9 Principles To Help Business Leaders Find Purpose

By Terkel

Business leader helping team find purpose

How did you find your purpose in business? Moreover, what is one principle you'd offer to other business leaders seeking a greater purpose in their work?

It’s common to wonder how other successful people found their purpose in business. We asked business professionals and leaders to share their purpose-driven story. From listening to customer pain points to seeking a work-life balance, there are several stories you can learn from and make your own.

Here are nine purpose-driven business stories:

Listening to Customers

Before founding and growing a marketing agency, I started out as a freelancer. For five years, I was super happy being on my own without any employees. Then, my website started to rank prominently on search engines, and I got connected with more small businesses from around the world. The more I listened to prospective customer stories and pain points with digital marketing agencies, the more I realized that I needed to step out of my comfort zone to develop a solution that scaled. I hired my first employee and got to work building a business. Finding purpose in business is easy when you listen to customers and put their needs at the core of what you build.

— Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Strive for Balance

I discovered my business purpose as a result of feeling like a nine-to-five didn't leave enough flexibility for other pursuits. For many people of my generation, the purpose of having a business is to create work-life balance and support other life goals and interests. For this reason, I chose an online business that offers flexibility about when and where I work. As a bonus, I enjoy the work itself, and I'm good at it!

— Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services

Be of Service to Others

In 1999, I was a young teenager struggling to make sense of my parent’s separation and all the pressures of adolescents. I was invited to a Christian conference where I was given a Bible. I read every page of that Bible and my life was quickly transformed. Since then, it has been my joy to serve in both missions and business capacities overseas. I currently work for an international mission organization that focuses on sharing the scriptures with youth around the world. And then I created a website called FaithGiant, a Christian Lifestyle. FaithGiant started with one simple goal. We set out to make the world of faith easy to understand and empower everyday people living everyday lives with the ability to discover, learn, and grow in their faith journey. The mission of FaithGiant is to take all the things that I’ve learned in my faith thus far and share those insights with as many people as possible.

— Alexander Shute, FaithGiant

Seek Two-Dimensional Clarity

When you start the entrepreneurship journey or start any initiative in that direction, you might be driven by one or many things. It could be your willpower. It could be your strong attachment to an idea or your newly found motivation by listening to someone else’s story of success. However, you have to have a purpose in business. You can establish the purpose by gaining two-dimensional clarity. The first dimension is about “why” conveys your emotional drive for doing something you want to do. It could be inner drives in the form of emotions, passions or even intellectual reasons. The second dimension is about “what for” which conveys your expected outcomes from your venture whether it is the difference you hope to make or a tangible product or service you intend to produce. The entire business journey then can be described as a series of experiences you attain on the trajectory between "why" and "what for."

— Dr Raman K. Attri, XpertX Research

Focus on Your Why

We often hear the phrase 'find your why.' This is vital in order to find your purpose in business. We all have an innate ability that we are naturally born with, some sort of trait or skill that you love doing that brings you energy. If we can locate that trait, we can also identify what that skill can be used for to help you fulfill your why and find your purpose. Does your job or career fulfill you? Does it help you work toward your greater purpose? Identify your why and you'll pave a path to your purpose in business.

— Alison Stine, Stine Wealth Management

Create Value

I’m motivated by the philosophy of conscious capitalism, a principle by which businesses should operate ethically while pursuing profits. In other words, a company should serve the interests of all stakeholders, not those at the top or the bottom line. When it came time to join the family business, conscious capitalism was just taking hold, and I felt we should get in on the ground floor in the interest of our well-being and that of those we serve. That’s a big part of what drives me.

You have to remember that you’re part of a giant ecosystem, not just in the free market but in life. Everything you do has an impact, whether it be on customers, your employees or the environment. If you’re not creating value in what you do or for those you serve, what are you in it for? If you’re looking for a greater purpose in your work, you have to be able to answer that question. Before you can stick to your principles, you must be able to identify them.

— Kyle McIntosh, MAC6

Have a Long-Term Vision

I find purpose in business by always having a long-term vision for my work. For example, when I set out to create the patent-pending operating system, I didn't just want to catch the end of one pendulum swing and move somebody up on the way down. I wanted to build something that would last through all future swings of pendulums, something that would act as an amplifier of pendulum energy throughout society. I wanted to take a step toward dynamically creating real wealth, rather than using false representations like inflationary fiat currency, placing massive debts with the future generations and wasting scarce resources like water!

— Saskia Ketz, Mojomox

Be a Resource

Starting out in my business career, I was discouraged when I heard people’s assumptions about marketing and how people in marketing are only trying to sell someone something. However, as I have worked in previous roles and at BestCompaniesAZ, I see how marketing can be used to help people and give them the resources that they need. Today, we help job seekers find a meaningful career at Arizona’s best companies by showcasing company cultures, career resources, and more.

If you are seeking a greater purpose in your work, find how your role can positively impact people inside and outside of your company. I feel there is great purpose to be found in helping someone, whether that’s through mentorship, community service, collaboration, etc. Finding where you create an impact can help you see the importance of your role within your company and can motivate you to help others find their purpose.

— Thorin Yee, Best Companies AZ

Find Ways to Give Back

Through a 16 year career in sales and advertising and then human resources, I found a common thread in my work. Through my role, I not only contributed to the company's success, but also to those in the community around us. From there I started giving back by providing direct advice to customers and even referring them to job seekers in the communities to meet their service needs. I was very successful in the business because of it and then got the bonus fulfillment by helping others find their career purpose and provide for their families.

— Josh Rock, Nuss Truck & Equipment

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights.

Grand Canyon University is proud to offer degree programs that help business leaders find their purpose. To learn more about tuition, admissions or degree programs, click on the Request Info button.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.