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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.”

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.

Once you know your purpose, you can also create a successful company that makes the world a better place. A purpose-driven business can be very profitable as a single business around a great product or service with a fully integrated Customer Journey. Or by connecting with other businesses in your industry and coming together as a collective to remodel the business model and create change.

Purpose-driven businesses are successful for several reasons.

  • More motivated and energised employees who have better job satisfaction and stay longer
  • Your customers love purpose-driven brands with excellent customer service! They will be loyal and talk to others.
  • Purpose and values-driven businesses are proven, over time, to out-perform others in their industry by a factor of twelve.*

Simon Sinek who has given one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time states in a 2017 HBR article,

“Profit isn’t a purpose. It’s a result. To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others.”

Linzi Boyd and Darren Shirlaw from the wildly successful Business of Brand (BoB)** say purpose is deeply aligned with 21st century thinking about business and is a more balanced approach to society, purpose beyond Profit and legacy beyond fame. People will drive an integrated approach to the whole of the business model and how they connect with other people and businesses to create the change.

The 20th century was all about Profit. How do you make more money? How do you keep food on shelves longer by putting chemicals into foods? How do you put make water and put it in plastic bottles?

The 21st century is moving you away from a profit mindset and moving you into what we describe as purpose being the new currency and being able to deliver purpose beyond profit and legacy beyond fame.

What 21st Century problem can your business can solve?

Linzi and Darren love to tell the story of getting out of bed in the morning and giving yourself an hour to get ready for work. How long does it take you to get ready for work? Everyone says an hour. If you get out of bed and you’ve only got ten minutes to get to work, what your brain says is how the hell am I going to get out of the house in ten minutes and let’s solve that problem.

What problems are you solving for your business today? Whatever you write on a whiteboard and give yourself as the problem, is what your brain will solve. In the 20th century, what people did in business was mainly try to solve the problems related to production. The 20th century was all about: how do we produce more, and how do we produce it faster; how do we become more efficient, and how do we make more money?

In the middle of the 20th century, somebody said how do we keep food on the shelves in the supermarkets longer, and they came up with solutions like wrapping things in plastic or putting chemicals in food. And at the time, those people would have been seen as coming up with a fantastic innovation. What they didn’t realise, of course, was the fallout to the human race and society.

And so what we’re looking at now is what are the problems human beings are giving themselves going into 21st century? And specifically, if you sit down and think what problems are people giving themselves coming out of this recession? What are the change impacts that are occurring in society right now?

Once you answer these questions for yourself and align the answers with your purpose, you are on the path to creating a successful purpose-driven business.

*The Power of Purpose-Driven Business
**Business of Brand – BoB