Last week I was back in London for another session with Dent Global as part of the Key Person of Influence (KPI) programme which I began in April this year.
The session was all about building a strong personal profile. But my main takeaway was purpose. Since working with Dent, purpose has been a central theme and something that has become more important to me over recent years, and in fact, it was one of reasons for choosing Dent's business accelerator programme in the first place.
The workshop was led by Mark Leruste. He was full of interesting stories from his own career and successful podcast interviews, and as the day went on, a recurring theme was all about intention. Things in his career had by and large happened by design and not by accident.
I've been mindful for a long time that building marketing-led and ecommerce websites that my agency A Digital has become known for, don't really contribute to our world. Most projects we work on have goals that include spreading positive messages, increasing leads or maximising sales. I don't believe there's anything inherently wrong with this, but I have sometimes found myself questioning the purpose and lasting legacy of our work. There has to be something more to it than simply getting paid. I've come to realise though that delivered in the right way and for the right clients, our website projects can absolutely enable opportunities for us and our clients to make a purposeful impact.
One of the things Mark said during the day that stuck with me was;
I've worked with companies I'd be pleased for my kids to work for.
With 2 young daughters of my own, this really struck a chord. What a fantastic purpose to live by! This isn't just about personal pride of your kids having a good job, but having confidence in the essence of those companies, and knowing that working for them would be contributing to a positive impact, whether thats on education, sustainability, social inclusion or any other of the world's big challenges.
The reality is we all need to make a contribution to the chaos that is planet earth. Whether its climate change, education or poverty, every one of us on the planet can make a small contribution. But it's business that is in the best position to make a collective difference, and that includes us as a small business.
There is of course a caveat to simply having purpose. Purpose isn't a universal currency, and last time I checked, it wasn't something that our mortgage company would accept as payment! But having a purpose at least allows intentional decisions to be made that give direction towards an impact that's close to our hearts. It also gives a feel good factor to our work, and while we might have limited resources on our own, if we can combine our energies with purpose driven clients, that's when we can really make an impact.
I'd highly recommend you check out Mark's content at The Unconventionalists. Having spent the week listening to just a few of his podcasts, there's some fascinating and deeply inspiring stories in there. Recent episodes also appear on YouTube, so do look them up.