The Importance of Living and Working with Purpose
Until earlier this year, when I started my career with Mentor Works, I felt like nothing that I did really mattered. I felt empty, like I wasn’t contributing in a way that made a difference to myself or to society. I often attribute this to an education system that provides lots of “what” (the material needed to be learned) but very little “why” (the purpose behind learning it). In most facets of life, it’s easy to get caught up in the task at hand and not focus on the reasoning behind it, although doing so can limit personal achievement and passion for completing tasks. It’s become overwhelmingly obvious to me that the purpose must be understood before people can contribute in a way that adds true value.
How I Began my Shift towards Purpose
I enjoy what I do on a daily basis not solely because of the tasks that are involved, but because I feel like I’m progressing in my role and that what I do makes a difference.
Since graduating university and joining Mentor Works as a Marketing Analyst, my purpose is to become the best marketer I can be, provide value to clients, and present Canadian government funding in a way that the average business owner can understand. Why has this become my mind set? Because Mentor Works helps small businesses secure funding that can enable them to become more profitable, contribute to the economy, increase employment opportunities, and so on. I love helping small businesses grow and Mentor Works provides me the purpose needed to contribute my time so that clients can succeed. I enjoy what I do on a daily basis not solely because of the tasks that are involved, but because I feel like I’m progressing in my role and that what I do makes a difference.
What is Purpose and Why is it Important?
Purpose, often defined as “the reason for which something is done or created,” is the only real factor that drives people to act. All great business leaders hold their positions because they have the ability to understand a company’s purpose, then effectively communicate purpose to all levels of employees and generate a sustainable business model around that purpose. Purpose keeps leaders working early in the morning, late at night, and at most points between. Not only does purpose allow for people to work harder and longer, but it even allows them to enjoy this contribution. By buying into a purpose and reflecting on it, one can achieve almost anything that they set out to do.
Successful People who Communicate their Purpose Effectively
My shift towards purpose was not something I envisioned alone. Over the last several years, I have watched, listened, and learned from some of the most successful people alive who all have the ability to communicate purpose. Here’s some of the most influential to my journey so far:
- Joe Rogan is a professional comedian, commentator for the UFC, and is part owner of the total human optimization company, Onnit. His peak mental and physical conditioning are directly attributed to his purpose of being the best person you can be through exercise, proper nutrition, being respectful, and providing total effort in whatever task needs to be done. Despite his past success, fame, and fortune, he continues to work harder and excel in areas of his life which he’s passionate about.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist best known for his reinvention of “Cosmos”, a popular television show which details our place in space and time. Since childhood, Neil has been fascinated with space and has devoted his life to studying it. Sharing his captivation and knowledge of the universe has always been his purpose, and the energy and passion which he brings makes it apparent that he’s fulfilling his life’s purpose. There is nothing he would rather do than continue learning and continuing to educate others.
- Joey Diaz is a professional comedian and life coach. One of the common themes in his podcast “The Church of What’s Happening Now” is hard work, specifying that what you put out will always come back to you. A driving purpose in his life revolves around “justifying your existence”, or making each day count by doing what you love, setting goals, and achieving those goals through hard work.
Businesses Must Provide Purpose to be Successful
There are several reasons why businesses need to cultivate and communicate a purpose. The most important of these reasons, from my perspective, is that employees will buy into purpose and provide higher quality work. Over the last few months, I’ve been evaluating Mentor Works’ vision statement more closely and it’s transformed the way that I approach my job. Since buying in, I’ve noticed that I’m no longer concerned about individual projects, rather I’m seeing the business’ marketing efforts as a piece of the bigger picture. I’m no longer working to satisfy the needs of my company, I’m working to help Canadian small businesses grow and leverage opportunities they might not have had otherwise. I’m helping companies to hire new graduates, train their employees, expand production capabilities, and export into new markets. To me, few purposes could inspire me the way Mentor Works’ vision has.
Another way purpose can help businesses is through the perception of customers. When a business has a purpose, they transcend single transactions and enable customers to connect on a deeper level. The best illustration of this is through Virgin C.E.O. Richard Branson’s purpose. One of Virgin’s mantras, “Do good, have fun, and the money will come” is a direct window into the company’s purpose. Money is the least important factor in their success, rather focusing on supporting their internal and external customers, and having fun while doing so will create the environment necessary for success. When you “do good” (i.e. execute your purpose) and have fun while doing so, failure is rarely ever an option.
Does Mentor Works’ purpose align with your business’ initiatives?
While formulating a purpose is ultimately up to each business leader, it’s also necessary to have the resources for building a purpose-driven business. Businesses seeking to implement an “A-Team” of motivated employees should consider Canadian government grants for hiring and training initiatives. Want to learn how? Contact Mentor Works and our team of Canadian Government Funding Experts will be happy to show you the how government grants and loans can help build a better, more purposeful company.