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On Purpose. Why Having a Purpose is Critical to Your Business Success

These days it is easier than ever to start a business. You have a skill, a gift, a service, inspiration and an internet connection and you are ready!

I coach a lot of entrepreneurs and wanna-be business owners, and what separates the good from the great is something called purpose. Without a clear purpose, your business at best will never reach its full potential, and most likely fail.

In its most literal form purpose is defined as the reason why something is done or created. Use the word purpose as a verb it is your intention or objective.

Having a purpose for your business and being able to clearly and succinctly express it creates the foundation for success.

According to the US Labor Statistics 50% of small businesses don’t make it beyond the 5-year mark.

To ensure you end up on the right side of the business start-up tracks I recommend investing some time getting clear on the following 3 questions to provide clarity on the purpose of your business:

Why did you start your business?

OK let’s state the obvious, chances are you started your business to make some moolah. Whether you need WAM (walking around money) or funds to make the mortgage payment next month, money is a great reason to start a business. But, starting your business ONLY to make money isn’t enough.

Today’s consumers want to work with, and buy from people and companies they connect with in some way. So, for now, let’s agree that we all have money on our WHY list. In finding your purpose, the challenge is to go beyond the money. Ask yourself why did you start this business? What was it that inspired you? Was it to share your passion, help others, make life easier or perhaps meet and unmet need?


“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

-Simon Sinek


What is your unique perspective?

What makes your business, product or service different? I work with clients on finding their “Secret Sauce;” that unique cocktail of your personal strengths, passions and experiences that make you, well YOU.

What is your personal story behind this business? What was your journey? What are your taking a stand for? What do you believe in? Does it show up in your business?

There is an often used saying, that there really are no original ideas anymore. That we are simply recycling the same wisdom, over and over. Fulfilling the same needs with a slightly different mousetrap. This may very well be true, but I believe that what makes businesses powerful is the story. The Journey. The Secret Sauce, or spark unique to each one of us. To begin to define your purpose take inventory of the story behind it.

Who is your customer?

Whose life are your making easier? Is it women who work? Left handing coffee drinkers? Knowing your customer is critical component to defining and aligning your purpose. Knowing your customer; their values, worries and dreams helps you clearly connect the dots between their needs and your offering. Spend some time getting to know your target customer and you'll be on the path to purpose.

Knowing your purpose, has a way of lighting your path. It is tool that will provide perspective, enable smart decisions, differentiate your offering and provide a spring board to impact.

Cape Town entrepreneurs make sure you don’t miss my upcoming workshop Business Plan You! Where in a four-hour workshop we’ll create a business plan with purpose. You can register on my website at:

or on Quicket at:

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