Rhett Power “co-founded Wild Creations in 2007 and quickly built the startup toy company into one of the fastest-growing companies in the US. I have been a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year twice and recognized with over 40 awards for innovative products. Recently, I was named one of the world’s top 100 business bloggers, and I am a regular contributor on entrepreneurship, management, and leadership to top business publications. I’m now the Head Coach at Power Coaching and Consulting, a rapidly growing global executive coaching and training firm in Washington, D.C. My second bestselling book, The Entrepreneurship Book of Actions, was published by McGraw-Hill and is in bookstores now.”
“Why do you do what you do?”
“This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but you’re more motivated when your work has meaning.”
I often have to work with executives on finding their “why,” and it’s something I revisit regularly in my own work. If you’re struggling to find meaning in your work, try gleaning some advice from professionals who have cultivated a strong sense of purpose. Here are five things that might help you get started:
1. Find a why that others can relate to.
When others can relate to your cause or purpose, you’re more likely to attract like-minded individuals who are eager to lend their support and advance your effort. That’s what Lori Samuels, “head bird brain” at OneOddBird, has seen after deciding that the colorful accessories her company makes would help support individuals on the autism spectrum.
Samuels was motivated to donate to UCLA’s Autism Research Alliance when she realized that many people know someone affected by autism: “For the amount of time, creativity, and sweat equity we put into each design, a strong reception from customers is incredible validation. However, when we hear back from customers connected with the autism community, it reaches a whole new level of meaning.” When focusing in on your greater meaning, identify a purpose that many can relate to. Finding others who are working toward a similar purpose will help you feel connected to something larger than yourself.
2. Find your why in the service or product you provide.
If you’re not feeling a strong sense of purpose, look to the service you provide your customers and see if it helps you find meaning. Many entrepreneurs go into business because they’re motivated to meet an existing need.
For Tony Armstrong, owner of Midwest Professional Karate, “Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a student who has struggled finally have a breakthrough and feel the pride and satisfaction of conquering an obstacle.” The progress of Armstrong’s students has kept him going for more than 23 years. Martial arts can be challenging, but it’s a discipline that rewards perseverance. Examine the service you provide or the problem your product solves and draw your sense of purpose from that. Naturally, passing that passion on to your staff can only help.
3. Find the right avenue to make the right impact.
If you’re struggling to find your why in what your company provides to its customers, there are many ways to make a more direct social impact that will give you the sense of purpose you seek. For example, numerous charitable causes reap huge benefits from donations of time or money.
If you have enough of either to spare, you can make a profound difference. For instance, Jake Kloberdanz, founder and CEO of ONEHOPE Wine, has built donating to causes into the foundation of his business. Since its inception, the company has donated almost $4 million to nonprofits. According to Kloberdanz, “That’s a line on our balance sheet that many entrepreneurs don’t have, and knowing our hard work is making a difference in others’ lives drives our team more than anything.” Whatever you have to offer, find the right avenue to incorporate a greater purpose into your mission.
4. Use your why as a superpower to fuel flagging motivation.
Your sense of purpose can motivate you to get through mundane tasks or long work days. If you know that the menial tasks on your plate are helping someone else in the end, you’ll likely feel more energized to complete them.
Focus on the difference you or your company makes to keep the flames of motivation kindled. Annette Mason, founder of Trilogy Design Works, knows that she’s most motivated when she feels connected to a larger purpose. She explains that “Connecting with my ‘why’ is of paramount importance because it fuels my drive and determination — when I feel connected with a purpose, the ‘why’ becomes like a superpower and provides energy where I thought there was none.”
5. Accept that you won’t feel driven every day.
Circumstances change, and you can’t always count on the purpose that has driven you thus far. Fortunately, you can look for a similar driving force and use it to motivate you to continue down a meaningful path.
Bo Carrington, CEO of BCA Executive Consultants, explains that you won’t always feel like seizing every day: “At several points in both my corporate and entrepreneurial careers, my feet have hit the floor in the morning, and I’ve wanted nothing more than to crawl back in bed because I felt I had nothing to give.” Carrington says he learned to reflect on affirmations that help him remember his why. Even if you don’t feel driven today, just remind yourself that it doesn’t mean you won’t be motivated again tomorrow.
So many people struggle through jobs they dislike, performing work they find meaningless. Even when you are relatively satisfied at work, you can benefit from rethinking your purpose. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you define your why. It’s not always easy, but you’ll find that pinpointing your purpose can be a rewarding undertaking.
For the full article visit here: Forbes