The United States Declaration of Independence profoundly and accurately proclaims, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This incredible document confirms that you have the right—a natural law that cannot be taken away, denied, or transferred—to pursue happiness. This means it is your full responsibility as a human being of free will to identify and pursue your individualized purpose. When you do this with unwavering effort, happiness is your logical and obvious reward.
Unfortunately, most people have not been encouraged to follow their purpose and find lasting fulfillment. Many people attempt to find happiness by seeking an easy, self-centered, challenge free life instead of crafting a purpose-driven life filled with gratitude, awareness, and freedom.
The Entrepreneurs’ Quest
And freedom is the answer for the entrepreneurs’ quest. You will attain sustainable freedom to do what you want, when you want, where you want, and with whom you want when your purpose is ignited with desire, passion, focus, and action. Achieving freedom from money problems, guilt, past stories, and failed relationships is also the outcome when you actively choose to follow your purpose—a purpose that defines you and is bigger than you.
For some of you, answering questions related to your personal purpose is difficult because you are not ready or able to identify your true calling. Yet you can still learn and get closer to a purposeful life by using strategic planning and entrepreneurship as a way to develop skills, access greater insights, and cultivate personal growth. You can begin to work strategically, develop habits of listening to your own inner dialogue, and identify the types and aspects of business you like and don’t like.
Over time, this can be a path to discovering your purpose with experiences and stages of life bringing different perspectives. Entrepreneurship, as seen through this light, can be the path to self-awareness and the ultimate personal and professional development tool! So don’t worry; if you can’t get the personal purpose statement down in a snap right now, the process is still for you.
Over the next few moments, I hope to inspire you to clearly identify and articulate your own Personal Purpose Statement. The exercise is ultimately about why you are in business.
Ask yourself, what are your skills? What do you know, as in your education and knowledge? What things do you do that bring you the most joy? What are you most passionate about?
Case Study - A Purposeful Entrepreneur
When I meet a business owner who has aligned their personal and business purpose, the passion and results are obvious. Jennifer Parks sold cars in Tucson for ten years and was good at it.
Feeling she needed a major change, she decided to pursue her dream of helping people with alternative, complementary medicine. She enrolled in acupuncture school as a single mom, graduated, and started her own clinic, Jade Star Acupuncture & Wellness. Her desire to be the best healer and entrepreneur she can be was obvious as she fully devoted herself to improving her leadership and clinical skills, and investing in building teams, processes, and a professional brand.
She made errors and encountered distractions along the way, but I saw that her resolve was unshaken. In an industry that is slow to adjust and where most practitioners struggle to make ends meet, Jennifer has found a way to triple her sales in two years, hire additional acupuncturists, plan for moving into a bigger facility, and expand into other locations.
The process of developing personal and business purposes is not easy and is rarely done well in one fell swoop. Figuring out your “why’s” can be an intense, messy process. It requires digging around in your psyche and uncovering some hidden truths and forgotten dreams. It can make you wonder:
- Why and when did I make the decision to grow up and stop dreaming?
- Will I have to make any big changes to pursue my purpose?
- What will I gain from understanding my personal and business purposes?
- What is the real cost?
Is it possible to make a great living by doing something you love that brings you and others satisfaction and inspiration?
What is Your Personal Purpose Statement?
Have you ever watched Louis Armstrong play the trumpet? Steve Jobs demo a product? Serena Williams dominate a major? Phil Mickelson sink a winning putt? Alicia Keys sing an original song? Without a doubt, all of these people were born with immense talent, but more importantly, they figured out their purpose and then merged determined practice with an undeterred attitude to follow that purpose.
You were also born with unique talents and inherent potential. Have you identified them? Are you using your talents wisely? Have you fully connected them with your purpose? If not or just partially, you have an opportunity to start right now.