All too often, I see new business owners leaping into the world of entrepreneurship without first taking time to align their business with their purpose and passion. Most of the time, they are chasing their passion, but without much thought about what the business side needs to look like. Or they focus 100% on the business side without putting any thought into their purpose and overall long-term mission.
A common problem, and certainly something I had to learn myself in the early years of building my business, was devoting an equal amount of time to all three of these pieces that ultimately create a business that will last. Because if one thing is for certain, it’s the importance of aligning your business with your purpose and passion.
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of running your business. But if you lose sight of why you started your business in the first place, you can easily become frustrated and find yourself on the path to burnout. Aligning your business with your purpose and passion will keep you motivated and moving forward towards your goals, rather than just working towards the next sale or crossing another task off your to-do list. Learn how to align your business with your purpose and passion. There are some basic steps you can take to help find the sweet spot between your purpose and your passion so that they complement each other instead of conflicting with one another. In fact, if you follow these steps, you’ll likely find yourself more fulfilled in the process of running your business than ever before!
Defining your purpose
Why are you in business? What motivates you to take risks? Do you have a purpose? What kind of change do you want to create in the world? If your business isn’t in line with your core values, it won’t be sustainable. When starting out, it might feel like success is defined by that big salary or being able to choose the hours you work—but when these things don’t happen right away, many entrepreneurs struggle when they lose sight of their motivation.
Defining your passion
The first step to aligning your business with your purpose is to define what you’re passionate about. If you feel stumped, ask yourself questions like: What activities give me energy? What kind of people do I enjoy spending time with? Are there any hobbies I love doing in my spare time? Do I dream about pursuing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time? You don’t have to know every answer right away—and perhaps you won’t be able to decide on just one passion—but asking yourself these questions will help get you started.
Defining your business
Once you’ve determined what your passion is, it’s time to turn that passion into a viable business. Begin by defining what your business will be—you can go broad or narrow, but once you’ve established some parameters, you can begin to explore your options. This part of starting a business can often take some time—it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to define their businesses several times before finding one that fits their skillset and market needs.
Creating the perfect balance
Successful businesses are led by people who have a true passion for what they do. If you have no passion, you’ll fail at some point. At some point, your energy will dry up. If it’s not something you enjoy doing, you won’t be able to stay on that path very long before dropping out. When you create the perfect balance within your business, you’ll be able to do it for years to come. Even when things get hard, you’ll be able to hold on to why you started and get through tough times. You’ll have a deeper connection to your work because it’s all connected to more than just a business idea.
Connecting to your ideal customer and client
The goal of any business is to provide value to customers. And you need to understand who your ideal customer is before you can truly provide them value. It’s critical that you connect with your customers on a deeper level than just what you sell—you want to identify your shared values, lifestyle, passions, etc. Once you do, it’ll be much easier for you to take risks because they’ll resonate deeply within yourself as well as others.
Passion can be a powerful source of motivation for running a business. But more importantly, it can also lead to more thoughtful decisions as you start and grow your business—decisions that could change your business’s trajectory. Whatever your business is, wherever it is going, passion will help you get there. Now go out there and build a purpose-driven company that makes a difference in its community. And remember: Keep following your passion!