We've talked a lot about having a defined Purpose/Why and why it's so important for your business. But defining your purpose can get tricky, so as promised in the previous article, Getting Clear About Your Purpose and Why You Should Care, I've written you a handy little guide on how to create your own Purpose definition.

If you're new to this conversation and the ideas of Purpose/Why aren't ringing any bells, then take the time to read the articles highlighted above so you are up to speed and are ready for the exercise. Because it's a game changer for your business!

Why are you in this business?

Yes, everyone wants to make money – whether it's the owner, a commissioned sales person, or someone working for a paycheck. The real question is why did they choose this industry/agency to make their money? You're looking for a bigger, more inspired purpose.

Start asking yourself and your team, "Why are we in this business? What gets us excited about what we do? Why have we chosen the insurance/benefits profession? Why this agency?"

You'll likely get a decent list of answers with a lot of variety. Filter through them and ask yourselves follow up questions on them. "Why is that important? What does it achieve?" When you get the answer, ask those same questions again of the new answer. Usually after asking about three layers of "Why?" you'll find your answer.

For example:

  1. Why are we in this business? What gets us excited about what we do?
  2. We believe benefits are important. | Why are they important?
  3. Because they provide a company with a way to attract and retain employees. | Why is that important? What does that achieve?
  4. If companies cannot hire good employees, then they can't meet their business objectives, can't fulfill client orders, would lose money, and could go out of business.

When you get to the answer that starts explaining that inspired reason for what you're ultimately trying to achieve with your business, then make a statement explaining it. In this example, I would focus on #4 to get to your Purpose/Why:

We help companies meet business objectives by helping to attract and retain employees through a strong benefits program.

Or for more flair and enthusiasm, you might say,

We help build all-star companies that are talent magnets in the community.

Put your own personality to this description in a way that matches your company personality (either current or what you're working to achieve).

In a further narrative (a paragraph or two), explain how you do this through a combination of benefits packages, communication programs, compliance guidance, HR development. Don't include this type of detail in your Purpose statement, otherwise you limit and pigeonhole yourselves into doing specific things. Keep the statement flexible so you can modify services and processes as necessary and as you grow.

Your Why/Purpose drives everything

Once you determine what your statement is going to be, make it your lead and filter for everything. Question your intentions before taking action:

  • For creating marketing activities – "Does this article/video/presentation we're thinking about creating help companies make decisions that get them closer to meeting their business objectives?"
  • In creating new positions – "Does this new position, or the person we're hiring for it, contribute to building stronger client companies?"
  • In pursing education/training for the team – "Does the new material teach our team how to create more value around attracting and retaining rock star employees?"

Connect with people at a level that challenges and educates them and helps them create a better environment. This makes you clearly attractive to the types of clients who value what you value.

Start by defining your Purpose to become the Feared Competitor in your market.

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Photo by Nina Matthews.