Why Create A Business With Passion, Purpose And Meaning?
Do Awesome Sh.it has been growing incredible rapidly. Far more than my expectations. From a simple Facebook post back in June, to running workshops, planning business retreats and welcoming Beate to the team as marketing director.
Beate has asked me to write an ‘inspirational post’, at first I thought this would be easy, but the more I researched, the deeper I dived into theories on motivation, happiness, team work and even a backlash against having a purpose in life! (If you haven’t been following, life purpose and passion has been the foundation of Do Awesome Sh.it).
The deeper I dug, I found more about what motivates us as human beings, the opportunities in an ever changing world and how passion and purpose drives meaning. Essentially, it confirmed why in so little time, Do Awesome Sh.it is where it is today.
In this blog, I’ll be exploring why we its easier, better and more fun to grow a business based on passion, purpose and meaning…
The importance of awesome
This morning I woke to this amazing message:
Okay isn’t thrilling, it isn’t passion, it isn’t the reason you get up everyday. So what is?
I recently read Seth Godin’s ‘Tribes’. In a brilliant little story he tells how he couldn’t sleep so was emailing at 4am in a hotel lobby. A couple walk past and say “Isn’t that sad? That guy comes here on vacation and he’s stuck checking his email. He can’t even enjoy his two weeks off.”
Seth goes on to say, “I think the real question — the one they probable wouldn’t want to answer was, ‘Isn’t it sad that we have a job and a life where we spend two weeks avoiding the stuff we have to do fifty weeks a year?’”.
I love what I do, the endless possibilities of Do Awesome Sh.it, the working with people to make greater change in their lives and grow exceptional businesses is thrilling, it gets me up in the morning and I don’t mind checking emails at 4am when I can’t sleep.
Sometimes I do get jealous of my friends. The security that comes with a monthly pay check. Guaranteed to have every weekend stress free and to go to work again on a Monday. Being able to go on holiday and switch off from anything and everyone. But honestly, I’d never trade in what I do now.
Passion and Purpose
I recently wrote a post directed on finding your passion and purpose, whilst also arguing against the critics. Passion and purpose for me comes down to meaning. Having a greater meaning is what brings happiness, drive and a fulfilling life.
The world’s biggest problems = the biggest business opportunities
A few years ago I read a book called Abundance by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It showed me how the world isn’t as doomy and gloomy as I once thought. We’re constantly bombarded with bad news through every media channel imaginable twenty-four-seven. No wonder we’re in constant ‘fight or flight mode’.
However, Diamands and Kotler show how exponential technological advances are opening up new possibilities in knowledge, communication and business. It was with great excitement that I started their latest book: ‘Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World’.
They argue that the ability to solve the world’s problems has become democratised. For the first time ever, a passionate and committed individual has access to the technology, minds and capital required to take on bigger opportunities and challenges. The worlds biggest problems such as climate change, population growth, scarce resources are all coming to head, giving even better reason for us as individuals to create greater change in the world.
Which brings me on to motivation. New research in motivational behaviour is showing how passion and purpose that develops meaning results in greater happiness.
For much of the last hundred years, motivational theorists, scientific management theorists and business strategists have focused on extrinsic rewards.
The if I do this, then I’ll get that. For example, in our work lives, people go into a career for the ‘if then’ of promotion, a bonus or retirement.
In our personal lives we live towards small rewards, such as watching TV on the sofa after a hard days work or looking forward to a holiday.
Paul Dolan in his book on Happiness, explores how these small rewards are are not as fulfilling to happiness as we think, compared to small life style changes which put us in a state of flow in our work and creativity.
I know that I’m far happy, in a state of flow, working hard on something I enjoy, with a background of greater meaning, than I ever have been watching a movie.
If you want to find out more about drive and motivation read Dan Pink’s ‘Drive’. For a quick summary watch this video on the surprising truth about what motivates us:
What about money?
The on going argument of if I just ‘earn’ X, then I can have ‘X’, make a difference in the world and command my own happiness.
The Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman took a wide amount of empirical research on money and happiness, to show one amazingly interesting finding:
If you plot income along side happiness and life satisfaction. Once you reach $70,000 (yes this is a US based study) increases in happiness and life satisfaction are flat.
The third drive
Daniel Pink highlights a third drive, the one that truly motivates us as human beings:
“Our Deep-Seated Desire To Direct Our Own Lives, To Extend And Expand Our Abilities, And To Fill Our Life With Purpose”.
Passion and Purpose — The Foundation of Awesome Businesses
So why start a business? We could start for money, for time, to be our own boss, for creative fulfilment or legacy.
But to get any of that, passion and purpose as a foundation is what will make a business grow. The bottom building block that firstly drives our happiness, meaning and flow in life, but also the strategic growth of our any business.
This is the ‘triangle’ which forms the foundation and thinking behind Do Awesome Sh.it, building a business for your own unique experiences and meaning in life.
Let’s look at how the foundation of passion and purpose informs every aspect of your business…
Once we have our passion and purpose we know what drives us. Experiences and doing things are better than rewards are better than physical things.
Income vs. work life balance — the desire to be in control of our own lives.
Creative Fulfilment — to do the work we love whilst extending and developing our own capabilities.
Legacy — to fulfil our lives with purpose and meaning.
Personal Development and Fun — to make sure we experience life to the full, never just working for money whilst growing as individuals.
To argue the importance of brand is not the purpose of this post. However, its fair to say that emotional connections are the strongest connections with your customers. Emotional connections can be established through story telling.
Therefore, your brand should be based on your passion and purpose. Telling that story is what builds your connection with your customers, but also forms every part of your business. Which brings us on to the next point…
Brand means nothing unless it is developed internally and acted upon internally. Just take one look at the brand damage that is happening as a recent revelations of working conditions inside Amazon.
Your brand, built on purpose and passion, is what will establish how do you things in business. The very thing that will then set you apart from your competitors, cut your own share of the market place, beat your competition and build a truly great business.
For example, let’s look at people and teams within businesses. More importantly, I’ve been reading a lot about Scrum and Agile techniques for teams. Agile and Scrum are methods long known by the tech and software world, but now finally hitting into bigger management theories. If you want to know more of the details, please read ‘Scrum’ by Jeff Sutherland.
Sutherland argues that teams work best with transcendence, autonomy and openness.
Let’s look at transcendence in more detail. Transcendence is a combined meaning towards a greater purpose or goal. As a team it aims for something higher than the individuals or the team as a whole which is then collectively worked towards.
Looking at how big companies are building brands on greater purpose, take look at Toms Shoes CEO Blake Mycoskie harnessing the power of purpose by deciding to give away one pair of shoes to a child in the developing world for every pair sold.
So your own passion and purpose, greater meaning, fuels your brand, which then fuels your internal business strategy. Such as in this example, of teams working better collectively together.
For an example closer to home, Soulla of Soulshine Retreats has a greater passion to help people with transformational change. This is communicated right through her brand, which then fuels why people want to come to work for hire, collectively hiring people on this passion. Which is then collectively produced in her retreats. Take one look at her reviews on TripAdvisor to get an understanding of how this communicates through to the customer experience.
Lifestyle Business and Great Business
All this together then builds a great business for you. At Do Awesome Sh.it we believe in building businesses for experiences in life. If you want to build a great business, you can also do this, but only with the foundation of an awesome business for you.
Building a business on passion and purpose
To find out more about building a business on passion and purpose, please sign up for our free tools and courses.
Seth Godin (2008) — Tribes: We need you to lead us
Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler (2012) — Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler (2015) — Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
Paul Dolan (2014) — Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life
Daniel Kahneman (2010) — The Riddle of Experience Vs. Memory (TED Talk)
Jeff Sutherland (2014) — Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Bo Burlingham (2007) — Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
Daniel H. Pink (2011) — Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us