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Purpose has become a buzzword for business over recent years. Maybe for you, as for many of us, it has been something to tick off on your ‘to do’ list in the space your mission statement used to occupy.

Is it a set of words that may ring true, but you struggle to apply it into your everyday business life?

The most crucial aspect of purpose is that it must be thought about, lived and talked about.

It must come from deep inside you, from your gut, and your heart. Purpose when clearly articulated is motivational and is the central core of all that you do.

Hopefully, you can understand the power of living ‘on purpose’ and why it’s so important.

When we take our purpose and apply it to our business, one of two things can happen:

  1. We realise we’re in the wrong business!
  2. Our business takes on a whole new life and meaning.

If you fall into the first category, this is exciting: it’s an opportunity to get out and find a new business that aligns with you and your purpose. Reaching this level of clarity is a gift, as it will save you a lot of wasted time staying in a business that doesn’t align with you. A telling sign that this is the case is an internal feeling of relief.

If you fall into the second category, this can be a pivotal turning point in your business life cycle and your life in general.

For example, here’s how this played out for a client, John, who started working with me when his business had been going for 12 years quite successfully. However, he was bored and disengaged with his customers. So he had started to create side hustle projects that weren’t going anywhere fast. Although he didn’t understand the value of identifying his purpose, he accepted the idea. As soon as we’d uncovered his purpose and how his business aligned with it, John became reinvigorated, his passion revived, and he was supercharged on his path again.

In an article in 2017 in Forbes magazine* a purpose driven-business is described as ‘one that has unlimited potential to change the world.’

“With purpose, a company can create positive value that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Some of the greatest purpose-driven companies of our generation, like eBay, Tesla and Airbnb, have also produced some of the largest profits and highest valuations.”

When you’re developing a business, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that it has a mission statement. The mission statement defines what the enterprise is planning to achieve through its efforts. While many companies set up their mission statement before they start working, they, unfortunately, don’t follow through to make their mission into a reality. The result is that the mission statement is a collection of words with no meaning.

Having a purpose-driven business means taking the mission statement and turning it into more than just a motto. Competent leaders can use the mission statement to guide their decisions and direct the company to what it seeks to be. Here, 15 members of Forbes Business Council discuss several ways to create a purpose-driven business in the 21st century.

Purpose is about losing yourself— in something greater than you. Once you know your purpose, you can touch the lives of others in a positive way and leave a legacy. This can be in the form of a product or service that genuinely changes lives. It can also be a foundation you set up and contribute to for future generations.

Ultimately, your purpose is one of the most powerful driving forces you can have in your business. So if you haven’t figured yours out yet, perhaps now is the right time.