Becoming an entrepreneur can happen because of a multitude of methods. It may be on purpose or due to you becoming laid off. Or it may be a random stroke of genius that causes you to say, "It''s time to make it on my own". I fell into the category of "playing it safe", which is always what I advise; keeping a safe, secure job but moonlighting and getting your company started on the side and on weekends. After much hard work, and years in business (we just celebrated 11 years in business on January 11th), I realized I missed the mark and have been missing a critical piece to help move my business to the next level.
That critical piece I missed was having a defined core purpose. Some people call it a mission statement; others call it a vision statement. I refer to it as a core purpose. This purpose is the reason you get out of bed every morning. It's something that will be with you in good times and in bad and help drive you like there is no tomorrow.
Two of my favorite companies have the exact same purpose:
Zappos.com's purpose is to deliver happiness.
Disney's purpose is to bring happiness.
While Zappos.com has changed its purpose around slightly over the past few years, I believe that they have always been in the happiness business; it just took them a little longer to figure out that true core purpose. The "why" behind everything is the core purpose.
When I first started out (age 15) my purpose was simple: to make money. Heck, at age 15 who is going to think about anything other than that? Yes, I wanted to help my clients, but my purpose was cash. Over the years it has evolved into the purpose of helping others make more money through marketing, design and strategy. While this was true, I finally realized it wasn't powerful enough.
After many hours of reflecting and meditation, I had my 'Eureka' moment. The purpose for my company, Taz Solutions, Inc. is as follows: to turn dreams into reality. The dreams we are turning into reality are the dreams of our clients and our employees. From my experience, when you manage your team based around dreams, and help them check some of the dreams off that list, they become ever grateful and will work night and day to help you thrive.
Here's my challenge to you: define your core purpose before jumping in too far. Once you think you have it down, ask yourself "Why?" several times to ensure you have your true core purpose. After a year or two, think about it again to really be certain you have that true purpose because, once you do, you and your business will become an unstoppable force.
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