Today's consumers value transparency and authenticity above all else, and if you don't believe in what you're selling, how can you expect them to? If you're not certain that your product or service can bring real value to people, then it probably won't. On the other hand, if you understand the significance of what you do and how that translates into positive results for your clients, it will fuel a passion for your work that becomes contagious. Clients will be drawn to you, industry partners will want to work with you, and, most importantly, you'll find your work personally gratifying and fulfilling, even when times are hard.
When you meet someone new, the first question you're often asked is, "What do you do?" Most of us have a pretty good handle on the what, but have you ever asked yourself the why? Why do you do what you do, and what impact does it have on the world? Your answer doesn't have to be earth-shattering, but we should all have a sense of purpose or meaning behind our work.
To get clarity on what yours is, create a personal purpose statement for yourself. Your value proposition is a good place to start, as it can easily be translated into a purpose statement. Let's say your value prop is, "Building affordable, turnkey homes for today's first-time buyers." Translated into a purpose statement, this could read, "To make the goal of homeownership attainable for more people by building quality homes in an affordable price range."
While it's important to have a purpose statement of your own, your team should understand its collective purpose, too. A recent study found that purpose-driven organizations experience growth and profits at or above industry average, and their employees are more motivated and passionate about their work, compared to companies who don't define and communicate the value they create.
On its own, your purpose is an abstract concept; it requires action to be realized. That's where goals come in. Goals keep your actions aligned with your purpose. They outline the how, providing the motivation and roadmap you need to achieve your desired impact.
If goal-setting isn't a regular habit of yours, there are a lot of excellent resources out there to help you get started. As you create your goals, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
When you achieve your goals, it’s both rewarding and empowering. When thought becomes action, and action turns into results, you’ll crave more of it, which will continue to fuel your passion for your work.
Part of putting heart into what you do requires you to look outside of yourself. After all, you're only successful when your customers are successful, and empathy enables you to adequately solve for their needs. If you only see clients as another number, you'll not only miss out on the emotional connection — which is vital to increasing customer lifetime value — but you also will lack the insight to provide the best possible solution for their situation. In other words, don't lead with the hard-sell tactics. Take the time to get to know your customers; walk a mile in their shoes, so to speak. Your empathy will convey that you are trustworthy, capable, and have their best interests at heart.
Do you ever wonder why we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries? Because they're a chance to look back on what we've accomplished and how we've grown over the years. The milestones you achieve in your business are deserving of recognition, too. Make it a point to call out big wins and celebrate them, both with your team and publicly. One way you can do this with heart is to give back, such as donating a portion of proceeds to charity at the end of the year, so others can share in your success. Another way is to practice work-life balance. Taking time off to recharge is not just a reward; it's necessary so you can continue to give your all and reap the benefits of doing what you love.
When work has meaning, it makes every moment worth it. Putting heart into what you do enables you to see the unique value your business brings to the world and position yourself for continued growth.