When people say “on purpose”, they generally mean deliberately. Or not by accident. But when it comes to brand, I have a slightly different definition of doing things on purpose.
Let me explain. Your purpose is why you exist. It explains what you’re in the world to do (and why you’re the one to do it). This is true whether you’re a business, an organisation or an individual. And articulating your purpose is a fundamental part of building a strong brand.
For a really brilliant explanation of purpose, check out this classic TED talk by Simon Sinek. I haven’t really talked about purpose on the blog before. Mostly because he explains it better than I can. And also because there’s a lot out there on the subject already. (Incidentally I met him last year. And yes he is THAT good.)
If you haven’t thought about your purpose, I suggest you do so before you read on (because the rest of the post will make more sense). Think about that one thing you do brilliantly and love to do. Then work out why the world needs it. And by world, I don’t necessarily mean the whole world. It could mean your local community, your industry, or your sector. Or it could be the entire world – who am I to get in the way of your world domination?
Your purpose is the combination of all 3 things – it is something that you love to do, are brilliant at and that the world really needs you to do.
Purpose is not the same as a vision. It’s not an ideal. And it’s not a lofty mission statement either. Because it explains why you exist. And that’s why it should drive everything you do.
So why do we need to do things on purpose?
It helps us be authentic – because our purpose is core to who we are.
It gives us meaning and direction – because a strong purpose is always bigger than ourselves.
And it makes us credible. If we’ve been open about our purpose, then people will expect that we deliver on it.
In fact I think the question should be, “why would we do things that aren’t on purpose?” . And my answer is that we probably shouldn’t. At least not in the long term. Because if we keep doing things that aren’t on purpose, we will probably end up frustrated, unfulfilled and ultimately unhappy.
As Simon Sinek says
Most of us live our lives by accident - we live it as it happens. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.
I couldn’t agree more.
Our programme “From purpose to brand” is designed to help you articulate your purpose and use it to build a powerful personal brand. Find out how we can help.