Find your business purpose inside yourself


Finding your business purpose inside yourself sounds like more feel-good b.s. or could it help your new business?

The internet is full of gurus telling us to find ourselves, but how does this relate to owning a business, and does it even matter?

So, if you are sceptical about the staged images of perfect people on Instagram, doing yoga, with a large green drink, on the beach while finding themselves then read on.

Here’s how to find your business purpose and what business culture means in the real world of small to medium businesses (SMBs).

Your business purpose

Undoubtedly, you might say your business purpose is to make money, and your personal life is entirely separate.

Well, it might not be as clear cut as that because the small business universe is very different from the big business world.

Cold corporate thinking lends itself to the ideology of “business is business and personal is personal.”

However, we know that in SMBs, the owners are the key to building their business culture. It is tough to separate the owner from the SMB as they meld together.

In the SMB sphere, your personal purpose, business purpose and culture are linked, and it’s down to you to develop them.

Simon Sinek – and his Golden Circle

The start of the “find your why” craze might be traced to Simon Sinek’s TED Talk about the Golden Circle. Sinek’s theory is that people buy into the “why” behind a business rather than products. It is an excellent talk and worth watching.

Since many business gurus regurgitate corporate management trends, as a one size fits all approach for every size of business, “find your why” exploded onto the scene.

After that, the internet content bandwagon went into overdrive about finding “your Why.”

The whole theme then got boosted by digital marketing agencies as they latched onto the idea as part of their Digital Marketing Strategy Sessions. Finding “your why” was supposed to magically connect you to your audience and make your digital presence stand out.

Interestingly enough, a lot of the experts never seemed to explain how finding “your why” mattered to your business, probably because they have never run a business themselves. So, here’s the explanation of the relationship.

Perils of oversharing and owning a business

If you have over-shared personal life details through social media, that may or may not help when you start a business. Your employees and customers may discover all kinds of things about you. Your public profile, however, reveals the importance of your new leadership role, whether you like it or not.

Employees look to you for guidance and leadership. They are curious to know about you and what makes you tick. Employees like to pre-empt how you would do things and whether they will get praise or criticism from you.

It is essential to recognize that every business, no matter how small it is, has a culture that stems directly from its leader.

Every business, no matter how small, it is has a culture.

We define business culture as the collective personality that is experienced internally (by employees) or externally (customers) through their interaction with the business.

Culture is often only talked about in the context of larger organizations. Because it’s so difficult for them to manage or change their culture, they employ specialist people to try!

Fortunately, you won’t have to employ specialists if you go about correctly from the start.

Creating a business culture that you want is a fundamental part of growing a business.

You will enjoy the culture that you deserve, so it’s worth putting the effort in to get the business culture you want!

You will enjoy the culture that you deserve!

If you don’t influence the emergent culture, then quite simply, you deserve what you get. Many established businesses are in this mess.

To decide how you want your business to evolve, you must start to define and shape the behaviours, attitudes, and values that you want.

So the point is that “your why” influences your business purpose and culture.  

Finding your business purpose

Many exceptional businesses have a deep understanding of their business purpose. They are “confident” about their identity, and their employees seem to understand how they fit into a higher business purpose.

It makes a great deal of sense as commitment, morale and focus are essential ingredients to business success.

Your authenticity as a business can set you apart, so search deep and be honest.

Start by considering the values and motivations in your life and how you would want these embodied in your business. Look for how your personal motivations and values overlap with your business purpose.

  • Holistically look at yourself and life to explore your motivation, aspiration, and ambition?
  • What are the things that you hold precious and are not willing to sacrifice?
  • Which beliefs guide you as a person through life?

In SIOAB Episode 2, You-360″what do I really want”, we discuss how important this is and give you a tool to help. Our worksheet sets out a series of questions to consider.

Write the answers down so that you can refer to them in the future.

When thinking about owning a business, decide how you will influence the business culture to complement its purpose.

Again, please write down your thoughts and plans as they become part of your foundational preparation.

It’s not always about money

Many people start businesses because they have strong motivations for things other than money.

Don’t be afraid to write down and capture what you truly value, as you will find you are not alone.

In SIOAB Episode 3-Understanding Your Motivation, we explore some of the reasons why people like owning a business.

How do you use your authentic purpose to find your business purpose?

  • Be authentic as we all smell marketing “b.s.” a mile away. Authenticity is not about being perfect or stating platitudes.
  • Use plain language and not management jargon, which ordinary people find off-putting.
  • Once you are clear about what your business values are, use them in every aspect of your business.
  • Be warned that you are on show; therefore, you must be able to honor what you say.

Your business purpose helps set the internal character of your organization and enables you to select employees based on their “fit” to your values and culture. Recruit employees carefully as a lousy culture will defeat a great strategy every time.

Your business purpose will also be crucial in crafting your marketing messages. Develop a language to use with your customers so they hear your authentic purpose.

Your business purpose and culture will become based upon your real values.

Understanding Business Ownership

Success is not just about skills and business plans but also the knowledge, motivation, and mindset necessary for long-term business success.

Understanding the impact of nurturing a business culture is an integral part of the success equation.

Your business culture should be a part of your competitive advantage; therefore, knowing how to find your business purpose is essential.


Brendan Barrow Co-Host

The Should I Own A Business Podcast-Listen Before You Leap.