Why is it that you do what you do?
This question is more relevant now than ever.
- Why are you going to work your a** off to make your business succeed?
- Why should people care?
- How is your work going to make the world a better place?
I’ve been working in social entrepreneurship for more than 8 years and worked with more than 50 mission-driven organizations and it has been my experience that having a clear and meaningful purpose is a strategic advantage.
While it seems idealistic to some to put so much emphasis on having a “purpose,” at the end of the day purpose is THE difference between having a sub-par, run of the mill organization, and creating an organization that will stand the test of time.
As Simon Sinek shares in his famous TED Talk, people don’t care about WHAT you do… they care about WHY you do it.
Don’t just take my word for it. According to a 2018 study by Cone communications on the value of purpose-driven brands:
“78% of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively impact society as well
77% feel a stronger emotional connection to purpose-driven companies over traditional companies
66% would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from a purpose-driven company”
Customers are willing to put their money where their values are… and it’s not just your customers who care.
Studies show that purpose-driven companies have more engaged employees during a time when 70% of Americans are unengaged at work. Why does this matter?
According to a 2015 EIU research study conducted by Bain & Company partners shared in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), productivity among satisfied employees is 100%, while engaged employees hit 144%, and inspired employees deliver 225% productivity! This is in contrast to a 71% productivity level of disengaged employees.
Imagine having a team of people working to bring your vision to life that delivers 225% productivity.
It’s worth taking note that having a clear purpose is not just about creating a bold, sexy mission statement. It has to be more than lip service.
You have to put your own organization’s money where your values are. It means that, at times, you will make less profit to stay committed to your values. You’ll have to make hard choices.
Purpose-driven work, while worthwhile, is far from easy.
As a reward for these challenges: you’ll build an inspired team, you’ll give back to your community, you’ll take pride in your work, and you’ll make a positive impact.
This is your opportunity: give people something to believe in.