Why Does Purpose Matter?

When was the last time you eagerly dived into a task you didn’t connect with, believe in or understand?

If I told you to spend hours creating a complex spreadsheet  but never told you why, or where your efforts would lead, how inclined would you be to do it?

Yet every day, employees are asked to produce deliverables, attend meetings, or spend time away from their families on work that means nothing to them – or work they can’t connect to how it makes customers’ lives better.

As humans, we all need purpose to keep us motivated and engaged. Otherwise, work is just drudgery. (Tweet This!)

I could cite thousands of books, surveys and studies here to back up my point. Like thisOr this. Or even this.

But we all inherently know this to be true! Employees who understand where their efforts lead, who can see a correlation between their efforts and external effects feel more satisfied, motivated, and positive about the work they do every day.

Who among you doesn’t have a story about getting “in the zone” and tackling a task where, at the end, you were rewarded with real impact and meaning?

And who among you doesn’t have a story about how miserable you were being a cog in the wheel, without any understanding of how the hours you spent led to something that really mattered to colleagues, customers, or community?

We want to matter. We want a destination to drive toward. When we find meaning, we are more engaged. And we also want a say in what that destination looks like and how we can get there. We crave autonomy.

And when we get it? Look out. Your employees will unleash massive potential the likes of which you’ve never seen.

So before you roll your eyes at launching a “Purpose Project ” or decide that all that feel-good stuff is a waste of time, think about what your organization’s goals, financial or otherwise. Would you rather spend a bit of time working together to define a purpose everyone can rally around, and thus operate at maximum capacity – increasing retention, innovation, and loyalty? Or would you rather limp along by cracking the whip and naively expecting soul-drained individuals to work at their best for you (which they won’t)?

Make the time. Articulate your purpose. Gather input. Share it. Live it. Think of this work as a fuel-boosting additive to make your company engine run better!

Does your organization need help aligning on and articulating your purpose, brand story and values? I have wrangled the most feisty teams to success with my unique and efficient process. Let’s chat.

Photo Credit: Darius Bashar on Unsplash

How Purpose Leads to Company Success

How Purpose Leads to Company Success

What is your long game? 

Why do your employees come to work every day? What are you here to provide to your customers? What impact do you want your business or brand to have on the world?

The Dalai Lama talks about starting to work on the change you seek, even if you don’t live to see it come to fruition.

To have real impact, we should all operate our companies like this.

For too long, vision statements, mission statements, and purpose have all been used interchangeably.  But the important thing is that they BE USED.

Too many executives treat these like pretty sayings to put on posters or on the website and fail to really live by them. But without a clear purpose, you can’t engage your employees and get the best work from them. You can’t delight your customers to the point that they stick by you because of what doing so says about them. 

Think long and hard about why your company does what it does. 

Do you imagine a different way of working, a different future, a different system than exists today? Tell us! Employees, customers, and partners want you to articulate this – but more importantly, make decisions based on it.

I invite my clients to create a vision statement that may ultimately put them out of business. If they are truly working to solve a problem that exists, then their purpose should be that that problem may not exist anymore in the future – if they do their jobs well.

The mission statement articulates what they will do on a daily basis in pursuit of that vision. Here’s the difference between a mission and vision statement – all which roll up into your purpose.

Crafting a clear purpose lights a fire under us. We know we can’t rest on our laurels. We are seeking to do something important in the world, in a big or small way. And that is how we get the best from our people and loyalty from our customers.

And purpose-driven companies have been found to increase financial performance, because of its impact on innovation, workforce performance and employee health.

If you don’t leverage your purpose, or vision, or mission to make daily business decisions, you are missing out on how it drives success and impact. (TWEET THIS!)

When defining your overarching purpose, gather input from your employees and then get the right people in the room to hammer this out. Here are some prompts for you:

  • What is the future state of the world we imagine? This is what we’re all working toward, every day, when the going gets tough. Eyes on the prize.
  • Why are we all individually here? What lights us up about this work? Ask your people why they are here! You’ll get gold.
  • What shifts do we create for our customers? What is he before and after? This can help us better articulate the future state we seek.
  • With our specific strengths and talents, what can our company  contribute to alleviating the problem or fulfilling the vision? This will keep you in scope for what you can realistically achieve toward this grander vision.
  • Are we looking to change systems, processes, hearts, or minds – or all of the above? Let’s be clear!
  • If we do our job right, if we achieve this purpose, where do we go from there? This will help you expand into related areas or offerings so you can sustain the business into the long term.

For more about purpose and how it leads to profit – and how to craft a useful purpose statement, tune into my podcast interview with Phil Preston on The Empathy Edge.

Photo credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Use Your Platform for Good

Use Your Platform For Good

Whether you reach 5 people or five hundred thousand. Whether you are CEO of a global brand or an entry-level manager or a solopreneur whose office staff consists of you and a lazy Black Lab who lounges next to your desk all day. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, work for a big corporate giant or a small scrappy local business. 

You have influence. You have a voice. Use your platform for good. (TWEET THIS!)

We are in a crazy time right now, where the lines blur between work and home (how can they not when you’re Zooming in on your boss in his guest bedroom/makeshift office as his 5-year-old wanders in, demanding a cupcake?). The façade is gone. We are vulnerable and real. There is no longer a “work you” and a “personal you” just YOU. A whole being, with all your complexity, obligations, life circumstances…and values, ethics, and opinions. 

Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to align your work with who you are and to use whatever influence you have. 

If you have expertise, share your thought leadership generously. If you passionately support a social justice topic, be visible. Post. Tweet. Share articles. Donate money. Raise awareness. Get involved.  

In my twenties, I used to believe in “Work Maria” and “Personal Maria.” Personally speaking, back then,  it was probably a good thing to have those boundaries!  

But we cannot continue to be one person in business and another at home. Not that we don’t have rules and etiquette for the workplace, but you need to be whole.  

You can impact change by raising your voice and standing up for something. Regardless of the size of your sphere of influence. 

So whether you are a website design, or coach, or software engineer, or marketing executive or whatever….you have a brand. You have a community. Make work that matters. Be a light. Speak out. Use your work, your voice, your platform for good, not evil.  

No one is going to ask for credentials or limit you because you are not famous or have less than a million followers. Make the impact, one person at a time.  

That is how change happens. 

How to Get Your Team to Align On and Live Out Your Mission

How to Align Your Team on Mission

Your mission statement is meant to be a brand tool that informs your decisions on a daily basis. 

It describes what you do on a daily basis as an organization in pursuit of your larger vision. 

But as a leader, how do you ensure your team is aligned on mission? And most importantly, how can you ensure they are living it out on a daily basis? 

The first challenge requires communication and education. The second challenge requires empowerment and a strong operational structure. 

First, how to ensure your team is aligned on mission? 

This starts in the recruiting process. Does HR understand what the mission means, truly means, to the business everyday? Are you screening for people who embrace the mission and are passionate about it….or are they just looking for a job?   

Does everyone in the organization even know what it is and apply it to their daily work? 

But further back, how was the mission created? Was it just a great idea in the head of the founder? Sure, it probably starts out that way, but as you scale, you have to bring in other voices and perspectives to contribute to what they believe the mission of the company to be. From where they sit, what is most important? How do they view the work? 

This doesn’t mean you have to poll every person in the company every six months to provide input and (shudder) Frankenstein a mission statement that appeases everyone. It means when you go through a brand messaging exercise, mission and vision should be a part of that, as they are the top of the brand messaging pyramid, and everything else trickles out from there to support them.  

If people don’t at least have a say, they won’t buy in.

An effective mission is not dictated from the top-down without any input or diverse perspectives. It needs to be more than a poster on the wall. It should impact daily work. (Tweet this!)

(I’ve developed a proven brand workshop process so that different voices have a say, but then a final decision can be made with buy-in from everyone. Yes, it works. Really. We’ve successfully wrangled the most errant cats, and even got a team to consensus and excitement after they had tried FOUR times before to craft brand messaging. But I digress….) 

To the second challenge, of ensuring they live it out on a daily basis: This is trickier. But not impossible. 

As with anything, you get what you reward. Have you developed a mission statement that can guide decisions making on a daily basis? And if so, how do you promote or reward those who exemplify living out the mission? 

What’s that? You don’t. Well, there’s your issue right there. 

You get the behavior you reward. If you want your people to truly live the mission, you have to make it show up for them in performance reviews, promotion discussions, and rewards.  

As I share in my book, The Empathy Edge, technology company NextJump bases everything they do on their core values, one of which is humility. They issue an annual Avengers Award to the person voted by their peers to help others the most, by however they define it: “The Avengers Award is focused on the trait of ‘service for others’ and recognizes the Next Jumper who most exemplifies steward-leadership….It is an annual peer-nominated award.” (Read the book to find out what the winners get (it will blow your mind!) 

Next Jump makes the stakes very high to ensure people live out their values. It shows commitment that the company is not messing around when it says it values humility.  

You can do the same for your mission. Attach rewards, accountability, and attention to your mission. Invite employees to articulate how their daily activity supports the mission and to reframe their work toward that higher purpose. Challenge each other to take a step back and think about the mission when making important decisions.  

This is how you energize your employees to adopt a particular mindset and live out the mission. 

PS: Aligning on your mission statement is not merely a nice-to-have. It ensures everyone is in pursuit of the same goal, which makes decisions easier. Learn how REI’s strong alignment around mission led to one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history, the #OptOutside campaign, which results in the stores being closed on Black Friday. Where, you ask?! Check out my newest book, The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success (A Playbook for Brands, Leaders, and Teams)  

Photo by Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

How Do I Use My Mission Statement in My Brand?

How to use your mission statement

Mission statements are cute, aren’t they? 

Clients get all tangled up in using words they’d never actually say and lofty statements that sound amazing but have nothing to do with their product or service. “Our mission is to empower women to be their best selves.” Um, you sell hosiery. 

Or they make it so generic: “Our mission is to help people.” Help them do what

Yes, some my favorite mission statements could fall into one of these categories. I adore JetBlue’s “Inspiring Humanity” but you may wonder, what the heck does that have to do with air travel? 

A good mission statement is one that: 

  • Inspires 
  • Delights 
  • Informs what you do every day, at a high level, in support of your larger vision 
  • Has legs and room to grow 
  • Can be used to make decisions on a daily basis. 

Let’s break this out. 

The first two are pretty self-explanatory. If the statement is not going to send a little tingle up your spine, it’s not going to inspire employees or customers, which is what it is designed to do. A mission should encapsulate your brand strategy and support your reason for being. 

But what about the other factors? 

Your vision is your desired future state. What is the change you seek to make in the world with your work? If your vision was achieved, your organization might not be necessary anymore. So what is that large lofty world you imagine? 

As I’ve said before, not every solopreneur needs a vision statement. But you DO need a mission statement. 

Your mission communicates what you do every day in pursuit of your vision. But it needs to leave room for your whole suite of current and future products or services, not just one specific scenario. 

(Read more about the difference between your Mission and Vision statement.) 

Therefore, you must be able to use your mission statement, to some extent, when making daily decisions about product, direction, content, and priorities. “Does this decision help us achieve our mission?” If yes, do it. If not, rethink it. (Tweet This!)

We came up with some great mission statement options for clients this year (which I can’t reveal because rebranding is still pending!) What I loved is that all of my clients understood how to use this mission as a decision-making tool, not just as a cool poster on the wall. 

That is how you use your Mission in your brand. You use it to communicate a higher purpose, a focus, and even the tone of your brand voice in how you write it. Your employees should know it from memory, not because they’ve been forced to, but because it’s used to guide the customer experience every day. They should be asking themselves in all decision-making meetings if what they propose is in pursuit of this mission or not. 

This maintains a consistent experience across all touchpoints so that customers understand exactly what you do, what value you offer, and what you stand for.  

And that, after all, is at the heart of what “brand” really is. 

PS: Aligning on your mission statement is not merely a nice-to-have. It ensures everyone is in pursuit of the same goal, which makes decisions easier. Learn how REI’s strong alignment around mission led to one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history, the #OptOutside campaign, which results in the stores being closed on Black Friday. Where, you ask?! Check out my newest book, The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success (A Playbook for Brands, Leaders, and Teams)  

Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

Why Passion is Great for Your Business

09.22.15 Why Passion is Great for Your Business (Blog)

If you do not follow social media expert Jay Baer on LinkedIn for subscribe to his Convince and Convert email newsletter, you should check both options out.

Recently, I joyfully read the transcript of his Content Marketing World keynote. He delivered it without slides or fanfare and seemed to have just spoken from the heart. His concept of The Mom Test is a rallying cry to marketers and businesspeople to stop turning content creation into a machine and focus on making connections.

Damn, I love that.

One of his gems: “Content is the emotional and informational bridge between commerce and consumer.”

And building that bridge requires more than spreadsheets and plans and analytics. It requires HEART.

Another gem: “Competition commoditizes competency”.

Meaning, if you use the same hacks, tools and systems that your competitors do, all your marketing and content will start to look the same. So, the only thing you have to differentiate what you do is your people and your passion. They can’t copy that, no matter how much they try.

They can copy form emails. They can copy price promotions. They can copy sales pitches. But if you believe in what you do and create content that improves lives in ways great or small­–whether helping fight global disease or even just giving a busy mom a moment of rest and reflection­–they can’t replicate that passion and brand fire.

From Jay: “But they can’t duplicate, they cannot steal if you fundamentally care more than they do. About content, and about content’s role to improve the lives of real people.

So I ask you a simple question, an existential question really:

Do you love content enough? Are you making content, or are you making a difference?”

It’s not about passion for passion’s sake. “Follow your bliss” makes for a lovely inspirational slogan but you have to marry passion with purpose. (Tweet this!)

What value does your passion offer to others whom you’re trying to turn into buyers, readers or donors?

This reminds me of an email conversation I recently had with a friend and online marketing rockstar who writes the most exuberant (and useful) content. I literally devour her words and look forward to her musings, even if she’s pitching me something. Doesn’t matter how crowded my in-box is that day – I make time to read her content.

I asked her how she organized her content marketing calendar. Her answer? She doesn’t have one. According to her: “Editorial calendars make me one sad panda.”

And you know what? Despite an editorial calendar being a great tool for staying organized and efficient (and one I recommend to my clients, in all honesty), she’s kind of right. Her content is super useful and it’s addictive because she cares. Her passion shines through every word.

Do whatever you need to do to stay on top of things. Use tools, templates, automation where it makes sense. You want to strive for consistency. But more importantly, when it comes to any marketing efforts meant to amplify your message and boost your brand, don’t just crank things out to simply check them off your to-do list.

Focus on the passion to deliver true value. Speak from the heart to attract raving fans.

How do you build your passion into your content, marketing or work in general? In one sentence, what is the passion that drives your business? Please share in the Comments!

Image credit: Ahmed Rabea via Flickr

Why do you do what you do? Ideas to reconnect with your purpose + passion

Your business is an extension of you. It started with an idea and a hope and problem you were itching to solve. A vision of how you could improve someone’s life, work, relationships, self-esteem or home.

For a moment, forget about the features and functions. Forget about the “tricks.” Forget about the bonus materials or free reports or “Act by this date” price promotions or 6-week programs or loyalty cards or sales numbers or social media stats and think back to your idea, your story.

What did you want to put into the world to make it a better place than when you found it? What problems did you want to solve for people to make them feel joyful, empowered or efficient?

People connect with stories + people, with passion + purpose….not products, not services, not even brands. (Tweet this!)

Without a story, without standing for something, you are simply a transactional commodity. And when was the last time that ever rocked anyone’s world? There’s no loyalty there. That’s like saying you’re loyal to the DMV simply because they renew your driver’s license and registration every few years.

If you’re having trouble remembering your story or have lost sight of your purpose amidst the chaos of everyday entrepreneurship, here are some inspirations to help you find your mojo again:

Ask your best friend, mentor, or close confidante to remind you of what you told them when you said you wanted to (fill in the blank) and what got you jazzed about it. You know, those nights when, after a few too many G&T’s, your eyes lit up and you said, “If I could create this, people would love it!”

Create a simple “Value Proposition Hack

Revisit that old mission statement you once wrote long ago. You know: the one that was imperfect and raw and beautiful and captured every essence of hope you had when you first started.

Stay inspired by soaking up goodness from others who have found their stories and made magic in their worlds. And know that if they can do it, you can do it, too. Like Alexandra or Ali or Warren and Betsy.

Review Simon Sinek’s now famous TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action and find your own “Why?

Remember your “why?” Please share it below and make a public declaration in the Comments with a linkback to your site!

Shared purpose and animated pigs that make you cry

Can an animated ad touch your heart and make you weep? It happened to me during the Grammy Awards last week. Everyone’s been talking about the Chipotle 2- minute long commercial that aired. My husband and I were literally turning the TV off and going to bed when it came on and stopped dead in our tracks in silence to watch the whole thing.

The killer choice of the mournful Willie Nelson song didn’t hurt, either.

Chipotle has built a brand around offering fresh, nutritious food in a convenient way. They have bucked the trend that fast-food needs to taste like crap – and be just as bad for you.

Lynn over at Power Chicks International did a great video interview with business coach Tara Gentile and they briefly talked about this ad. What I loved is Tara’s theory that this ad works because it’s about shared purpose. Chipotle communicated that they were on the same side as their customers, that they were after the same goal. As Tara states, if a multi-million dollar company can make you root for them, than any business can do the same thing.

But it comes down to a strong brand strategy and living that brand out in your actual operations, products and services. If it turns out Chipotle’s suppliers are actually mistreating animals and injecting them with all sorts of homones in horrible living condititions, then they will have a huge brand crisis on their hands. But I am an optimist – and I’ve also eaten their delicious food – so I hope not.

The reason I work with branding clients on their mission statement is that it’s the linchpin of your brand. It concisely articulates what you stand for, what you believe and gives you a guiding light for running your busines.  But it also gives your customers a shared purpose to support.

Watch the ad above. Then please tell us what you think about it in the Comments below and get some link love back to your site!

Photo: AnimationMagazine.net


Why do I need a mission and vision statement?

It’s funny how entrepreneurs and employees alike get caught up in the tactical details of their business on a daily basis, but when faced with the ultimate question – why do you do what you do – they seem to freeze up. My theory is that a lot of the meaning behind the company mission is so “feelings-based” that we often find it hard to articulate it in the right words.

I help clients copywrite their mission and vision statements only after we think though the Brand Strategy. Why? The mission and vision become much more clear as you move through the branding process. As you think about your company’s reason for being, your goals, the image you want to project, and the people you serve, you begin expanding your definition of what you want your company to be. I find just talking to a business owner and asking, “Why did you start this business?” can yield the seeds of a mission or vision statement. They use certain words or phrases over and over again. As you think through the Brand Strategy, certain themes that consistently emerge will be strong clues to your mission and vision.

 The mission and vision not only help you keep the end in mind at all times, they will also inspire your customers –and your employees. Yes, we know your primary goal is to make money, but customers and employees want to connect with your business on a deeper level. They want to know their buying choices and work efforts are relevant to a higher goal. This motivates people and helps them form loyal connections.

So what is a Mission statement?

Your mission statement is a precise definition of what your organization does on a daily basis and what you want to accomplish. It should describe the business you’re in and provide a definition of why the organization exists. Try and keep this to one or two sentences in length. Some example mission statements:

  •  “Make flying good again” (Virgin America)
  • “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” (Starbucks)
  • “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.” (Southwest Airlines)
  •  “To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States” (ASPCA)
  • Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time” (Women for Women International)

Small businesses can create a mission statement so inspiring they may not require a vision statement. But if you have a loftier goal in mind for the future of your company, then a vision statement is a great way to frame that.

Articulating the Vision

Rebecca Rodskog of Future Leader Now helps organizations create cultures where people can thrive and do their best work. As an experienced change management consultant and personal development professional, Rebecca is often tasked with crafting vision and mission statements for complex projects, so companies don’t lose sight of the end goal. She also creates mission and vision statements for individuals. Rebecca advises clients who are creating a vision statement to ask themselves: “What is your ideal preferred future?” and be sure to:

–          Draw on the beliefs, mission, and environment of the organization.

–          Describe what you want to see in the future.

–          Be positive and inspiring.

–          Don’t assume the system will have the same framework as it does today.

–          Be open to dramatic modifications to current organization, methodology, teaching techniques, facilities, etc.

Ask yourself:

  • Where will my company be in the long term? Will it be the premier provider of a particular product or service? Will it be in the top ten international players in a particular market?
  • What is the ultimate “to-be” state for my company?

You may not require an actual vision “statement”, as long as you can paint a clear, compelling picture that drives the business forward. These could be ideals or lofty goals that rally the internal troops and help customers connect with you. Below you’ll find sample vision statements from several companies.  You’ll note these contain ambitious visions that go beyond day-to-day operations and the specific market spaces in which these organizations play today. They paint a picture of an ideal future if the business does well:

Women for Women International envisions a world where no one is abused, poor, illiterate, or marginalized; where members of communities have full and equal participation in the processes that ensure their health, well-being and economic independence; and where everyone has the freedom to define the scope of their life, their future, and strive to achieve their full potential. (Women for Women International)

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.  (President John F. Kennedy, 1961)

Coca Cola’s vision statement is actually a multi-part credo:

  • People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
  • Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
  • Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
  • Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
  • Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
  • Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.

In summary, your mission is what drives you on a day-to-day basis.  It’s the reason your product or service is in existence, and it defines the “why” behind the thing you’re creating. Your vision is the end state: what you ultimately want your company to become and the impact you want to have on your customers and the world.

Your mission and vision create the framework and inspiration your organization and its employees need to be successful. An old Japanese proverb eloquently states the important symbiotic relationship between vision and action: Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. 

*This post was adapted from my book, Branding Basics for Small Business. Check out the juicy 2nd edition with new case studies, fresh advice on everything from content marketing to networking and expert insights from the likes of Alexandra Franzen, Mike Michalowicz, Ann Handley, Sarah Von Bargen and more!

Want step-by-step guidance to craft your mission and vision statement, as well as your entire brand and marketing plan? Then check out Momentum PRO, a self-guided and stress-free course that will guide you, step-by-step, through everything you need to promote your work and build your fan base with more ease, joy and impact.

Passion plus purpose equals profits

A fundamental advantage that small business owners have when it comes to brand is that they are so close to their customers. Usually, they started the business because of a personal passion or because they themselves felt a need and strived to fulfill it in the market. DRY Soda, a natural soda company, started out when the founder tried to find healthy, natural yet sophisticated beverages to have at a nice restaurant or a cocktail party.  Baby Legs, which provides signature stylish leg warmers for babies and toddlers, was founded by a young mom who needed to expose her baby’s diaper rash to fresh air while still keeping her daughter warm. These leg warmers protected her from the elements, made diaper changing and potty training easier, and protected her soft knees while crawling.

I had the amazing opportunity to facilitate a brand workshop for a tech company who is trying to clarify their messaging, build brand recognition and generally change the game in their industry. Exciting stuff. We clarified and gained consensus on what business they are truly in, who their ideal customers are, and what persona the company can authentically present to the world.  But all of this was just ‘business speak’.

Finally, in the early afternoon, I tossed my papers aside and challenged the CEO and others, “Let’s back up a second: What is the mission of this company? What greater impact do you hope your software and solutions have on the world?” The CEO didn’t even need a moment to think before articulating his passion about helping match candidates to employers, which leads to more jobs and thriving businesses, which leads to healthy economies – but on a personal level, finding the right job enables people to “send their kids to college” and make their lives’ dream come true.

The room came alive. Everyone from the CFO to the HR Director to the sales directors gave their own spin on this mission and what gets them out of bed in the morning. I pointed out, “See how the energy in this room just changed? This is the spark that will separate you from the pack, inspire businesses to partner with you, inspire talented employees to work for you, attract customers to do business with you. This is the essence of what you guys are all about.”

If you create an authentic brand in pursuit of a higher purpose, you can connect to people as ‘people’ – not just employees, customers or partners. And this will gain you loyalty, attraction and revenue beyond your wildest dreams. It doesn’t matter if you are a ‘solopreneur’ or a 10,000 person company. And only if this mission is authentically lived out through everything your company says and does will it be embraced and believed – you cannot simply ‘slap a coat of brand paint’ on your business with the transparent singular goal of more profits.  If you start with the right intentions and a true passion that is executed clearly and consistently, trust me: the money will follow.