There’s a lot of questions when it comes to purpose. And why wouldn’t there be, everyone wants to know what it is they’re here to do…
Someone recently asked me though if it’s possible to have more than one purpose?
It’s an interesting question because for me personally, and from what I’ve observed in other people I’ve studied, I don’t think we have multiple purposes but I do think it’s possible that our purpose evolves over time.
Because I think the danger of thinking that we have two or three purposes is, it can allow shiny objects to come in and blind you from what you’re really here to do…but if anything I believe everyone has a personal purpose which can be expressed commercially through many different forms.
So for me, I’m very blessed to have discovered my purpose relatively early in my mid to late 20s.
Through the observation and the analysis of my life, and just by trying lots of different things I realised that I was most happy, most healthy and most lit up when I helped people.
I looked back at my entire life and was able to discover that helping people was what I loved to do and that when I was doing that, I felt most alive.
But then I had to look at the commercial aspect and go, well how do I make helping people a business?
By that point I had already been doing business for a long time thankfully, and I already had a set of skills so it made sense – I like helping people in business and I like helping businesses.
So for me it was easy. I have my personal purpose here…and my business purpose here and there’s just a slither of a gap between them. The only difference is that for my business purpose there’s more of a commercial framework around it than my personal purpose. The two go hand in hand.
The problem is when the two are miles apart and going in the opposite direction, and that’s when you have work on aligning them and bringing them together so you can express what you love in the commercialised field that you’re in.
I did this with my client Bruce – he’s got a concreting business and he nearly shut the business down. It was a successful business though, it was making money, he had a great team and was operating at a level of scale…but Bruce wanted to be a coach.
So I asked him, “Is coaching people your passion?”
“Yes,” he said.
“You love coaching people?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“How often do you spend thinking about it?” I asked.
“All the time,” he replied.
“So how much time do you actually spend coaching people in your business?”
“Oh f#ck…” he said.
Because he was sitting there fantasising about this thing he wanted to do but what he didn’t realise was that the opportunity to express that passion and the language of his purpose was right in front of him the whole time – he just didn’t see the connection.
Now he’s heavily involved in coaching his team and heavily involved in our K2 program and coaching our clients as well.
But he didn’t have to go and start a new business to feel fulfilled, he just had to find a way to express his purpose and what it is he loves to do.
So, you’ve got to be very careful if you’re considering that you might have more than one purpose because to me it sounds like a distraction from what it is you’re really here to do.
Your purpose can evolve, but from my experience, I don’t think you can have more than one purpose, except for the commercialisation of your personal purpose.