You may be asking why purpose is important in your journey to Entrepreneurship. Being aware of your purpose will enable you to lead with intention.
One of the best ways to energise the work of an entrepreneur and fill it with joy, fun and passion is to connect with your purpose and lead with intention. Personally, I have found that leading with intention helps to minimise the toll that continuously working hard can sometimes take one you – the stress, tension or worry is substituted by a positive mindset that supports a stronger self, team and business. As I continue to build Gen A Consultancy, whilst developing and supporting entrepreneurs on their internationalisation journeys, I have understood that filling one’s work with meaning makes crafting a business not only pleasurable but also more productive.
In other words, the journey of Entrepreneurship is not only about you becoming a business owner, it’s about you becoming a leader – it’s about who you are becoming! So, how do we become purpose-driven leaders?
Firstly, as the question suggests, know what drives you!
Entrepreneurship is challenging. It is continual work, and the results typically come further down the road. One way to help sustain your energy, focus and positivity all through your journey along the path less travelled is to put in the work. Do you know you? Are you okay with you? And do you understand your why?
Most entrepreneurs understand the pain point that their product or service is solving, but if your purpose is not in congruence with your business, you are likely to burn out or lose momentum. Just as businesses perform better when they have an intentionally crafted purpose, the same applies to individuals! One way you can achieve this independently is by engaging in mindfulness or meditation practices. For those that need accountability, working with a coach who guides you in the direction of recognising your purpose can help you connect with your deeper why. This in turn gives you the permission to lead with greater confidence and energy – key elements needed to grow your business.
Secondly, understand what drives other people.
It is a worthwhile exercise to spend time understanding what inspires people working with and for you. If the people around you are excited, they will naturally have more energy and focus to apply to the project they are working on and the business overall. Research has shown that managing people by cultivating their strengths can enhance performance more effectively than attempting to mould people into something that they are not. We often hear the term ‘organisational culture’… well, to establish an environment where everyone is excited to show up and put their best foot forward, learn what motivates each of your people, partners and peers.
Teaching by demonstration gives a higher probability that those you entrust with responsibility for managing people and processes embody the values of your business and are ready to inspire and support others as you would!
Demonstration over discussion!
Trust is a fragile concept and in particular in business, people look to see if what you do is authentic and trustworthy. As a leader, you must therefore personify your brand and your brand’s values. I have endured numerous partnership conversations where the underlying intention and the words/actions are out of alignment. A leader who has worked on themselves and can specify their purpose, can more easily represent their business values. How you choose to show up does not only establish the internal culture, but it also impacts how your clients and potential clients view you and the business. Not maintaining the brand’s values has a knock-on effect whereby nobody else will feel the need to do so either.
Focus on creating a positive impact.
Aiming to create a positive impact in your work can help you to garner the energy you need to persist in spite of challenges. My business is driven by the awareness that more can and should be done to put Africa on the map as a viable place to do business. I realised just how little the world of business knows about this continent and how to bring meaningful sustained change rather than continuing the dependence on aid and charity. I wanted to share that information worldwide so that true co-creation of sustainable solutions between the Global North and the Global South is made possible.
Recently, I attended a ‘What is your story?’ conference that helps leaders to reflect on how your work impacts other people. Recognising that you are having a positive impact on society can help to infuse a sense of purpose into your work.
Finally, remember - there is no such thing as failure, only feedback from the environment!
We all make mistakes. You may not succeed first time around. However, cultivating a mindset in which failure is seen as direct feedback from the environment can set you up for long-term success. Turn perceived failures into learning opportunities out of which knowledge and growth can be enjoyed. Additionally, it is important to develop the resilience to deal with setbacks as they arise.
If you have been thinking about starting your own business or another venture, I hope that this week’s article has helped you to consider some important steps you need to take to succeed.
Be intentional and lead with purpose.
To your success!