Posts Tagged ‘purpose statement’

Find Your Joy; Find Your Success in Doing

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Your joy is found not in finishing an activity, but doing it.” Greg Anderson. How often do we fail to find joy?  What would happen if our joy was directly connected to our doing something, whatever?  Would we be more motivated; have more enjoyment and ultimately experience more success?

All human being shared the same destination, that being death. Our journeys to that final end of the road are indeed different and unique as we are all different and unique individuals.

Far too long people have been lead to believe that knowledge is power and ultimately success. That is not true.

Only when we apply knowledge, do something, do we gain power. We now know what we know and know what we don’t know. We learn through our mistakes of doing and gain additional even more more knowledge and continued success. As John Maxwell wrote years ago “We fail forward.”

Our joy and consequently our success is directly connected to our purpose:

Why are we here right now in this moment of time?

After reading the On Purpose Person by Kevin McCarthy, I wrote my purpose statement and it hasn’t really changed much during the last 20 years.

I am a trailblazer.

For those who read this blog and some of my other writings, they will recognize how I challenge the status quo by blazing a trail that others have chosen not to take.  For example, many of my contemporaries believe salespeople create value.  I don’t and continue to write about how value is unique to each person or buyer.

Then there are my thoughts about public education, college debt and an ill equipped workforce.  Until we dismantle the current system and construct a new system based on what motivates people to learn we will still have a poorly educated and unmotivated workforce.

So what do you truly enjoy doing?

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The Road Not Taken; How to Make Incredible Differences for Your Business and Yourself

“Two roads diverged in the yellow woods” begins the poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. The poem ends with:


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Conventional thought suggest this was the least traveled road and I agree. Where I diverge from conventional thought or the status quo is I believe the road not taken is so because this is the path of purpose.

So many people in business and in life do not know their purpose for being in business or even why they are living at this moment in time. This lack of knowing one’s purpose diminishes the vision they have for their businesses and more importantly their values, the guiding behaviors to execute their vision statement and current mission statement. Additionally, not knowing one’s purpose in business is also an indicator of not knowing one’s own purpose.

When we have crystal clarity about our purpose, we then know when the light switch is on. In the book, The On Purpose Person, the author (Kevin McCarthy) describes being on purpose like a light switch.  When the light switch is on, our purpose is on; when the light switch is off, so is our purpose.

Purpose is the essence of your business and yourself.

Purpose goes beyond your solutions, your products or services.

Purpose reaches down deep into the “why” behind starting your business and “why” you are here right now.

Further Explanation

How many times have you attended a business to business networking event (B2B) and observed one of these two scenarios?


#1 – The White Rabbit

This is the small business owner or sales professional who is running from person to person like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

#2 – The Flower Girl

Here is the business professional who throws business cards like rose petals.  Sometimes she or he will ask you to take several to share with others.

Neither of these individuals know his or her purpose.  Their behaviors are a reflection of not knowing and are sometimes mistaken for being unprofessional to even stupid.

If you want to improve your business or even yourself, then read the book The On-Purpose Person and then invest the time to write your own purpose statement so you are more inclined to travel the road not taken.

P.S. Yes I have a written Purpose Statement hanging in my office.  And  I am more than happy to share it with you.

My purpose on this earth is to be a TRAILBLAZER ~

One who unites the gifts of creativity, curiosity, determination, faith, intelligence, intuition, patience, reflection, risk taking, and thoughtfulness.


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Want a Wheel of Life Worksheet?

Sunday’s are a day of quiet inspiration, reflection and the probably one of the best times to pull out your wheel of life worksheet. Now maybe you are thinking what is a wheel of life worksheet or better yet why even have one.

wheel-of-life-worksheetFrom my research, I discovered that Buddha was the first individual to talk about the wheel of life or bhavacakra. He segmented life into 6 areas (Buddha called these areas worlds) using a circle or a wheel to engulf these six areas.

This wheel has experienced many variations over the centuries. Today for some it has become a way to assess internal happiness and balance between all the different aspects of one’s personal life.

Several years ago I developed an 8 spoke wheel of life tool to be used with my clients. What differs mine from others is the addition a of purpose and a built in counterbalance.

wheel-of-lie-worksheetFor individuals to have crystal clarity, I believe as do others such as Kevin McCarthy author of The On Purpose Person,  begins with thinking about and then writing a clearly articulated purpose statement. I have mine hanging on my office wall.

In this wheel of life worksheet, you will see Ethics & Beliefs (spirituality) is directly across from Purpose.  What I have observed in working with executive coaching clients, when there is a lack of clarity regarding purpose, there is many times a lack of clarity regarding ethics & beliefs.

Counterbalance is much easier observed between mental and physical.  When people are not in good physical health, in many instances their mental well being and acuity suffers. Think about when you have a cold and how difficult it is to think?

Upon completion of this Wheel of Life Worksheet, you can date it and then start setting WAY SMART goals to create balance. Of course sometimes we intentionally become off balance such as securing a new job. Then our job is to communicate to others and let them (family or social) know this increase activity in this area such as career is only temporary.

Yes the Wheel of Life worksheet is a great self-assessment tool that can bring monthly if not daily inspiration to you. Please feel free to download this Personal-Professional-Wheel for your use. This particular worksheet works with the one page Personal Growth Action Plan.


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What’s Your Purpose?

purposePurpose, we hear that word and in so many instances never think of our own reason for being.

Why are we here right now?

What makes us unique as individuals?

Our purpose changes because our lives change.

The purpose of a baby is to:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • And dirty diapers

As the child grows, her or his purpose changes with age.

Young people have the purpose to explore their individuality while later on its to find a career.

Then objective changes again with having a family to sending children off on their own success path.

Finally, for many in their later years, their reason to exist revolves around their grandchildren to great grandchildren.

What I have discovered is until individuals have invested the time to answer “Why am I here?” answering other equally important questions becomes even more difficult.  Questions such as:

  • Where am I going? – Vision statement
  • How will I get there? – Mission statement (current)
  • What behaviors will I demonstrate 24/7? – Values statement

To understand who we are requires knowing our:

  • Decision making styles
  • Levels of temperament
  • Attributes or talents

By having clarity, we then can begin to craft our purpose hiding behind all the experiences of our lifetime.

Our purpose has always been there.

It is like a fine thread weaving its self through the tapestries of our lives.

The challenge is the lack of clarity has obscured why we are where are right here and now.

We get so caught up in the day to day activities of life we fail to reflect, to invest the time to think about ourselves and what we truly bring to the table of life.

We unfortunately sometimes embrace what others have told us and not what is necessarily true.

When we can identify those unique gifts, we just may be surprised that many of those gifts really are our core values such as:

  • Authenticity
  • Gratitude
  • Humor
  • Respect
  • Thoughtfulness

Crafting our own purpose statement is not an easy or quick activity. I reflected many hours as to a common link or theme that was present in the past years of my life. Taking up this challenge and completing it was probably one of the most fulfilling experiences I had ever experienced.

“My purpose on this earth is to be a trailblazer (a.k.a. heurist). One who unites the gifts of  caring, creativity, curiosity, determination, faith, intelligence, intuition, patience, reflection, risk taker and thoughtfulness.”

April 28, 2002



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A New Consciousness for Small Business?

Even though more and more individuals are taking the plunge as entrepreneurs and small business owners, they are facing an uphill battle not only with all of the other small businesses but a culture that seems to vilify profits and being a capitalist in general.

small-businessA new book, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, co-authored by John Mackey (Co-Ceo of Whole Foods) and Raj Sisodia stands up for capitalism and making money. What the authors share is truly nothing new except they have put their experiences into a visual template that connects what many hard working small business owners are already doing.

As I mentioned in my book review of Conscious Capitalism at Ezine articles, this book shows the evolution of John Mackey from being a reluctant capitalist to one who embraces capitalism. This evolution never replaced his own personal core values that have been present since the very beginning of his being an entrepreneur.

During the next several weeks on Fridays, I will be including some of the insight within this book respect to small businesses.  One of the most important insights is this one word – purpose.

With my small business coaching and executive coaching clients, the construction of a purpose statement is one of the first actions I recommend. This statement goes to the heart of why are you here at this moment in time (for individual) or why is your small business here in this moment of time.  Our purpose does evolve as we have new experiences.

For example. when we look at Wells Fargo we can see how its purpose has evolved over time.

Yes as I have said many times, profit is not evil.  What is evil are the behaviors of some business professionals because they do not have a positive core values statement and if they do they fail as leaders to enforce it. A business including profits does not make a person bad. What makes a person bad is his or her inability to adhere to positive core values or what some may call business ethics.

Conscious Capitalism is now in my top 10 business books right behind Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments.


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How to Identify a Forward Thinking Leader in Business

Yesterday I received notice about a forward thinking leader in business.  That leader would be Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford. He was interviewed by McKinsey.  As I read the interview, several of his comments were not only emotionally intelligent (an indicator of a good leader), but quite insightful and helped to answer this question: “How does one identify a forward thinking leader in business?”

forward-thinking-leader“Consistency of purpose” is part of what makes a good leader according to Mulally.  When working with my executive coaching clients one of the activities I have them complete is a purpose statement. One cannot have consistency of purpose when one does not know his or her purpose.

Mullay also refers to being “authentic.”  He shared that at Ford everyone has a card with the business plan on one side and the expected behaviors on the other.

Weekly meetings reviewing the business plan and identifying current as well as potential market trends are two another signs of a forward thinking leader in business.

Using data as part of the decision making process is another indicator of a forward thinking leader. Without good data, decisions may be very costly.

Reinforcement of what is working well is so obvious and yet not done returning back to the  consistency of purpose. Legendary Coach Vince Lombardi started every football practice season with this one statement “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

A forward thinking leader also understands the impact of culture in any organization. At Ford, the word “team” is truly embedded within Ford and that also means certain team behaviors are demanded.

Mulally also discussed work life balance from a different when he responded to a question about maintaining mental and physical stamina. He suggested that people look to “what gives me energy.”

Finally, to continue to grow realistically (for Ford that is 10-12% annually) the vision is essential to continue to evolve and through that evolution will come innovation.  I encourage the full reading of this interview and then take one idea and apply it to your business, to your role, and to your life.

If you truly want to increase sales as a forward thinking leader, then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of your current sales process

#2 – One business growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.


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Innoculate Yourself from the Weasel Epidemic with Personal Accountability – Friday’s Editorial

Several recent postings by Dan Waldschmidt, another by Keith Rosen along with the young woman who fell into the fountain reminded me about something David Herdlinger said to a group of executive coaches and consultants several years ago at a conference hosted by Resource Development Corporation near Reading, PA. David discussed “weaseling internal behaviors” that keep people from personal accountability (self improvement).  These  weaseling behaviors are indicated through the use of the following words:

  • Would of
  • Could of
  • Should of
  • Maybe
  • Try
  • Might

Since that enlightening presentation of how individuals create their own self-fulfilling prophecies, I have added these as noted in the book Be the Red Jacket:

  • Think
  • Yeah, but
  • Hope (in non spiritual situations)

Personal accountability, not to be confused with accountability for others, is “to be responsible for the consequences of one’s own decision and actions.” (Source: Innermetrix) When people exhibit this self improvement attribute or talent they will not make excuses for a poor decision and will not push the bad decision off to someone or something else such as “I cannot increase sales because it is the economy, stupid!” or the all famous one “It’s not my fault (that I made this bad decision) because….”

Weaseling behavior starts at an early age and is sometimes helped by the K-16 educational experience.  Also the lack of positive core values contributes to all the would ofs, could ofs and should ofs.

Weaseling means making an excuse for why individual actions did not achieve the desired results. And with so many in leadership positions from the President down to the local professionals looking for ways to sidestepped personal responsibility no wonder there is a “Weasel Epidemic.”

To inoculate yourself from this ever growing “Weasel Epidemic” begins with the creation of the following:

  1. Purpose statement (Answers the questions “Why am I here?” and “What gifts do I bring to the table of life?”
  2. Values statement (Non-negotiable behaviors to be demonstrated 24/7 and may include some of the gifts from the purpose statement)
  3. Vision statements (Personal and professional or business)
  4. Mission statements (Personal and professional or business by answering the question “Where do I wish to be by the end of the year?”)
  5. Goal driven actions plans (Personal and professional or business)
  6. Personal affirmation statements or what I prefer to call “Belief statements”
  7. Identifying a personal accountability partner to reinforce and ensure compliance

Each individual has so many unfulfilled opportunities yet the weasel excuses seem to run amok.  For example, in the US according to a recent McKinsey report obesity indirectly costs the United States at least $450 billion annually—almost three times the direct medical cost. Even though I disagree that this should be addressed by the government because it is all about personal accountability, the failure of personal accountability is measurable and affects others.  You have 100% choice of what you put into your mouth and 100% choice of how to balance the input against the output (exercise).  However if young people are not directly taught and shown personal accountability by individuals who demonstrate personal accountability 24/7, then we continue to spread this “Weasel Epidemic” by our own behaviors.

In 2010 I attended an obesity conference.  The majority of those n attendance were overweight to obese. And these folks were helping their clients who were obese. If we believe people are influenced by others, what message was being conveyed?

Years ago when I was substitute teaching in an affluent high school, I was told directly by one of the students “It does not matter to me what you do or say to the principal, my Dad will take care of it.” And we wonder why we have serious ethics (character) issues in this country?  Between people believing they can weasel to others allowing them to weasel should we really be surprised?

Personal accountability is a talent and can be measured. This is one talent I look for along with personal goal setting, personal commitment, attitude toward honesty, internal self control, personal drive, self management, self assessment and using common sense.  All of these talents help to support personal accountability and even better can be measured using a deducted and objective proven process such as the Attribute Index as published by Innermetrix (my personal favorite).

If all of this self improvement  sounds overwhelming, then start with this first step – Remove the following word from your vocabulary – TRY! Then add another “Weasel Word” each week.  As in the immortal words of that famous and beloved philosopher Yoda (Yes I am a Star Wars fan!):

Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try

Graphic Courtesy of Bing Images

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