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Hey there guys, and welcome to another episode of The Unstuck Podcast. I'm Luke Scudder, and in today's episode we're going to be talking about finding our purpose and how that is really important to do when we're looking to start a business. So why is it so essential to understand our purpose when we start a business?
Because really it serves as a guiding compass in our strategic planning and decision making. It influences the direction of the company. It ignites innovation. It fosters a shared identity that shapes company culture, for instance, and it attracts like-minded people. So when you are looking for employees, and your customers, [00:01:00] it's going to attract like-minded people.
A clear purpose also provides resilience during challenging times and a greater sense of personal fulfillment. So if you are not aligned with what is your business wants to achieve, for instance, you are gonna start to feel dejected. It's going to feel unfulfilling. You're not going to be happy. So essentially a well-defined purpose breathes life into a business, impacting all aspects, including the business model, culture, customer engagement, and personal satisfaction.
So in today's episode, we're going to touch upon five steps that you can take to find your purpose and how that will align with a business. So we're gonna touch upon things like self-reflection and assessment visioning. Finding the intersection between your passion and market needs, the importance of testing and validating [00:02:00] and committing and pivoting.
So first of all, we need to understand purpose. What is purpose? So I'm gonna spend a little bit of time defining what that is in a context of business. And then we are going to. Discuss how purpose is so important and how it impacts your business strategy and personal satisfaction.
So in the context of business, purpose goes beyond making a profit. It's about identifying your organization's reason for being, what it stands for, and the impact it strives to make in the world. A business purpose is clear, succinct statement that expresses why the company exists. What problems is it trying to solve, and how it creates value for its customers, employees, or stakeholders, and society at large.
It serves as a compass that guides the company's decisions, actions, culture, and it [00:03:00] helps to align, inspire the whole team towards a common goal. So that is my definition of purpose when it comes to a business.
So how does purpose in a business impact the strategy and personal satisfaction? So it is crucial for both business strategy and personal satisfaction. From a strategic perspective, a clear purpose guides decision making, inspires innovation, and fosters resilience. In times of adversity, it helps to differentiate your business in a crowded market.
It's strengthening brand perception and customer loyalty. Purpose-driven companies tend to attract and retain top talent. As employees today seek workplaces that align with their values and make a positive impact.
From a personal perspective, understanding your business's purpose brings deeper meaning to your work. It [00:04:00] enhances job satisfaction, productivity, overall wellbeing. As you are not just working for a paycheck, but towards a cause that resonates with you, it instills a sense of pride and fulfillment knowing that your work contributes to something larger than yourself, for instance.
So now we know what purpose is and how that translates into business context. How can we find this purpose because first of all, we need to do work on ourselves as individuals before we can then go and start a business or grow a existing business, but drive your passion and your purpose into that company.
So I've developed five steps that I feel will help you to meet that goal. And by the end of this process, I believe that you would have A good idea of your purpose and how that could be translated [00:05:00] into your business. So the first step is the importance of self-reflection and assessment. We must always be reflecting on ourselves, and on how we see ourselves in the world.
So, As an entrepreneur, self-reflection and assessment and the process of introspection is crucial as it allows you to deeply examine your own values, your interests, your talents and passions, all of which will form the foundation of your purpose. And why is self-reflection so important?
Because understanding yourself is the gateway to understanding your purpose. It's about looking inward and questioning what truly motivates you, what you genuinely care about, and what you want to achieve beyond financial success. So I've put together some questions that you could ask yourself, which are quite powerful.
So first up, what activities or [00:06:00] tasks make you lose track of time? When do you feel the most fulfilled? What are you naturally good at? What impact do you want to make on the world? If money were no object, what would you be doing right now? So it's the answers to these questions that can provide valuable insights into the potential purpose.
Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. This is a personal exploration. It's aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of yourself.
So apart from self-reflection, there are various tools and exercises you can use to facilitate self-assessment. So these include various online assessment tools that can help you discover your natural talents and strengths. Knowing what you are naturally good at can help you align your business idea with your abilities, increasing your chances of success and satisfaction.
What I'll do is [00:07:00] I'll put the link to some online assessments that you can do in the show notes that are found on my website, so luke scudder.com/podcast. You'll find all my episodes there, and if you find this episode on my website in the show notes, there'll be some resources. I'll drop in some links there.
So I do have a values exercise as well, which is really important. So what I want you to do is make a list of values that resonate with you. So these are just some examples, so please choose your own, but these could be things like creativity, service, innovation, integrity, freedom. So you need to write a list of all the values that resonate with you.
Then I want you to narrow down that list to the top five core values. Reflect on how these values align with your current life and potential business idea.
Then the next exercise, which I think is really valuable [00:08:00] is journaling. Regular journaling can be powerful tool for self-reflection. It allows you to record your thoughts, ideas, feelings, observations over time, providing valuable insights into your interests, passions, and values. And then the last thing I've got here is a vision board, not for everyone, but can be really useful for many, many people.
Creating a vision board can be fun and of effective way of visualize your interests and aspirations. So include images, words, symbols, all the things that resonate with you and reflect your ideal life and business. So again, through self-reflection and assessment, you'll be better equipped to identify your purpose.
A crucial step that lays the groundwork of your entrepreneurial journey. No thyself is a timeless piece of advice that holds immense value, especially for those embarking on the path of entrepreneurship.
So step two is visioning. So [00:09:00] once you've embarked on the journey of self-reflection and assessment, which should always be an ongoing task, but for the purposes of what we're trying to achieve here, obviously you need to go through this process aleast once. So the next step towards discovering your purpose is visioning.
So this involves envisaging the future of your business and how it aligns with your personal goals and aspirations. So visioning is a powerful tool for identifying one's purpose. It allows you to project yourself into the future and picture what success looks like for you. Because success is a very subjective.
And is different for every single person. Many people will say the income that they make determines their success. Whereas for others it could be being loved, you know, a supportive family, happy family, or having health for instance, because many people would view [00:10:00] being healthy as successful.
So you need to define what success looks like for you. Otherwise, we don't know what we're aiming for. So again, not just in terms of monetary gains, but in terms of the impact you want to make, the kind of work you want to do and the lifestyle that you want to lead. Again, I've put some questions together that might help you to get the answers.
How do you want your business to impact the world? So it's a big question, but how do you want your business to impact the world? What problems do you want to solve for your customers or clients? How do you want to feel when you are working in your business? What does work-life balance look like for you?
So there four, really powerful questions that are gonna make you really think about what it is you want and what success will look like for you. The key here is to think beyond the constraints of your current situation and allow your [00:11:00] imagination to explore the possibilities so you know, if you are struggling financially, don't let that affect how you answer these questions. You are going to imagine you have nothing stopping you, nothing.
There's no hurdles, no barriers, no obstacles. So what is it you want? Once you have a clear vision of the future, you can start crafting a compelling vision for your business that aligns with your personal goals and aspirations.
A compelling vision statement should reflects your values and purpose. Your vision should be an embodiment of your values and the purpose you've identified through self-reflection. It should be future orientated. A vision isn't about the future.
It's about where you are going, not where you are. It should be inspiring and motivating. Your vision should energize and motivate you. It should be something you're excited to work towards. Be clear and concise, [00:12:00] avoid vague or complicated language. Your vision should be easily understandable and succinct.
Your vision may evolve as you progress on your entrepreneurial journey. This is perfectly normal and healthy. Your vision is meant to guide you and inspire you, not limit you. Keep revisiting it as you grow and learn more about yourself and your business. Visioning is an essential step towards identifying your purpose as an entrepreneur by imagining the future you want to create.
You align your entrepreneurial aspirations with your personal goals and values, and this paves the way for a business that is not just successful, but also personally fulfilling and meaningful.
Step number three is, Where we find the intersection between your passion and market needs. So I'll try and explain that in a, you know, make it a bit clearer. So discovering your purpose isn't solely about introspection, it's equally about understanding [00:13:00] the world around you, specifically the market in which you aim to operate.
A sustainable business is one that addresses a real need in the market. Hence, your purpose often lies at the intersection of your personal passion and what the market needs and what your customers value. So the best way to explain this is if you can imagine a Venn diagram. So that's a diagram that has circles and each circle represents a part of this.
So let's use three as an example as I have here. So your passion will be one circle. What the market needs will be in another and what customers value and what they're prepared to pay for will be in the third circle. And what we're gonna do, we're gonna push those three circles together to the point where they start to overlap just a little bit.
And this is where we start to get a piece that is in each of those three circles, and that is where we need to be. That [00:14:00] is the intersection between your passion and the market needs. Because it's all very well having a passion or an interest in something, but nobody wants it, there is no market for it.
You are not able to translate that into a viable business. So understanding market needs starts with keen observation and a lot of research. So start by identifying a sector or industry that you're genuinely interested in. Then dive into learning about the sector as much as you can.
And I've put three points here that will help you do this. So study the market, and this involves understanding the current market trends, the key players, their offerings, the gaps that exist. You can leverage resources like industry reports, market research data, business news, participating in industry conferences, webinars, networking events can also provide valuable insights.
Importantly, talk to potential customers who are your potential customers? One of the best ways to understand what customers value is by speaking [00:15:00] to them directly, conduct surveys, interviews, or a focus group to gather information about their needs, preferences, and pain points. Because without that information, we can't target a solution that they're gonna be willing to pay for.
So analyze your competitors. A lot of people worry about competition, but actually everyone can be unique and that can be our selling point. We shouldn't worry about competition, but we need to analyze the competition. We need to see what they're doing. We need to see what they're doing well, what they're not doing so well.
How could we be better? And the answers to these questions can help you identify potential opportunities.
And once you have a good understanding of the market needs, the next step is to match them with your interests. These involve looking at your passion skills, strengths that you've identified during the self-reflection stage, and seeing how these can address the needs you've discovered in the market. For instance, if you have a passion for [00:16:00] sustainable living and notice a gap in the market for eco-friendly products, there could be an opportunity to create a business that aligns with your purpose. Alternatively, if you are skilled in technology and see a need for a better software solution in a particular industry, your purpose could lie in addressing that need.
So wrapping up this step is finding the intersection between your passion and market needs is a crucial step in discovering your purpose. By identifying a need you're excited to address with your unique skills and interests, you pave the way for a purpose-driven business that not only fuels your passion, but also provides real value to your customers.
So step four is test and validate. So you've done the soul searching, you've scanned the market, you've identified an intersection between your passion and potential need. But before you dive head first into your new venture, there is an [00:17:00] essential step, and that's testing and validating your purpose-driven business idea.
So testing and validating your business idea are essential for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you to avoid costing mistakes later on. By identifying and resolving potential issues early, you can save yourself time, money, and heart take down the line. Secondly, it provides invaluable insights into your target audiences wants needs, and allowing you to fine tune your offering to better meet these needs. So how would you go about testing and validating your idea? Here are some practical steps that I've put together just to give you some ideas. So you may not have heard of these terms, so I will try my best to explain them as I go. So create an minimum viable product. It's abbreviated to mvp.
An MVP is a simplified version of your product that includes just enough features to satisfy early customers [00:18:00] and provide you with feedback for future development. It's cost effective way to test your product in the real world without investing too much time or resources in development. So let's put that into, Real world example, when Facebook first launched, for instance, it would've been it, the design would've been terrible.
It would've been functional, but it wouldn't have been pretty. But then again, back in 2005, most websites weren't also, it would've had very, very limited features and it would've had just enough to get people interested or liking the concept. And you know, mark Zuckerberg was then able to take feedback from its users to develop the Facebook that you see and use today.
So that's just one example. But MVPs exist through every industry, whether that's technology related or not. People will create a prototype, so it'll be a real bare bones basic version to seek, get feedback from our focus group, [00:19:00] for instance. So next up we're going to suggest that you conduct market research. Another key step in validation is conducting additional market research. This can take various forms from sending out surveys, questionnaires to conducting one-to-one interviews or focus groups. The goal is to gather as much information as possible about your target audience's need to, wants and expectations.
You could get feedback from potential customers. There's no substitute for direct feedback from a potential customer, whether it's through beta testing, social media polls, or just casual conversations. Seek out opportunities to engage with your target audience and get their honest feedback. Lean on your network.
Reach out to your mentors, peers, or other entrepreneurs in your network. Share your business idea and ask for their candid feedback. These individuals can provide valuable insights, advice, and possibly identify potential pitfalls you hadn't considered.[00:20:00] So remember, the goal isn't just to confirm that the idea is good.
It's also to identify potential problems or areas for improvement. Negative feedback isn't a sign of a failure. It's an opportunity to learn and grow. By testing and validating your idea, you can build a solid foundation for a purpose-driven business that truly resonates with your target audience. And stands the test of time.
So finally, step five is commit and pivot. So finding your purpose and building a business around it isn't one and done. Once it's done, it's done, because that just isn't how it works. It's an ongoing journey of discovery and adaption. This final step, commit and pivot, acknowledges the dynamic nature of this process and underscores the importance of resilience and flexibility while on your entrepreneurial journey.
So commitment. Once you found the intersection of passion and market need, [00:21:00] validated your idea and tested your assumptions, it's time to commit. This means making the conscious decision to pursue your purpose-driven business with determination and focus. It's about fully embracing your vision and taking consistent action towards making it a reality.
Commitment is crucial, especially in those inevitable moments when things don't go as planned, because they won't always go as planned. Remember, obstacles and challenges are not signs that your purpose is misplaced. They're a part of your journey. Your commitment to your purpose is what will drive you to overcome these hurdles and keep moving forward.
While commitment is essential, it's equally important to remain flexible. This is where the concept of pivoting comes into play. A pivot is a strategic shift or a new direction while still maintaining your core purpose. It's about being open to change and willing to adapt your approach based on new insights, experiences, and market [00:22:00] trends.
You might realize that a different product or service better aligns with your purpose and market need, or you might discover new ways to deliver value to your customers. Whatever the case may be, don't be afraid to pivot. Remember, the goal isn't to stick rigidly to your initial idea, but to build a successful, purpose driven business that stays true to your core values and aspirations. The journey to discover your purpose and translate it into a business is an evolving process. It's about introspection, visioning, finding the intersection between your passion and the market needs, testing your assumptions, and being committed and flexible enough to pivot as required. It might seem like a tall order, but the reward, a business that not only brings you success, but also deep personal fulfillment is worth every step.
So I'm gonna start to wrap up this episode, and I hope those steps are helpful. [00:23:00] So I'm gonna recap them quickly for you now. So step one was self-reflection and assessment vitally important, and that's an important step to take. Whether you are searching for your purpose or not, or starting a business or not, it's a really vital thing for our personal development.
Visioning, you know, we need to be able to know what we're working towards. And no matter how out there you think that vision may be, it's important that you, you take away Anything that you think would stop you now to take away those barriers to those obstacles, those challenges. Go all out and create that vision. Next up.
Step three was to find the intersection between your passion and market needs. This is where I explained the Venn diagram with you, and again, there will be a Venn diagram on my show notes for this episode on my website so you can see exactly what I mean. It will be relevant to this as well, so it'll be really good for you guys to be able to see that.
Step four in this process [00:24:00] was test and validate. So obviously we need to test the idea and validate the idea. We don't just wanna go blind into these things because you know, most of the time that will probably end badly, but you will learn a lesson at the end of it. But I highly advise you to test and validate.
And then lastly on step five was commit and pivot. So we need to commit to what we decide to do. But we also need to not be so stubborn perhaps, because a lot of people are, that we refuse to change and pivot. So we need to spot when things are working, when they're not working, and we need to not be afraid to pivot and shift in how our business will work.
So I encourage you all to take action on these steps, you know, because they will really, really help your journey. And if you can apply these into the business that you are going to start, or perhaps you've already started one. So perhaps you could [00:25:00] change some of the culture in that business if you're not getting the results you want.
Perhaps this could give you some ideas as to why maybe you are not attracting the right talent. Maybe you're not attracting the right customers. Could it be that the purpose of your business isn't well defined? So if you go through this process, This may better inform the decisions you make as a business owner.
So I want to thank you all for tuning in as usual. I value you all for taking the time to listen to my podcast I'm so grateful for those that do, I'm so grateful for the feedback that I received from my listeners. So if you have any positive, negative, or anything in between, let me know. Get on my website, drop me a message on there. What would you like me to talk about? How valuable do you find the content? Its those kind of things that help me grow, help me grow personally and help the podcast to grow.
So please, if you've taken any value from any of my episodes, share this episode with your friends, family, colleagues, [00:26:00] somebody that would get value from the content that I share with you guys or subscribe, you know, it will help in some way because by, you know, leaving a review, subscribing.
It all helps with the algorithms on the platform so it will show new people my podcast. So again, Thank you so much for your time and thank you for listening. Speak to you next week. Take care.