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“With purpose, a company can create positive value that is far greater than the sum of its parts.” Sherri Hakimi

A business Purpose or Mission is the GPS of your business. It’s your guiding star.

Sherry Hakimi describes the importance of Purpose this way:

“As a company, it’s important to think about why you are in the business you’re in. What drives you? If your business succeeds, what would your ideal world look like? When a company demonstrates an authentic purpose, consumers feel a connection to the products and company. They will choose the authentically purposeful company’s products, even if it’s not the cheapest offering.”

How do we find a business Purpose?

Your Purpose comes from a desire to contribute something to the economy. Your Purpose can be mainly economic progress for yourself and partners or it can be geared toward economic progress as well as contribution toward a improved society. You have designed either of these from your personal beliefs, values and desires.  Therefore, your Purpose is a deeply held expression of what you believe you can do with your business.

Are you excited about your business venture? Are you fulfilling a life-long dream? Are you excited to get up everyday to work on your venture? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a deeply embodied business Purpose. A deeply embodied business Purpose (Mission) is a purpose that motivates you dramatically, gives you a sense of well being and brings you joy. If this is the state you’re in, congratulations. Your business has a much higher chance of success than many of the businesses of your entrepreneurial colleagues.

Craig and Snook in “ From Impact to Purpose” explains: “Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance, while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being. Doctors have even found that people with purpose in their lives are less prone to disease. Purpose is increasingly being touted as the key to navigating the complex, volatile, ambiguous world we face today, where strategy is ever changing and few decisions are obviously right or wrong.”

A strong business Purpose/Mission can create a legacy in these ways:

It will provide a strong foundation for your Values, Vision and Strategy. Everything you do in your business will spring from your Purpose. You will have definite parameters for decision making and System building.

You will facilitate an “adaptive business culture” with your Purpose as the anchor. Our fast changing environment will require the ability to make rapid changes and innovations. An adaptable culture supports the continuous flexibility your business will need. As a result, you will need something to direct and ground you activities. A strong Purpose performs this function.

You will create and sustain a great reputation. A strong Purpose will draw employees and customers to your organization and if that Purpose is promoted over time, your reputation for consistently delivering according to your Purpose will spread.

Following are some great examples of how deeply embodied purpose works in reality.

Birkenstock 243 years

The core of their Mission/Purpose is: “Birkenstock is deeply rooted in the fine art of crafting premium quality shoes that are good for you.”

Delta Airlines 90 years

“Delta Air Lines Mission Statement: “We—Delta’s employees, customers, and community partners together form a force for positive local and global change, dedicated to bettering standards of living and the environment where we and our customers live and work.”

Southwest Airlines 38 years

“Our Purpose is: To connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.”

Amazon 23 years

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

All of the Purposes described are very broad. They allow for any technological advance or other changes that relate to their industry. They address social needs or challenges and are designed as economically feasible business models.

“Most of us go to our graves with the music still inside us, unplayed. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Don’t be like “most”. Design your entrepreneurship because you can do anything you want to do! The information available to everybody today can hep you build a genuine legacy. Designing a Purpose that energizes you should be your first step. This can also move you closer to building your legacy.

Easy to apply business building guides: “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”