I have found that over the decades of experience, most of the women entrepreneurs I know are very good at achieving goals. However, when we start talking about it a little more, we discover that a drive to goal achievement has often come at the cost of life balance, sleep, and peace of mind.
Most surprisingly, no matter how many goals are met, many entrepreneurs I speak to still do not feel a sense of fulfillment. One of the reasons that is the case is because these goals were not nested within a bigger vision and purpose.
Goals need to be nested within a bigger vision and purpose. Goals without a connection to vision and purpose often lead to unbalanced, unhealthy, and unsustainable actions. When we create clear and compelling vision and driving purpose, and then set goals in support of that vision and purpose we have more alignment and ultimately feel more fulfilled. The challenge that people run into is how to create a vision and purpose statement.
There are as many ways to create vision and purpose as there are people but, the following provides a good process that you can use as a template.
A purpose statement defines the deeper purpose for the work that you are doing. The deeper purpose should inform the vision and mission.
Patrick Lencioni identifies 5 areas of purpose:
Customer: Serving the needs of your customer or primary stakeholder.
Industry: Supporting and being a part of our industry.
Greater Cause: Serving a greater outcome. This is not necessarily about what your business does but, about the ultimate impact of your business.
Community: Helping a specific geographic community.
Employees: Supporting the growth and experience of our employees.
This is the core of your business. Gain clarity on what your deeper purpose is and allow that to guide your priorities.
Here are some questions that you can ask to help you get clear about your purpose:
- How do we contribute to a better world?
- Why did I start my business?
- Why do we exist?
Vision: A vision is the desired end point that you want to fulfill. Research shows that a vision statement creates higher levels of both employee AND customer satisfaction. The way that I like to get to vision is to ask,
- Because we were here this is what happened?
- What does the future look like?
Research shows that a vision needs to be compelling, inspiring, and easy to remember. You want it to be a future state, but I find it helpful to put it in present tense.
Other examples include:
Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Goodwill: Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.
By first gaining clarity around your vision the goals are more balanced, cohesive, and allow you to experience a true sense of achievement, fulfillment, and satisfaction.