Is Your Business Purposeful or Personal?

Is Your Business Purposeful or Personal?


It’s your business, right? You own it. Of course it’s personal…but, is it really?


A Separate Entity

Starting a business is not unlike creating a work of art, writing a book or recording an album. Another analogy is having children. Whether you have a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation, once you create it, it is something outside of yourself. When you hire people, they are there to serve that separate entity, unless you have the luxury of hiring a personal assistant.


Is Money the Purpose?

People get jobs because they want to make money. Well, that’s the case for the majority of people, anyway. You most likely started your business to make a livelihood, to earn an income. The exchange of goods or services for money is a definition for a business, the result of what the business does, so placing the focus on money as a purpose is kind of redundant.

When the primary purpose is money, you end up with ‘warm bodies’ instead of engaged employees. This is old school thinking.


What is at the Core of Your Business?

This is where a tight niche statement comes in handy. Can you describe your business in a tweet (140 characters)? Why do customers come to you? What problem do you solve for them? Who are your ideal clients?

Here’s an example: “I deliver workshops to small business owners who want the tools and framework to create and maintain a productive and positive workplace.”

Clients understand what the purpose of my business is and when I hire employees, they know what purpose they are supporting. The purpose of my business is something that I am personally motivated to carry out, but I lose perspective when I take it personally. We all lose focus on what ‘we’ work on together. It becomes ‘me and ‘them’.

I want the people in my workplace to focus on and work for the best good of the purpose, not on me.


Clear Purpose = Drama Reduction

Providing a clear purpose for you and your team to focus on takes a huge load off of workplace drama. We’ve been programmed since birth to fit into the hierarchical system and can’t help but be triggered by conscious or unconscious means of control. You, as the business owner, the patriarch (regardless of gender), the alpha in the workplace, need to focus on the purpose just as much as everyone else, if not more.

There is more to come on workplace drama reduction in A Workplace That Works. Be sure to get on the email list for details. Click the link below and it will take you there.



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What is Good Leadership?

What is Good Leadership?


What does “Good Leadership” mean to you? People are starting businesses left, right and center with some incredibly conflicting concepts of how to be a leader inside the workplace. It isn’t surprising that “Good Leadership” can mean many things; I mean, our generational mishmash is unlike anything in previous times. Our role models are as varied as our opinions.

There are all kinds of leadership styles that managers/owners can employ to get what they want. You’ve witnessed, experienced or read about some of them. Naturally, you’ll be drawn to the ones that are best for everyone involved, right? Maybe you take your cues from (name your entrepreneurial icon), maybe you follow the Fortune 500 success gurus, maybe you prefer a workplace reminiscent of the nuclear family, maybe you take the “sink or swim” approach, or maybe you just want to provide a product or service and haven’t really thought about your role as a leader.


Why is it so difficult?


Let’s take a short walk through the Boomer, Gen X and Millennial years.

Boomers: This is the generation of the nuclear family, uninterrupted growth and prosperity, a manageable population and no internet to find out what everybody else was up to. People phoned, wrote letters and visited. The pace was slower. You could quit school, get a job and work your way up to corporate vice-president. Unions grew to keep big business in check. Workers had more rights than ever before. It is a generation of people knowing their place and playing the game.

Gen X: The transition generation. Civil rights, freedoms, the breakdown of the nuclear family, huge population growth rate…you could still get a job as a young adult without a degree. This generation made the internet and technology what it is today. We went from rotary phones to smart phones, writing letters to email, visiting to facebooking. It is the generation that felt the effects of growing wage inequity, skyrocketing property values and international trade agreements. “I will buck the system.” “I will make the system my own.” “The system sucks. I give up.”

Millennials: This generation grew up with no expectation of a safe, secure job that would last forever and pay out a comfortable pension. They enter the workforce with massive student loan debt because they were the first generation that actually needed a degree to get a job. Everything is changing fast and this generation grew up in the age of information. They can turn on a dime. Work-life balance and purpose behind their work is important to them. They are more likely to spend their cash on an adventure than a house.


Can you see it?


Your workforce is diverse, values equality, and has little expectation (or perhaps desire) for a life-long career in one workplace. We are in the age of individuation seeking common purpose and our happiness is on the top of the list of things to do. With globalization and AI shrinking the job pool, the best thing we can do as leaders is to lead with compassion and empower our workplace teams to become the best versions of themselves to ride the waves of uncertainty.


What is Good Leadership?


How about this…think of that cool aunt or uncle of yours who balanced responsibility with fun, or maybe someone who mentored you and helped you open your horizons. What if you could apply those qualities to your business? You can be the authority figure without being authoritative. You can be a successful leader who doesn’t know everything but is aware of everything in your workplace. You don’t have to be perfect. You can be yourself. You can be part of the team and still be respected.

Who would you like to work for?


A Workplace That Works

Positive Change Begins With Us: We Need Allies

Positive Change Begins With Us: We Need Allies


The original 101 Reasons to Be – writing 101 Reasons to Be Yourself and the earlier blog – was about creativity and positive change on an individual scale. How do you access your creativity? How do you become more you? How can you live with more love and joy?


We Need Allies


It is much easier to embrace a joyful life when we are with others who are also choosing to focus on the positive. We need allies in our quest for positive change and nowhere is this more evident that in the workplace where most of us spend a third of our days, more or less. If you’ve got a great work environment that engages you and encourages you to be your best, there is a definite ripple effect throughout the rest of your life that affects not only you, but your friends and families as well. When the workplace is not so great, for whatever reason, that ripple effect is also not so great, right?


Small Business Can Make a Difference


A couple of years ago, in a conversation with a mentor about a project I wanted to start, we got into talking about other stuff and I told him about my book and blog. “That’s what you need to do. Get into workplace productivity. You lit right up when you talked about that.” I was like, “Huh? How does this tie in with that?” I didn’t get the connection at all, having just left a workplace that was not very responsive to positive change…a workplace that I left precisely because of that. I was still too close to the negativity.

My life has changed dramatically since then and with distance comes clarity. Finally, I got the connection and began working on a program and creating content about two months ago. Talk about your “Aha!” moments – the writing came so freely and naturally that I could hardly believe it. I guess I thought that being a productivity consultant meant wearing power suits and having the charisma of Tony Robbins, but the people I want to work with don’t expect that. The people I want to work with are small business owners who want authenticity, not another over the top experience that leaves them drowning in unrealistic expectations. They are people who are kind of overwhelmed by what goes into running a great workplace and a productive business. They want to create a workplace that works and to see the positive ripple effects in their communities (and their bottom line).

My upcoming workshop series, A Workplace That Works, includes activities to help you and your workplace team communicate more authentically with greater understanding as well as a 7 step process to help you when your business needs a tune-up. If you have followed any of my previous work or have read my book, you can kind of guess where a bit of this is going.



A Workplace That Works

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