When building a business, you might look at your talents, things you have done in the past, business opportunities etc. But what if I tell you it is much more interesting to have a good look at your purpose in life first? In other words: what is your “why”? Your reason to do what you do? For some of you this might sound strange, but hang in there. Let me explain.
When you set out to start or grow your business, there are lots of things you need to take into concideration. There is strategies, business models, marketing. These are like a map giving you directions on where to go. But where exactly do you want to go? What is your destination? Is it about making money? More free time? Better work-life balans? Getting that sence of accomplishment? Great! But still, you might find that at any place of the map of business strategies and models. So where do you know you find your success? That is where your purpose comes in. Your purpose, your mission in life, the thing that matters to you, that is what gives you direction.
Coming from a family of retailers, I knew I wanted to be in retail as well. Slight problem: I am not very good at fixed hours, opening a shop and such. So when online buying became a thing, I seized the opportunity and started my own webshop in children’s clothing. It was great: buying cute clothes, photographing them, making really great and lucsious descriptions (I know that counted for a big part of my sales), putting together a nice packaging so when people would receive their package, it was like a little gift. I loved it. But soon I got bored. Was this it? Did I want to pursue a career as a webshop owner? A few years later I knew I had to make a decision: either scale and become a true webshopmanager or quit. I did the latter. This had been like a dream for me, but I didn’t feel fullfilled doing it. Even when I made money, even when my customer list kept growing, I was not really happy. It was only later that I discovered this business was not in line with my purpose, my “why” in life and business. For me, being in retail seemd nice because of my family history, but it had nothing to do with what really made me “tick”. I still love retail as a branche, love helping retailers with business ideas, strategies and marketing. But being a retailer myself is not part of my purpose.
That is what can happen when you just jump in. It all looks great at first. You have the thrill of the start, the thrill of success, but in the end: you are just following some lines on the map, but without any clear destination. A destination that you really want tob e at.
Soon after my webshop adventure I did find my purpose. It has to do with empowering women to take direction and navigate on their own terms. I started a magazine for pregnant women, because I felt (from my own experience) that they can do with some different opinions. With information and examples that are not alla bout being on cloud nine. It was a project so close to my heart, but it was 2008 and crisis hit. The magazine never made it to the press.
To this day I can regret this, but on the other hand, it has allowed me to find a way to fullfill my purpose to an even bigger extend. That is what I am doing now. Helping women to regain control, empower them to take direction by (re)building or redirecting their business. Do you see how important it can be to know your purpose, your mission in life? My mission allowed me to change my strategy when needed (from a magazine to being a business coach), but still keep my direction in life.
That is why I want you to start with finding out what is your purpose in life. Finding your “why”. Because when you set your inner compass, you will never get lost. You can change strategies, business models, marketing, your sense of directions will always guide you through.
To help you, I have put together a workbook with three steps to find your purpose. You can download it here for free: