by Lorraine Hart
When was the last time you thought about your purpose or the purpose behind your business? By purpose, I mean the intention, i.e., something we want to do or achieve. We all have thought about or developed purposes for our businesses and many areas of our lives. Although many of us may have similar purposes, most have different degrees of dedication to achieving our purposes. While the purpose for some may simply be a nice to have, for others the purpose may be so important as to be a passion.
An example of a purpose might be to have an expanding, profitable contracting business which provides homes that people will enjoy. A doctor’s purpose might be to preserve or restore the health of his patients so that they can lead longer and happier lives. On the personal side, a purpose might be to have a healthier lifestyle. My purpose is to help business owners achieve their goals and become more effective, efficient and profitable.
I recommend that you look at or define your purposes for your business. In doing so, I suggest you visualize what you would like your clients to have as the result of working with you. In addition, look at how large you would like your business to be. In defining your purpose, I would like to caution you against purposes such as “making money,” which would be the purpose only of the federal mint or a counterfeiter.
In his writings on management, author L. Ron Hubbard discusses some of the elements of the best organizations. “Such an organization must have a clear-cut purpose and fill a definite need in order to survive.” He goes on to say “If you know the purpose and how to make a desirable service known and know how to handle its fundamentals expertly, you can establish, increase or revive any organization.”
From what I have observed, the more passionate you are about your purpose, the more successful you will be in achieving it. This can be seen in business as well as in our lives. Those who are passionate about achieving their purposes usually set targets to help them succeed. A target can be thought of as a sub-purpose or an objective one intends to accomplish in a given period of time.
For the business owner who wants to have a profitable, expanding contracting business, targets might include obtaining a professional certification or winning an award such as the Contractor of the Year (CotY). For the individual who wants a healthier lifestyle, targets might include weight loss, quitting smoking or even preparing to run a marathon.
When the purpose is simply a ‘nice to have’, there is little passion and as a result little activity devoted to making it a reality. However, when we are really passionate about our purposes, we will tend to go beyond and sometimes way beyond what is expected. It is as if the purpose becomes part of who we are.
In business, as in life, we need to make our purposes, products and activities known. Even in the case of the marathon runner, he will want to let others know about his purpose. He will work on the fundamentals needed to achieve his desired purpose and he will plan his strategy and work the plan. Unfortunately when there isn’t enough real passion, the motivation wanes and the former purpose becomes yet another failed dream. In business, it is critical to make our purposes known. Not only do the business owner and management team need to know and embrace the overall purpose, but for real success, the entire staff needs to be on board.
By getting your team committed to the purpose and communicating it to clients and prospective clients, you will have taken the first big step to achieving your purposes and the resulting success of your business.
I welcome your thoughts.
About the author: About the author: Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting Services who have been providing business consulting, coaching and training to small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. She is a national member of NARI and is also a regular contributor to the Texas Home and Garden blog and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. Lorraine can be reached at 832-569-5079 or www.idealconsulting.net.