Finding your core purpose

Whitecliffe’s Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation (MCEI) students recently caught up with Logan Wedgwood, Managing Director of Auckland-based business consultancy Advisory Works, published author and columnist for NZ Business magazine. Logan is a legend at helping businesses be better, and he’s especially good at helping them find their why. Need some help finding yours?

Read on!

Finding your core purpose

Finding your ‘why’ is a critical step in the entrepreneurial journey. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning – and it’s what keeps you going when the going gets tough.

It’s all about the feels
“There are two aspects to core purpose – the purpose of the company, and also your sense of purpose. That’s the purpose you lead with and the one that tends to infiltrate and drive the company, and as you introduce more people to that company it’s a unifying banner that helps everyone understand why you do what you do,” explains Logan.

“The mistake I think people make with a purpose is they try to turn it into a tagline that can sell stuff. That’s not the purpose of articulating a core purpose – if you’re trying to articulate it in a way to make more sales, you’re going down the wrong track. In my experience, you need to find the why for yourself first, and then it will connect with the right customers. I don’t believe in coming up with the why for your customers, I believe in coming up with it for you and then it will work with them or not.

“When you get your core purpose right it will resonate with you emotionally and it will filter down through everything, like your communications, your strategic plans, and the way you conduct yourself while doing business. When you can feel it and articulate it, people will connect with it whether it’s a well-rounded tagline or not.”

The power of storytelling
“People come to us because they have lost their direction or are trying to carve a new direction, and they’re looking to us to help create a catalytic change. The truth comes out through storytelling – the evidence is there, it already exists and the why is in it, you just might not be able to articulate it yet.

“I encourage people not to overthink what their purpose is and instead tap into what they are feeling. What’s getting you out of bed in the morning? What’s driving you? When you can connect with that and share that with people, if it’s the right people, they will want to do business with you.

“Sometimes being in business is hard, it sucks and you don’t want to get out of bed. We’ve all been through that. But for some reason, you do get out of bed every morning, and that is where your why is. There is something that drives you to keep going when it is hard. It’s emotional, it’s something you feel, and that’s what we try to help our clients tap into.”

An easy way to find your why
Got a pen? Draw three circles around each other, and write ‘why’ in the middle circle, ‘how’ in the second circle, and ‘what’ in the outer circle. Start in the outer circle, writing down exactly what it is that you do until you’ve exhausted all your ideas. Then move into the middle circle – the how - writing down everything you can think of about how you do things, and how this sets you apart. By the time you get into the middle circle, all you’ll be left with is that really tough question of why, but you’ll no longer be confused with everything else that is jumbled in your head, so you can just tap into how you feel and answer the question. Logan says that getting the 'what' and the 'how' out of your headfirst will bring you a lot closer to answering your 'why'.

Are you an aspiring founder searching for your ‘why’?

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