Do you ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself ‘what exactly am I doing in life?’ You go to work every day, perhaps it’s your business, perhaps it’s not, you spend all day, every day building something but you don’t even know why. You ended up where you are through a series of events and decisions that didn’t seem to have any grand plan behind them. I like to call it your flapping around period. I certainly did a lot of flapping around before I truly discovered what I wanted to do in life.
Most people out there haven’t really got to the essence of their big purpose in life. There comes a time when you will find yourself at a crossroads, asking those big philosophical questions and wanting to know what this all means. Why are you getting out of bed everyday? And when you do find yourself questioning everything, you know it’s time to get super clear on your purpose.
“…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Steve Jobs.
INTERROGATING YOUR LIFE
Once you have finished with your flapping you enter into a phase of interrogation. You will start to question everything. Why am I driving 1.5hrs to get to work everyday? Why am I spending heaps of time with friends who really don’t support me? Why do I love the colour purple? Why is the sky blue? And of course the biggy, why am I doing this job or building this business? But before you do a complete ninja hack at everything in your life and break up with that partner, quit that job, close down that business or start wearing canary yellow, stop and make a commitment to defining your purpose. Once you define your purpose, there will be a framework for you to question, analyse and make strategic decisions in your life which will ensure everything you do moving forward leads you to a single purpose. Your life becomes full of meaning.
Defining your purpose
So what is it that you really want to do with your life? What will bring meaning and fulfillment into everything you do?
A good way to figure out the answer is to grab a pen and paper, and take your time to respond to the following questions…
- When do you feel truly alive? Think of moments when your heart is full. What were you doing in those moments?
- If money was no object, and you didn’t have to worry about paying bills, what would you do if you could do it all the time? What’s that activity that you would never get tired of doing?
- When do you feel most creative? What is it that you are doing?
- What does your perfect day look like? Imagine if you could wake up every day and live out your perfect day?
- What is your super power? What are you amazing at? If you really struggle with this, ask your friends what they think.
TAKE A LOOK AT THE BODY SHOP
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” Anita Roddick
Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976 when brands with a social or environmental conscience didn’t really exist.
Anita had no real dreams of building wealth. She just wanted to create a line of cosmetics that was made from natural ingredients. She wanted to appeal to those who cared for the future of the environment. Through a combination of low-key marketing, consumer education and social activism, The Body Shop rewrote the rulebook for the $16 billion global cosmetics business and made Roddick one of the richest women in England.
Roddick was the third of four children in one of the few Italian immigrant families living in Little Hampton, England. She had a rebellious streak, and although her parents wanted her to become a teacher, she had other ideas. She spent time travelling through Europe, the South Pacific and Africa. During her adventures she was introduced to the back-to-nature health and body care rituals of many cultures, and eventually realised this is the type of business she wanted to create. She opened her first shop at the seaside town of Brighton, and within a year it was so successful that she was ready to open a second. The Body Shop had become so popular that Anita and her husband began selling franchises. By the fall of 1982, new Body Shop stores were opening at the rate of two per month.
One of the main reasons for Roddick’s success was her defined purpose, she had made The Body Shop stand for something bigger than her products – a care for the environment. Her business purpose and her personal purpose were so intertwined. Roddick was extremely vocal with social activism. Her support for causes such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, saving the rainforests and banning animal testing generated free publicity, but also set the company apart from its competitors and generated a loyal customer base. People felt good about buying Body Shop products.
If you have discovered your great purpose in life, just like Anita Roddick did, which translates into your business we would love to hear from you. Let us know how you did it? Just send us a message at
Jodie + Em xx