Purpose: Success driver for entrepreneurs or just a fad?
Starting a venture can be extremely rewarding. Successful entrepreneurs endure long preparation periods. Preparation is extremely challenging, often goes unrecognized, but is key to understanding if the venture is growing or is in an endless development cycle.
It is hard to maintain your entrepreneurial enthusiasm.
During tough moments negative feelings are normal. Preparing in advance is a great strategy. A clear purpose empowers the entrepreneur by:
- Sustaining entrepreneurial enthusiasm;
- Helping deal with negative feelings;
- Developing a feeling of personal fulfillment;
- Guiding the entrepreneurial process;
- Inspiring others to follow;
- Funneling the founder(s) passion into a shared vision.
When founders find their purpose
To be constantly in search of something (solution to a problem, a group of people in need of a solution or a business model) is not something everyone is made for.
Early-stage entrepreneurs are always searching for something.
Knowledgeable entrepreneurs are driven by an overarching purpose to create value directly impacting the vision, mission, initial strategy and team of the venture.
Purpose is the driver of entrepreneurship.
Purpose sustains the founder(s) during rough patches, draws others towards ideas and builds shared vision. An argument sustained by Melissa Carson, Pace University.
“If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs
Finding your purpose is a time-consuming process. Finding and communicating your purpose is a trial and error exercise and you will feel vulnerable.
We all struggle when doing things we dislike. You should, at least, struggle while doing something you love!
Pursue your passion. What could be more fulfilling?
Having a clear purpose statement will guide your entrepreneurial. Successful entrepreneurs achieved “glory” because of their persistence. The best leaders and entrepreneurs follow their intrinsic motivations and find their strengths with it.
Wear failure as a badge of pride.
Purpose helps entrepreneurs deal with failure, learning from it. Failure can easily bring out negative feelings. Having a specific greater purpose will give you the energy and inspiration to continue.
Purpose creates enormous benefits.
“There are two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”- Simon Sinek
Purpose makes employees dare to explore, challenge, insist, and keep pushing. Successful entrepreneurs remain engaged; and are able to surround themselves by great people and empower them. A Queen’s University study found that team productivity rises 15% when employee engagement is high. A well-defined purpose leads to more engaged and productive employees.
Employee engagement positively impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty. The same Queen’s University study found that customer satisfaction is 30% greater with higher employee engagement. Ventures with a higher purpose more easily gain traction.
The community in which you operate (or wish to) is, likely, in need of help. Businesses (consequently startups) represent the best way to change communities. A purpose-driven venture has a greater far-reaching impact on its communities.
After finding your Business Model
As your venture grows, instrumenting your purpose is a challenge. Purpose will drive the company’s vision and its culture. This is what provides the organization and all its components with the energy and drive to succeed.
Purpose is for the founders what vision is for companies.
Bringing it all together
Being an entrepreneur is a challenging endeavor; only a select few are made for it. Purpose is a driver for entrepreneurial success/survival playing a role on the self, others and the future organization.
Despite being often overlooked and little discussed, defining a purpose and instrumenting it is one of the first activities one should undertake in the entrepreneurial process.