As a business owner, you have probably thought so much about the ins and outs of your business. Why are you doing what you are doing, and is it really something that brings you joy?
When it comes to running your own business, I believe you need to have a deep-rooted why and purpose behind the work. It fuels you. It allows you to feel that magical word: alignment in your everyday. If you feel unaligned and unhappy with what we are doing, it might be time for some reflection, a pivot, or even a whole new direction.
As someone who knows the feeling of being both ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’ all at the same time, I know where you are at and the work it takes to truly align with your purpose to create a business that is not only successful but also something that you are excited to do every day.
So, if you are trying to work through why you are doing what you are doing and align with your purpose, let’s dive into my top tips for the reflection process below.
Tips for How to Align With Your Purpose
Listen to Your Gut
First, always listen to your gut. AKA Your intuition. That inner voice. The feeling you get when you instinctively reach for your keys on the way to your car. It’s part protection, part love- but always working for you.
This seems like a really obvious thing to do, but it’s one that is often ignored (and, frankly, doubted) when it comes to figuring out what you need to do to actually align with your purpose.
Your gut is going to be one of the best indicators – telling you if what you are doing is something that actually lights you up…or not. If you are looking at your tasks for the day, a project that you have with a client or a product you are working on and just feel a sinking pit in your stomach, something isn’t right.
Take time to listen to your gut and dissect what it actually is that you don’t feel aligned with. Is it the service that you are offering? Is it something that you don’t enjoy doing and know that you should drop from your offerings but just aren’t sure? Do you need to hire out so you can focus on your aligned purpose instead of admin work? Maybe you are working with a client that was willing to make the investment with you but just doesn’t seem like a good fit with your values.
Or, maybe you are offering a product because everyone else in the market is offering it, but it is just not something that you want to be selling.
All of these feelings are important and can help you not only determine what you want to be doing but also who you want to be doing it with – which is just as important.
I also want to note that it could be unrelated to work – but it affects your work. Maybe you aren’t sleeping or moving and need to care for your body then the work will feel better. Either way, start tuning into that gut to get some much-needed direction.
Be Open to New Things. Believe In New Opportunities
Always keep an open mind. You never know where you are going to find your purpose, and being closed off or closed-minded creates a major barrier to you aligning with your purpose.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be open to things that go directly against your values, but be open to new opportunities. This can be new avenues you can go down with your business, new services you can offer, and new markets you can sell to.
You always hear people say that you can’t know you don’t like something until you try it, so be open to new opportunities. You never know what doors it will open and what ideas it can give you that align more with what you want to be doing. On this same note, you need to believe that this is possible for you. In order to align with your purpose, there needs to be a belief that good things come to you, that you deserve good things, and that opportunities are waiting for you. This is a major mindset shift, but once it becomes a practice, you will start to find more alignment.
Give Yourself Space and Time to Heal
Give yourself space and time to heal from anything that has happened in your life, whether in business or in your personal life. If you are carrying around this weight and it is constantly sitting in the back of your mind, it can be really hard to figure out what really lights you up.
Don’t rush yourself or force anything that you don’t feel you are ready for. Give yourself permission to take time and space and figure out what you need first before working out how you can help other people. Go to therapy, talk to folks, and start asking yourself why you believe what you do. Many times, barriers to purpose are built from the past.
Be Willing for it Not to Work Out
Be willing for whatever you are doing to not work out. This may seem like an odd thing to think about, but sit with the idea that what you are doing won’t work out and accept that that will always be a possibility.
Once you have accepted that, it doesn’t hold the same power over you that it did before, and you are able to move forward with more confidence and in a more aligned way.
The fear of failure and the fear of things not working out can be an anchor, and we tend to see it as a negative thing, but failure is not always a bad thing. Failure can teach you valuable lessons when it comes to aligning with your purpose and can help give you a clearer picture of what is actually going to work for you.
Always be yourself. Your business is not going to be sustainable if you are not being yourself. Putting on a mask or a persona every day is taxing, and ultimately, you are going to start dreading it.
Be confident in yourself and what you have to offer this world, and let that shine. Plus, people are going to respond to you and your business more positively when your personality shines through.
This is especially true if you are a service-based business. When people are deciding if they want to work with you, they are most likely looking at multiple service providers that do exactly what you do.
However, none of those other service providers are you. Let your personality shine through on your website, your social media, your podcast, any touchpoint you have with your audience.
This can do two major things for you:
- Attract your dream clients or customers that you want to work with
- Deter the ones that you don’t want to work with
I know everyone talks about attracting your dream clients, but deterring people you don’t love working with is just as important. Constantly responding to, talking to, and working with clients who aren’t aligned with you and your values can be really draining on you and make you feel like you are not fulfilled in your business.
Being yourself, showing off your personality, and being clear about your values can help weed out those unaligned leads before they even reach it.
It can also help you figure out who you are aligned with. Once you embrace yourself and show that off to the world, you may find that you consistently have business coaches reach out to work with you and learn that those are the people that you want to work with and those are the projects that light you up!
Be Okay With Being Uncomfortable
Finding and aligning with your purpose is not a comfortable thing to do. You have to be okay with being uncomfortable. This may look like stepping out of the small sphere that you are currently in, taking on new jobs or challenges, or putting yourself out there to build a community of other like-minded people.
While this can definitely be scary, and no one really likes to be uncomfortable, this can be a crucial step in finding your true why and your true purpose.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this should be a specific type of discomfort. You should not feel uncomfortable because you are going against your values or doing something that does not feel right to you. Instead, this discomfort should come from taking steps that can be a bit intimidating but that is going to help bring your business into a more aligned state. When I am uncomfortable, I know I am on the path to growth, change, and expansion.
Listen to What Lights You Up, Not Just What Makes You Money
Finally, listen to what lights you up, not just what makes you money or helps you gain popularity. All of those things can be temporary, and yes, making money and having a big audience is great, but all the money in the world is not going to bring you joy if you are not aligned with your purpose.
Instead, focus on doing the things that bring you joy. You should be able to wake up every day and be genuinely happy and excited about what you are doing in your business. Even if you think it is something that is less profitable, you will find that you are worried less about the money and more about the outcome.(Obviously we will all have to do a few things we don’t love or like in our work, but if the majority of the work- the ‘big things you do’ are rooted in joy- that’s the aim)
Doing this will also give you a business that you are going to stick with long term and be more stable than a business that may gain popularity or be successful quickly but that you get burnt out doing and end up closing.
Final Thoughts on Aligning With Your Purpose
Hopefully, these tips will help you on your journey to align with your purpose. Just remember that this is not going to be instant. It is going to take time, and you are probably going to find a lot of things that you don’t love doing, and that is okay.
Stay on the journey, and you will end up with a business that is thriving and that you actually love being a part of.
If you are looking for more guidance in finding your purpose, click here to learn more about my mentorship for creative business owners, where we can explore what lights you up and how you can bring more of that into your business!