Purpose, profitability, and building your dream business

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I’m going to go out on a limb and assume I’m not the only right-brained business owner or professional here.  Am I right?

I knew I was in good company!

For me, being a right-brained business owner means: I’m creative, sensitive (I’m a Pisces and middle child for goodness sake!) and attracted to work that makes a tangible impact in the lives of others.

In short, I’m purpose-driven.  You’ve probably heard the term bandied around a lot lately and may be wondering if it includes you. Here are a few sure-fire signs that you’re purpose-driven:

  • You live to solve problems in smart, elegant ways
  • You want and need your work to be meaningful and have a positive impact in the world
  • Lack of purpose depresses you
  • You talk in terms of movements, platforms, or collaboratives
  • You’ve been known to work for little money (or free) in the service of living your purpose

Uggh, that last one!  Who hasn’t mistaken being purpose-driven with giving it away for free?  I know I have. For the longest time, I believed I couldn’t dedicate my work to others and be wealthy.  But the more I educated myself on the art of doing business, as well as some pretty heavy lifting in the personal development department, I realized that surely couldn’t be the case.  How could a desire to do good be at odds with building a business that has the potential to scale in impact and profit?

The more I went back and forth between the old beliefs of creativity and making money (or not!) and being open to challenging those beliefs, the more clearly the following idea became:

A creative business is not something you have or do, it’s a vehicle for self-actualization

Meaning, a business, with all its personal and professional challenges is the very means through which you expand your capacity for connection, success, and abundance.

I’ll admit that this idea is a work in progress, but if you’re open to exploring this idea with me, here are some thoughts on how I see purpose, creativity, and profitability coming together in a way that benefits EVERYONE.

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I always like to distill an idea into a diagram or a few steps, so let’s use this one to explore finding that sweet spot.

1) We’ll start where I always start, with your unique gift. Your gift is made up of the skills and talents that come so easily to you (and are often most undervalued by you as a result) and the reason you’re here on this earth. When you find a way to share these gifts, you’re on track to building a purpose-driven business and life.

2) Next up, we’re going to make a stop at my next favorite topic, your ideal clients. These are the people who “get” you and are looking for precisely the talents, skills, and gifts you uniquely possess. When you share your gifts with these people, you enter into a co-creative relationship where everyone benefits.

3) Now, a business isn’t a business if you can’t deliver your skills and gifts to your people in the form of services or products. From my experience, clarity around how clients can work with you, what that process looks like, and for how much is what trips most creative business owners up. Why? Because most of us weren’t taught how to price and package our services, and secondly, we’ve been told it’s somehow wrong to even charge in the first place, so we give it a way for free or far less than it’s worth.

4) Your purpose is where your gifts are shared with the right people in a way that’s perfectly tailored to their needs. Being paid well is the divinely perfect outcome of this relationship.

Here’s where the self-actualization part comes in.

These four components are always evolving and changing, independently and in relation to one other. As you become more self-aware, you align more fully with your unique gift.  As you start to own that gift, you feel more confident in sharing it with the people who need it.  As you get positive feedback from those people, you feel better about charging more and refining your process.

Now it’s time to hear from you! Can you recall an experience where something shifted in your business (potentially from a failure or something “bad” happening) that ultimately made you and the business better? Or perhaps you’re dealing a failure or challenge right now and are not sure what to do with it. Either way, please share a thought in the comments below!

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