Finding Your Personal Purpose: And How it Impacts Your Business Value

What gets you out of bed in the morning? And don’t say, “my alarm clock”. Although, it may be technically accurate. 

Everyone has something that drives them in their life. Whether it be their family relationships, their desire to make a positive change in their community, or their drive to create something bigger than themselves. By understanding what motivates you personally, you put yourself on the path toward building significant value in your personal and professional life.  

Do You Know Your Purpose?

In order to have a meaningful life, you’ll need to cultivate your strengths, talents, and capabilities and use them to benefit yourself and others. People who have a clearly defined purpose in life live years longer than those who have no sense of purpose. According to an article published in Forbes, “Spend your time now figuring out what you enjoy doing, so that when you’re retired and have the additional time, you can spend that time doing what brings you happiness. Maximize your time during retirement by focusing the pre-retirement years on discovering what brings you joy and fulfillment.”

Jan Graybill, Senior Partner at Legacy Planning Partners and CEPA since 2015, shares that personal purpose is a “critical component in what drives the owner’s strategy. Some owners are driven by charitable giving, some are driven by reducing taxes, and some are driven by lifestyle. We always want to identify not only the purpose but also the ‘Legacy’ they want to leave behind.”

He asks his clients two questions related to their purpose. 

“How do you want to be remembered after your business exit?”

“How do you want to be remembered after exiting this lifetime?” 

Before you retire, think about the things in your life outside of your business that give your life meaning and purpose. Perhaps it is spending time strengthening your family relationships, tending to a garden, or expanding your knowledge by reading. Whatever gives your life purpose should have a place in your post-business life.   

The Impact of Living On Purpose

Every human being has the fundamental need to feel like their life has a purpose. For retired business owners, their purpose was intertwined in their business for so long that they struggle to find purpose in their post-exit life. Marianne Oehser, Partner at Next Chapter Lifestyle Advisors, says, “Your impact has nothing to do with the scope of your purpose. You can have an immense impact on the world around you with a specific purpose.”

Understanding your personal purpose not only strengthens your business but allow you to flourish in your life after your exit. While your business’s purpose might differ from your own, without having a purpose you will never reach your most fulfilled life. 

Think of why you started your business. What were you trying to accomplish with your company? All businesses serve a specific purpose for their consumers, whether that purpose is to provide a product, experience, or action, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that does not serve a purpose. Dr. Fred Johnson, CEO and Founder of InitiativeOne Leadership Institute, shares that less than 1% of businesses know their purpose. Even less make decisions based on this purpose. He continues, “Purpose is much more than a goal or a plan. Social capital connects humans. Purpose strengthens those connections. It inspires trusting relationships, collaboration, and complex problem-solving. Purpose humanizes leadership by connecting actions and decisions with powerful aspects of core identity. It will guide and align your efforts with a more profound sense of who you are and how you lead and communicate at your best.”

Finding Your Purpose

The Exit Planning Institute recently had Gino Wickman, Founder of EOS Worldwide, Keynote The Exit Planning Summit. During his address, he shared, “I believe you deserve it, I believe it is your purpose and I believe you owe it to yourself and the people in your life to live your optimal life.”  

Finding and living according to your purpose benefits not only you but important members in your life. Your purpose plays a crucial role in determining your personal next act plan and will ensure your life post-exit will be fulfilling. Living according to your purpose not only impacts your next act but allows you to live your optimal life today as well. By managing your energy and optimizing your current life, you are able to explore your passions outside of your business. Passions that can ultimately make up a large portion of your next act. While our 2013 State of Owner Readiness Survey found that 75% of owners profoundly regretted selling their business within a year, having a defined personal purpose greatly lessens that regret. Some owners may even feel more fulfilled personally than they ever were in their business.   

Establishing Your Core Values 

After determining your personal purpose, you can define your personal Core Values. Your values influence every action you take and can impact your decision-making in both your business and your life after business. To determine your personal Core Values, consider taking a personal retreat, consulting with trusted friends and relatives, and expanding on your personal purpose. These Core Values should hold you accountable for living according to your purpose. Similar to reviewing your business Core Values quarterly, we recommend you check in with yourself to ensure your personal Core Values remain pertinent in your life.  

Learn more about the impact of personal planning during your exit planning in our upcoming whitepaper, “Walking You Through the Perfect Exit – Personal Purpose-driven, Next Act Planning.”