The #1 Reason to Start a Business

Money.  Entrepreneurial spirit.  Freedom.  Desire to create something out of nothing.

These are all common and completely legitimate reasons why people start businesses.

In fact, all of these are reasons why I started a business.  But you know what?  None of these is the main reason why.

And none of these is what inspires me every day.  None of them.  What does though?

My purpose.

To advance others through personal-growth education

You see, my business is a what to my why.  It’s a major way I activate my God-commanded calling.

As a small business marketing coach, I teach.  I teach entrepreneurs who desire the freedom of working for themselves.

I help advance them by increasing their marketing knowledge, which builds their confidence and ability to grow their businesses.  Their dream. Quite possibly their what to their own why.

I get paid to live out my purpose.  This is my driving force.  My inspiration.

Question: Why did you or would you start a business?

Starting With The Right Question

When do children stop wanting to be an astronaut, a ballerina, a baseball player or a puppy?  What happens in life that causes our childhood dreams to disappear?

Sure, it’s tough to become a puppy when you start out as a human, but when did trading in dreams for something more logical and rational become the norm?  Has it always been this way?

These are questions that have been on my mind lately.  I doubt they’ll ever be answered, although I would like some insider knowledge on the human-to-puppy metamorphosis deal, but thankfully they don’t have to be.  You know why?

Because adults can learn to dream again.  And dream big.

I know you’ve heard the statement, “We all want to be part of something bigger.”  It’s true. We do.  Well, I believe being an adult, regardless of age, doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to want to blast into space!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be part of something bigger than themselves.  If you don’t, then fine.  I just think you need someone to love on you for a while, and then you’ll begin to think differently.  Until then, I’ll assume if you’re reading this, you do.

It’s interesting to me that so often we turn to our jobs to find “something bigger,” especially twenty somethings.  We take our dreams and put them into someone else’s hands to make come true.  In essence, you just outsourced your world.  Now, I don’t mind hiring someone to repair a roof or unclog a pipe, but there are just some things we should manage ourselves, our happiness and hope are two of those.

To be clear, there are lots of great companies out there that are led well, but unless I’m missing something, there seem to be a greater number of unhappy employees working in poorly led organizations.  This is so sad to me.  On Monday, a happy, optimistic, fresh-out-of-college 23 –year old arrives at work and by Friday, the fire is fading.  A year later, you couldn’t light them up again with all the gasoline in the world.

And this is the beginning of independent adulthood for millions of us. No wonder people say college years are the best years in life.  They really are!  We enter the work force and bounce from job to job in search of something that makes us happy. I submit what we’re really looking for is “something bigger.”  Over time, we don’t find it so we settle.  We chalk up our dreams as just that, dreams, and we start to believe that living for a greater purpose is just a fantasy, not “realistic.”

This is wrong.  It doesn’t have to be this way, and you can start taking back your life right now.  All you have to do is start by asking yourself the question – Why am I here?

Question: What are your thoughts about living on purpose?

This post originally appeared on this blog in Oct. 2011.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Discover Your Calling

This post was written by Eric Speir, and first appeared on his blog, Life and Leadership by the Book

Have you ever been asked, “What do you feel called to do?” I used to cringe when I heard this question because I wasn’t always exactly sure. It took me over 30 years to start to figure it out and at times I still think I’m trying to figure it out!

If you’re unsure of what you feel called to do then don’t worry about it because you’re in good company. The Bible is full of examples of people who took a while to figure it out. Keep reading to learn about a few of them. Jesus was thirty years old before he was in full-time ministry.

I think he learned it by praying and seeking the Lord! Moses spent 40 years in the desert chasing sheep before he delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. King David was 30 years old before he became king. Noah was an old man when he built the ark. Abraham was too old to have children when he was called to be a father. By now, I hope you get the point that it’s never too late!

Before we go any further I want to clear something up. Calling is not just for pastors! I believe that everyone is “called” to do something. In the church world we often assume that only ministry leaders are called to do something. This is certainly not true and it surely wouldn’t be an effective ministry model. There are more business/marketplace leaders in the world than church leaders. If this is the case, we can assume everyone’s called to do something.

I know many people who are called to work in the business world. One of my best friends is a senior loan officer at a local bank and it is obvious to me that he is called to work there. He feels like he is helping people and being a contributing member to society. (Sounds a lot like ministry doesn’t it?) He has told me on more than one occasion that he is called to work at the bank. He is good with money and he’s one of the smartest business people I know!

My wife feels called to be a stay at home mom. (She would call it a domestic engineer!) She homeschools our children and pours into their lives. She can tell you just about anything about homeschooling and has reviewed just about every curriculum on the market. She has invested herself into knowing as much as she can about it. When you mention the word “homeschool” her face lights up!

Once you realize that you are called to do something, then you can start to ask yourself some important questions. For some people this is hard to do, but as a life coach I ask a lot of questions. In fact, as an inquisitive person this comes easy for me. You can learn a lot about someone (or yourself) by asking personal and directed questions.

Questions make us uncomfortable because they force us to examine our lives. The key to answering the questions is to be honest with yourself and to take the time to answer them. It’s hard for most people to slow down long enough to reflect on their lives.

Here are some questions to start your journey with:

  • What am I passionate about? (Hint: If you talk about it a lot then you’re probably passionate about it!)
  • What am I good at?
  • What am I not good at?
  • What comes natural for me?
  • What would I do for free even if I was not being paid? (I’m doing it now and you’re reading it!)
  • What are my spiritual gifts?
  • What do I day-dream about?
  • What do I spend my money on? (Hint: If you spend money on something then it’s probably important to you!)
  • What are my hobbies?
  • What do I love to do in my spare time? (I love to write and encourage people!)
  • What do you read a lot about?
  • What do you search the most for on the internet?

This is not an exhaustive list, but I believe it is a good place to start. The best thing to do is to get a pen, a journal and good cup of coffee and start answering them in your quiet time.

What other questions could you add to the list? Please leave a comment below!