8. Designing a New Business with Purpose

Kim Soko Schaefer
Oct 15 · 6 min read

So here we are at last. This will be the final article in the Experimenting on Purpose series. This series began four years ago, without any idea of where it might end up, or what it might lead, or when.

I’m wrapping things up here because I have a new place to share my thoughts, a new platform to share ideas and resources and inspiration for those who want to live a life with purpose. That place is Ways & Meaning. I’ll tell you all about it and all about how I got there. But first, let’s recap shall we?

A Summary of Experimenting on Purpose

1. An Introduction to Purpose

In the first article we set out to define purpose and explain that I was going to focus on organizational or work purpose, not personal purpose. But what I’ve come to realize is that, whether your an employee or an entrepreneur, you can’t define your work purpose until you first crystal clear on your personal purpose.

Work purpose is a single aspect of your personal purpose. If you’re work purpose and your personal purpose are in 100% alignment, than your work is a calling. If the work you do is an important part of your purpose, but not the only true meaning of your life, than you probably have a career. If your work is purely transactional, you do it soley for the resources and benefits it provides, you have a job.

That doesn’t mean that only a calling is meaningful. A job can be very meaningful if you can get to the heart of why you’re doing that job. Is it so that you practice your virtues everyday? Is it so that you can provide for the people that matter most in your life, your family? Is it to know that you are contributing to the greater good in some small way? All of these can be the ‘why’ behind your work, they can all bring meaning to what you do in a professional sense.

Bottom line: you can’t find meaning or purpose at work, unless you first understand what purpose means to you in your life. You have to start at the top and work your way down, find alignment to your work.

2. How to fix capitalism, Part I and Part II

Looking at purpose through the lens of economics, I began to realize that the best way to remove the ‘evil’ from capitalism is to close the gap between the people making decisions within a company and the people being affected by those decisions. Meaning…keep it small.

The smaller a business is, the easier it is to authentically be driven by honest values of the people running it. There is no hiding behind layers of bureaucracy, pretending to be ignorant of the impact the business has on others or our environment, or ambivalent about how much power it yields.

Entrepreneurs have the power to fix capitalism when they operate their businesses mindfully.

3. Your Brain on Purpose

In the third article we looked through the lens of psychology, neuroscience, and human behabior to understand how our minds control our actions but how we don’t have control over our mind. The best we can do is learn to become aware of both our automatic and conscious actions and thoughts and work within our known constraints for optimal results

And it’s all about awareness. It’s all about being mindful.

Ways & Meaning was created for mindful entrepreneurs, because I deeply believe that with a strong foundation of focusing on the mind, and our actions, we can create the best lives, and businesses, that we’re capable of.

4. Towards Corporate Humanities

Next I described my journey of how I got to believing in purpose-driven organizations as holding the best promise for both business success and a healthier society to live in. I ended this article talking about how if corporations wanted to be relate better to their customers and employees they’d have to behave more like, they’d have to be more human.

To be human is to have a spirit, a soul, a connection to something greater. To live by your most important values and to know what matters most. That is what Ways & Meaning is all about…helping you discover your best self by understanding what matters most and what values guide your life and business.

5. Designing with Purpose

By far the most read article of this series was this one on design (thank you Google SEO traffic!). But beyond hitting the right keywords, it is popular because it has a simple, accessible message: design is simply doing something, anything, on purpose.

I was very strategic, very thoughtful, very intentional when I designed Ways & Meaning. From the business model, to the web platform, to the marketing strategy…everything I did was on purpose. And that’s what I hope to do for my readers as well, help them design their own lives, their own businesses, that fit their particular needs, on purpose, for their purpose.

6. When your Purpose Changes

And then I had a kid and everything changed. I had originally launched this series as a way to bring awareness to myself and my consulting business. I wanted clients…until I didn’t. Having a family taught me that my lifestyle needs had shifted. I needed more flexibility in my day, in my location, and having clients meant I always needed to be available, and I wasn’t.

So I decided to launch a new business. A business that better fit my new lifestyle needs. And in August 2019 I launched Ways & Meaning.

7. Designing your life with Purpose

In the last article, I talked you through how I got there. Or more broadly, how I built my LIFE with purpose in mind.

But now I want to talk to you about how I build my new business, not just with purpose in mind, but how I ensured purpose as the foundation of what I’m doing. Throughout this series I’ve talked a lot about what it is, and why it’s important, now I want to share with you some resources I’ve pulled together to help you find your own.

Introducing, Ways & Meaning

Our Purpose

Ways & Meaning exists to help entrepreneurs balance the line between being strategic, careful planners…and just jumping in and turning your dreams into realities.

We do this by focusing on mindful entrepreneurship which includes being crystal clear on your purpose and focus, planning enough to see a path to your dreams, then having the courage and belief in yourself to see it through.

We offer lots of advice on marketing, productivity and balancing your work and lifestyle through our curated collection of resources and articles.

What you’ll find

A collection of resources and articles both created and curated by me for mindful entrepreneurs.

The resources include online courses, templates, exercises, books and tools to help mindful entrepreneurs find clarity and focus in their work, plan their future, grow with intention and to learn how to better balance their work demands to leave more time for what matters most in life.

The articles are a collection of the best of what I find on the internet, plus my own musings to help keep you informed, inspired and motivated to reach your wildest dreams.

How it works

You should start by taking the free assessment to see where you are in your journey and where you could use the most help.

Or you can browse our library of original and curated resources.

Or check out the blog for some inspiration to get you started.

Be sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter so you can be the first to know what’s being added and gain valuable tips and inspiration to keep you on your own path.

So, what are you waiting for? Start here

I created this awesome quiz to help you better understand what you might need help with and how I might be able to help. Take the free assessment or jump to the start here page that makes the most sense for you

Lastly, I just wanted to thank everyone for following along throughout this series. Please be sure to join the newsletter to continue the journey, I’ll give you this free download: 30 questions to help you better discover your true self as a gift for following along and to help you on the path to discover your own true purpose in life.

Best of luck.

Experimenting on Purpose

Kim Soko Schaefer

Written by

Founder, Ways & Meaning

Experimenting on Purpose

Definitions, perspectives, case studies and research on Purpose. Click here [https://pages.convertkit.com/1abd5d2895/e039fddc2d] to get all the updates delivered straight to your inbox.

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