There’s a common misconception in the business world that if passion is leading the business, it must be a non-profit. That one must choose either profit or purpose. In truth, most businesses begin from a passion and a vision to improve upon an element of life.
On Entrpreneur.com, Clate Mask, Co-founder & CEO of Infusionsoft argues that passion, freedom, and impact are three of the most important ingredients for business success. So how do you turn those ingredients into a recipe for profit?
Clearly Define Your Passion and Turn it Into A Purpose
According to Conscious Capitalism, Inc. “Knowing WHY your business exists, provides you with a compass to find and stay focused on achieving your True North (Higher Purpose). Profit is a means to the end of purpose for conscious businesses.” At Vine Collective, we have a passion to improve relationships between the planet, people, and animals. That’s all well and good but how do we derive a profit from that? We empower purpose driven businesses to improve the world we live in. With those heart-felt statements at the core of everything we do, the business now has a foundation and litmus from which to guide all elements of the business moving forward. From hiring and internal processes, to product development, and client acquisition – every decision in the business is analyzed and viewed through the lens of the business purpose.
Find Your Niche
Where is there a gap in the marketplace? Luckily, there are enough people in the world that you don’t need to invent the next life-changing product in order to be successful. For some lucky businesses there’s already a market established and you’ve found a way to improve upon it. For others, you have a passion for a particular product or service, and you have a way to deliver better service. In our current business climate, there are thousands of new products being created that are improving on the environmental impact of what consumers have determined to be essential, for instance Green Paper Products sources and sells disposable and sustainable foodservice tableware, and Green Fern Events produces environmentally sustainable events. They didn’t invent these industries, but they used their passions to improve upon them.
Whatever your passion and purpose, find leaders in that industry and determine what you can do to improve upon it.
Whether you’ve invented something new or improved upon an existing product or service, it’s important to develop a voice, an image, and a consistent message. Don’t wing it and don’t let your product guide your marketing. Hark back to that all powerful purpose statement, determine the language that does and does not reinforce that statement and document the articulated expression of your business.
From that exploration, build a brand book for your business. This is not just a tool for your marketing team, it’s a bible for all team members. If your shipping department knows your voice and purpose, you can be assured that your service department does too.
Create And Nurture Your Corporate Culture
Passion flows through a leader and into all those they communicate with. If passion and purpose are lacking, so does the performance of the team.
According to McLeod & More, when the majority of employees believe the primary purpose of the organization is to make money, the organization is destined for mediocrity, and organizations whose purpose is to improve the lives of their customers, outperform their competition and the market as a whole.
In an article on Forbes Purpose-driven companies evolve faster than others, author Catarina Bulgarella makes the case that “Purpose does more than make a brand unique. It can shine a light on a business’ evolutionary path. At a basic level, purpose can simply express what an organization aspires to be and do. But at a more advanced one, it becomes a conscious expression of how an organization intends to evolve and transform itself.”
When an individual is working for a greater purpose, they communicate differently and proceed with meaning from their own passions. When a team is working toward a greater purpose, systems get put into place that solidify the effect on the community and the world.
Do The Work
Is it true that where there is passion there is success. NO! You can’t just show up with passion, hope, and a great heart and expect the dollars to be passed out on your first class flight to your beach vacation. Not every day will be awesome, and not every month will be profitable. However, when every vector is pointed in the same direction, you and your team will feel more fulfilled and energized to push through, doing the hard work to create the products and services that make meaningful change the world.
Profit is necessary for the success of every organization. For some businesses it’s necessary to invest so much upfront time and money that years may pass before profit is a possibility. For others, profit is much less difficult. It’s incredibly important, however, to find other hurdles to celebrate. Client success, product development, a failure that resulted in a learning opportunity – celebrate as a team and celebrate often.
Profit is not the purpose of a business, rather the test of its validity. – Peter Drucker