here.
You can also hop straight to a free session and talk more about your brand purpose + messaging to really start making positive change for your business.