Do You Know Your Purpose?
In order to have a meaningful life, you’ll need to cultivate your strengths, talents, and capabilities and use them to benefit yourself and others. People with a clearly defined purpose live years longer than those with no sense of purpose. According to an article published in Forbes, “Spend your time now figuring out what you enjoy doing, so that when you’re retired and have the additional time, you can spend that time doing what brings you happiness. Maximize your time during retirement by focusing the pre-retirement years on discovering what brings you joy and fulfillment.”
Before you retire, think about the things in your life outside of your business that give your life meaning and purpose. Perhaps it is spending time strengthening your family relationships, tending to a garden, or expanding your knowledge by reading about topics that interest you. Whatever gives your life purpose should have a place in your post-business life.
The Impact of Living On Purpose
Every human being has the fundamental need to feel like their life has a purpose. For retired business owners, their purpose was intertwined in their business for so long that they often struggle to find purpose in their post-exit life.
Understanding your personal purpose will strengthen your business and allow you to flourish in your life after your exit. While your business’s purpose might differ from your own, without having a purpose, you will never reach your most fulfilled life.
“Your impact has nothing to do with the scope of your purpose. You can have an immense impact on the world around you with a specific purpose.”
Marianne Oehser Partner, Next Chapter Lifestyle Advisors
Think of why you started your business. What were you trying to accomplish with your company? All businesses serve a specific purpose for their consumers, whether that purpose is to provide a product, experience, or action, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that does not serve a purpose.
Dr. Fred Johnson, CEO and Founder of InitiativeOne Leadership Institute, shares that less than 1% of businesses know their purpose, and much less make decisions based on this purpose. He continues,
“Purpose is much more than a goal or a plan. Social capital connects humans. Purpose strengthens those connections. It inspires trusting relationships, collaboration, and complex problem-solving. Purpose humanizes leadership by connecting actions and decisions with powerful aspects of core identity. It will guide and align your efforts with a more profound sense of who you are and how you lead and communicate at your best.”
The Exit Planning Institute had Gino Wickman, Founder of EOS Worldwide, Keynote The Exit Planning Summit. During his address, he shared,
“I believe you deserve it, I believe it is your purpose, and I believe you owe it to yourself and the people in your life to live your optimal life.”
Finding and living according to your purpose benefits not only you but important members of your life. Your purpose plays a crucial role in determining your personal next act plan and will ensure your life post-exit will be fulfilling.
Living according to your purpose impacts your next act and allows you to live your optimal life today as well. By managing your energy and optimizing your current life, you are able to explore your passions outside of your business. Passions that can ultimately make up a large portion of your next act. While studies show that 75% of owners profoundly regretted selling their business within a year, having a defined personal purpose greatly lessens that regret. Some owners may even feel more personally fulfilled than they were in their business.
Determining Your Core Values
Business Core Values
In a business, the majority of your business value is determined by the strength of your Four Intangible Capitals. These include your Human, Customer, Structural, and Social Capitals. One of the main components of strong Social Capital in your business is having clearly defined and lived Core Values. These core values impact how a team works together, determine the organization's culture, and embody the purpose and vision of the company. Core Values provide a framework for your organization to hire new employees, evaluate current employees, and hold the business accountable.
This kind of thinking is evident at Integrity Benefit Partners and is represented by our Core Values. Not only did the entire team take part in the formation of our Core Values, but each one highlights the importance of working collaboratively and the power of effective conflict. The strength of our Human Capital allowed the IBP team to feel comfortable creating this set of Core Values. We review these Core Values on a quarterly basis to ensure we are living them and to change any values we feel are no longer at the forefront of our organization.
IBP Core Values:
It's in the name. We always do the right thing.
Driven and Growing
Passionate & committed.
We get it done, no excuses.
We treat our clients & each other like family.
Dr. Fred Johnson shares, “Our success is not based on how good we are. Our success is based on who we say yes to and who we say no to.” Living your life according to your Core Values gives you a built-in system for making purpose-led decisions. He continues, “When you stay with your values, they will never lead you astray.”
So how do you determine if something is a Core Value or simply something you like? A Core Value should reflect your ideal working environment. What will allow you to conduct your business effectively and advance your business and your team? Your Core Values should reflect your entire team.
Personal Core Values
As a business owner, you likely have a written set of Core Values by which you run your organization. However, do you have a set of Core Values by which you live your life? Your personal Core Values do not need to be the same as those in your business; however, they will most likely be similar. It is understandable that some of your values may overlap since your Values ultimately impact your business. The Core Values in your business should be reflective of the business as a whole, taking into account all those who work there. Your personal Core Values should reflect who you are as an individual.
After determining your personal purpose, you can define your personal Core Values. Your values influence every action you take and can impact your decision-making in both your business and your life after business. To determine your personal Core Values, consider taking a personal retreat, consulting with trusted friends and relatives, and expanding on your personal purpose.
These Core Values should hold you accountable for living according to your purpose. Like reviewing your business Core Values quarterly, we recommend you check in with yourself to ensure your personal Core Values remain pertinent.
Over the next few weeks, we'll walk you through the perfect, purpose-driven exit. We'll cover:
- Planning for your business, financial, and personal goals.
- Finding your purpose.
- The importance of non-financial retirement planning.
- Including family considerations in your personal plan.
- Preparing for your next act.
Securities and investment advisory services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. Integrity Benefit Partners is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies. 200 Clarendon Street, 19th & 25th Floors. Boston, MA 02116. 617-585-4500. CRN202507-2694019.