How do you feel about it?
I try not to get too hung up on ‘finding my purpose’, it feels like a bit of a mystical unicorn to me, like finding a good work-life balance.
My purpose is probably closely linked to my passion but I really dwell on it. I do what I do feels aligned and right, and thanks to journaling it’s easy for me to decide.
What I’m passionate about now is probably a result of life-changing events – although I’d say my life, thus far, has been fairly unremarkable. Quite normal.
Yes I’ve had two children, family members have become ill or have passed away, I was bullied at school, I didn’t go to university, I started working in London when I was 18, I set up a business, I own my house, I’m married… but all of that is very ‘normal’.
There’s been no big drama or suffering.
BUT, my experiences are my own, and my path is unique.
At the beginning of my freelance journey, I felt like I needed to have been through something terrible, overcome adversity or been on the brink or bottom of something in order to discover my why and my life’s purpose.
Having a strong why is pretty key to keeping yourself motivated and taking leaps when you go solo.
I feel like we’re all starting to wake up, dig deep and discover what makes us tick and do more of it. To the point where we’re actually living it, whether we are business owners or not.
We want to do something that makes a positive impact in the world. We want to make a difference.
For the whole of our human existence, the majority of people had their purpose defined by their daily ‘role’ according to their age, gender, background, class or the job that they did.
That’s not the case anymore.
When you began your career or had your first job remember how exciting it was to have some responsibility and to be free of the education system. But this first step to freedom can be particularly damaging to women who traditionally have the role of carer and nurturer.
I don’t need to go on a feminist rant here but you can see where this is going…
Anyway, this certainly fed into my toxic trait of doing too much for other people. Take my career from age 18 until now as an example. I was a PA/EA for over a decade – looking after bosses, teams, inboxes, the stationery cupboard, travel, diaries, tea and coffee.
I did everything from tracking down company cards left behind bars to taking phone charges and umbrellas to restaurants. Collecting breakfast for my bosses every morning to writing my own annual review report because my boss didn’t know what I really did.
Now I have kids and other responsibilities.
So where does my purpose come into all this?
In my work, I help women find their voice, style, angle, USP, TOV and a way to be themselves, and show up without feeling exposed or unsure in their business comms.
I bridge that funny gap of 1-5 years (sometimes longer) between leaving the corporate world and entering a new world – it can be scary going it alone and takes time to shed the layers, and discover who you really are and what you stand for.
This sounds like I have a purpose… doesn’t it?!
Maybe it is, but having a purpose feels like it’s too big, restrictive, maybe a bit overrated and a bit pretentious and not something you’d ever really say out loud.
It’s a big commitment.
Whereas having a passion seems more freeing, you can go where ever it flows, it’s exciting. But what I now realise is that having a purpose is an ever-evolving thing too.
Because when I work with my clients they often go through this, and they struggle to find, articulate and share their story. A story can take many forms and so does their ‘why’.
Most people, like me, don’t feel like they have anything interesting or different to contribute.
But you have a voice, you have your own thoughts and ideas – you can bring all of that into your work.
Maybe another way of looking at it is the passion you have can be your energy and your purpose can be the clarity and driver of what you do and why you do it.
What do you think? Do you think it’s important to have both?
How do you bring the two together?
If you don’t love it, why even do it??
Recently a client began her conversation with.. “Katie, what do you think is the best thing I can do for my business?”
I replied – “Love it!”
Love my business? Yes, love it.
How many hours do you spend each day or each week on your business? Without guessing, let’s just say “a lot”!
If you aren’t actually with clients or doing admin you’re likely thinking about your clients or creatively thinking of new ideas to present your marketing or designing new systems and procedures. As spirited, creative entrepreneurs, that’s what we do, isn’t it?
I don’t want to spend my days ‘going through the motions’, that’s not how I want to do things. No way! And that’s what I mean when I say “Love your business” – do what you love and the business will follow.
With love, everything becomes easier, more playful, more joyful and more meaningful. What’s not to love about that? Love your marketing, Love your clients, Love the process, Love the communication, Love who you are becoming, But, most of all, Love yourself!