Make 2018 a Purpose-Driven Year, Part 1: Consider Your Why
The holidays … that magical time period between Thanksgiving and New Years. It’s the time I generally set aside to take stock of where I’m at in my life’s journey and regroup for the next year. Having just come off the tremendously supportive atmosphere and high energy of QuickBooks® Connect in San Jose, Calif., I’ve determined that my word for 2018 is PURPOSE. As I rethink my focus, I inch ever so closer towards my purpose, which will drive both my personal and professional endeavors.
Thinking about my approach for this year’s process got me thinking: Many of you out there may be struggling with YOUR life’s journey, or you may not know where to start the process, or you may not have problems getting started – rather, you may be stuck on how to continue with the forward momentum. As someone who’s spent several years helping individuals determine their life’s purpose, I realize that it’s just as important for us as small business owners and entrepreneurs to do the same. Therefore, I want to offer you some encouragement – and hopefully a jumpstart – to making YOUR 2018 a purpose-driven year! This article – Part 1 of a 3-part series – focuses on getting a handle on that first, and crucial, step to determining your purpose.
That first step? Considering your WHY. According to Mariette Martinez, an IRS Enrolled Agent, professional speaker, national trainer, community leader, Intuit® ProConnect™ blogger and self-described solopreneur based out of Los Angeles, Calif., she describes your WHY as being “basically your mission written down. It’s what drives you every day to create prosperity for your clients and allows you to build a purpose-driven path towards success.” Mariette shares the importance of this critical first step: “Start with your WHY to align your tasks. YOUR WHY should be aligned with your principles and values because your WHY comes from the ideas, goals and visions you are most passionate for. And, you MUST stay TRUE to your WHY as you MUST stay TRUE to your principles.”
Mariette shares a quote from Los Angeles-based digital strategist Maria Reyes-McDavis (and I fully agree): “You must define your WHY before you can begin with the WHAT and HOW.”
In essence, your WHY drives the entire process: from your focus, to your purpose, to tasks … EVERYTHING. As Mariette describes how your WHY drives profits in your business, she shares these three important points from her recent QuickBooks Connect presentation, “How to Increase Your Profitability as a Solopreneur.” These points are presented in equation form:
- Staying true to your WHY. When you know WHY you are doing what you do, it is easier to stay focused, even in the rough times! She shares Her WHY: “Mommypreneur to three munchkins ages one, 10 and 12.”
- + (Plus) Focus(ing) on what you do best. When you operate out of your Why, you leverage your strengths in whatever way to create efficiencies and economies of scale, either through implementing technology, outsourcing or a combination of both.
- = (Equals) Free(ing) up your time! Staying true to your WHY + focusing on what you do best allows you the ability to work fewer hours while still maintaining project profitability – which gives you more time to do the things you love to do: from pursuing other income-generating opportunities, to pursuing leisure pursuits such as traveling, reading, hobbies or anything in between!
After you’ve defined your WHY, the next steps are to determine the WHAT and the HOW. Related to the WHAT and HOW process is determining your Bliss – those things that bring happiness and meaning to your life. J.P. Hansen, Career Expert, Job Coach, and Best-Selling Author of “The Bliss List – Discover What Truly Makes You Happy – Then Land Your Dream Job!,” describes how the process of creating a Bliss List brings you closer to knowing and achieving your bliss. The Bliss List was written to help motivate, inspire and train folks just like us to follow our dreams. J.P. makes the point that if we are going to spend an average of 86,000 hours working, then we should be able to experience bliss in our life and work.
My next article, Part 2, will focus on the WHAT; the final article, Part 3, will focus on the HOW.