Finding Your Purpose

By Gary Hazelberg, Grandy & Associates

Finding your purpose can be very important for you and for your company. 

Defining your purpose and communicating it will give your company focus and will help employees and your company achieve goals.

Simon Sinek explains it great in his book: “Start with the Why”

“Studies show that over 80 percent of Americans do not have their dream job. If more knew how to build organizations that inspire, we could live in a world in which that statistic was the reverse—a world in which over 80 percent of people loved their jobs. People who love going to work are more productive and more creative. They go home happier and have happier families. They treat their colleagues and clients and customers better. Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economies.”

People will love their work if they understand why they are doing what they are doing, in other words what is the purpose of the company.

Do you need to add another statement to your company, you already have a mission statement…do you really need to write a purpose statement as well?  A mission statement and a purpose statement are different, both are important things to communicate to your company. 

A mission is what you do, while a purpose is why you do it.  Here are some examples of the difference between mission and purpose:

  • A mission is operating a business while a purpose is sharing a dream.
  • A mission is motivational while a purpose is aspirational, defining a true north.
  • A mission provides focus while a purpose fuels passion.
  • A mission builds a company a purpose builds a community.

A purpose statement is the Why you do things in HVAC, landscaping, pool maintenance or plumbing.  What you do is HVAC, landscaping, pool maintenance or plumbing, why you do it your purpose.  The purpose of your business may be to provide your customers with the best quality systems installed by the most experienced technicians or it may be to provide great jobs for your employees.  Think about why you originally went into business, what makes you unique or what gets you out of bed every morning.  What made you take that leap from employee to owner.   

  • What gets you up in the morning?
  • Why do people buy from you?
  • Are you providing a different product or service?
  • Do you have a different product audience?
  • Are you solving a particular pain point that no one else is solving or better than anyone else?
  • How do you enhance your customers lives?

Sit down with people you know and trust, inside and outside of your business, and have them help you define your purpose.  Once your purpose is defined it is important that you talk about it with your team.  Studies have shown that people are drawn to a company with a will defined purpose.  In this highly competitive hiring environment, it is important to define your purpose so your prospective hires will understand the type of company you are and why you do what you do.

A Purpose statement should be short and to the point so everyone can understand it easily. 

Have you ever seen a commercial on TV that doesn’t advertise the products they sell and wonder why did they spend all that money and not talk about their products?  They were probably talking about their purpose and they were advertising to get potential employees and customers to understand the purpose of their company. 

Reading some examples of purpose statements can help:

  • American Family Insurance
    • We’re dedicated to inspiring, protecting and restoring your dream.
  • Ford Motor Company
    • To drive human progress through freedom of movement.
  • CVS Pharmacies
    • Helping people on their path to better health.
  • Kellogg’s
    • Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.

Would reading these examples make you want to work for these companies over their competition? 

Clearly defining your purpose can really help during the hiring process.  First, the prospect will better understand the company they are looking at getting involved with. Second, the company with a defined purpose will have a great idea of whether this person will fit into the company and provide a contribution. 

Purpose statements can also help managers and other employees make some of the decisions that come up during a normal day.  Asking the question; does this decision I am going to make line up with the company’s stated purpose? 

It is a hard job to define your purpose, but it is worth it.  It is easy to get sidetracked on the pursuit of your purpose. So set a very specific defined agenda for getting your purpose defined and how you are going to communicate it. 

Once you have defined your purpose, talk it up, with your employees and make sure your customers are aware of it as well.  It will pay back financially, but also in happier employees and customers. 

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