What’s your purpose?
People often ask me where I start my mentoring journey with a new mentee, whether start-up, early stage or mature. It’s a simple answer. I always get them to share their proposition and the business’s ultimate purpose that drives it.
Why start here?
For a couple of reasons. Firstly I want to gauge how succinctly they can give me the “elevator pitch”. If it cannot be condensed into a couple of sentences and demands a huge explanation then we have a problem. Even the most complex of businesses exist to solve a single problem. The ability to vocalise this shows that there is purpose in play.
From this business perspective I can then get into really understanding just how connected to the problem the founders are from their hearts and not just their heads. It is their passion for what they are doing that creates the immediate and strong emotionally connection with those they want to influence.
Digging a little deeper, the now much quoted Simon Sinek, Start With Why book, is the latest in a series of expositions about gaining clarity in understanding about why one is starting a business and why its proposition aspires to be the go-to choice for those it wishes to serve. Boil down what the book teaches and it’s all about creating that impactful emotional connection already mentioned.
Is this connection really so vital?
Speak to anyone who navigates around brand, and they will tell you that it is the essence and purpose of what defines a brand that sits at the absolute peak of its hierarchy. Our emotional brains move at lightning pace when compared to the calculating computer brain. It is vital therefore that those who you want to be influenced by your business make this connection, feel it is both the right one for them and frankly one they cannot afford to be without.
This is why companies pay huge attention to it from the get-go and use it to define so much more than its marketing messages, it becoming engrained and defining the purpose-led of the business culture. Fail to pay attention to it at the outset and the whole business growth journey will be hugely fragmented, poorly understood and ultimately result in poor customer attraction and retention. There can be no other place to start therefore!
This piece was first published in Lloyd's Lab Pulse Newsletter - February 2023.