Dragons and 7 year olds – the real purpose of your business

sun in handA couple of days ago I shared a post on my personal Facebook page and my business page about a conversation I had with Miss 7, regarding an author who visited her school. He – and his message – left a lasting impression on her. It got lots of amazing feedback, both verbal and on FB, so I thought I’d share it here, and elaborate further on the poignancy of it….

The author had helped the children see how ‘ok’ it is to be different and actually how important it is to celebrate that difference.

The story he wrote and read them was about a dragon who couldn’t fly and was teased because of it. But he could ride a scooter like a champion….
The lasting words etched in Miss 7’s mind were “Always follow your sun.”
She had an inkling of what it meant…”always look on the bright side of life?”
But when I offered another suggestion: “always follow your purpose”, the flood gates of enquiry followed, as did the prickles of tears in my eyes.
“What’s my purpose in life mummy? What will I be when I grow up? Why am I here? What’s YOUR purpose mummy?…..”

Wow. Ok, ummm….

As it happens, I’ve been working on my legacy and my purpose recently. I’ve been challenged on it and made to think quite deeply about it. And what I realised, is that it doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it comes from deep inside you and really REALLY resonates with every fibre of your being. That’s not to say that your purpose has to be exceptionally lofty or globally affecting. You don’t have to want to cure cancer or save the world from poverty for it to be valid; it can definitely be more humble than that. However, I do think it needs to run deeper than simply wanting to be rich or famous.

What I know is that it is very difficult to run a business effectively and sustainably if you a) don’t believe deeply that what you sell is of value and b) that there is a bigger reason beyond finances and fame for what you are doing.  Life as an entrepreneur/small business owner can be tough. There are many highs and lows, but the lows are particularly difficult to navigate if you don’t have a bigger end game in mind. Finding motivation to pull you out of the darkness is nearly impossible without a purpose.

So this exchange with my daughter was uncannily timely. Two weeks ago I found, hidden in the recesses of my mind, the reason I’m doing what I’m doing. And it took me by surprise if I’m honest, because I didn’t think I knew what my purpose was anymore. Things have changed so much for me over the last few years, and again more heartily in the last 9 months, that I felt that my ‘big ass why’ had gone westward. The truth is, I simply hadn’t been encouraged to voice it until recently, and because I hadn’t voiced it, I wasn’t entirely sure that it existed. I had a suspicion, but I was sceptical about the strength of it as my true driver.

Standing up in front of a group of open hearted women, in a safe and supportive space with nowhere to hide, helped the truth flow. It made sense as it gushed out of my mouth, and the tears and wringing heart told me it was real.

My wish for all of my clients and fellow entrepreneurs is that they voice their reason for doing what they’re doing to someone, anyone! By giving it language, by giving it breath, you fuel it.  Finding your true purpose for being on this earth is SO important. Finding it young is an amazing gift, because you get to live more of it. But finding it at 85 is still amazing and worthwhile and imperative.

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