Business Foundations – Purpose, Intentions, Values and Strengths
I think you will probably all agree that this past year has been a challenge. For so many of us it has also been a time to review and adjust both our personal lives and our businesses.
When the opportunity arose to sign up to the 5-day FLOW challenge from MPower I took it. Following the challenge, there was the option to join the full 90-day programme. I felt that this would be a great way for me to go back to basics and really look at how my business and, more importantly, my life, align.
The programme is split into two parts with the first part focussing on the foundations – Purpose, Intentions, Values and Strengths and in this blog I want to share my new foundations for my business and how they link into the lifestyle I want.
My Paramount Purpose
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse, however, a fear of needles put me off! As I grew older and I took ‘career tests’ at school, everything pointed to me doing something that involved caring or supporting people. As I grew I decided I wanted to become a teacher, however I had a breakdown when I was 19 so had to leave University – I did finish my degree with Open University and gained so many skills though this that I now use to ensure I am disciplined when working from home.
My ‘career’ took a different path as I stated to work in offices and build up skills that complemented those I was learning through my degree – which was in maths and logic played a huge part in this.
All the skills that I have learned over the years have allowed me to get to the point where I can quickly pick up most software systems and use them to relieve stress for my clients.
Whilst reflecting on my business and my life, I have come to realise that although I am not in a traditional ‘caring’ profession, my work does take away stress from my clients and therefore I do feel that I am making a difference.
I would summarise my paramount purpose as:
Working with women in business to help them become more organised and efficient by utilising technology and planning. I aim to take the stress out of the key systems that business owners need to use and to explain them in a simple, non-technical way so that they can feel empowered and able to achieve their business goals with less stress. By doing this I can create a business that allows me to travel and spend time with my family. Our life can be based anywhere globally as the location is not a barrier to my business growth or the support I can provide to my clients.
“Do what you love. Love what you do. Deliver more than you promise.” – Harvey Mackay
Having explored the intention for my business and life I have identified 3 core intentions that sit at the heart of everything I do and will inform the direction I want my business to go in.
- Clarity & Empowerment – through my business I will provide clarity to and empower 1000 female business owners to utilise technology to grow and develop their business online.
- Collaboration – I am surrounded by a network of intuition led, heart-centred business owners who lift each other up and encourage one another to grow through collaboration without any concern about competition. Women empowering women.
- Worklife Balance – my business compliments my family life. Therefore, it is allowing our family to achieve our dreams of spending time living abroad and purchasing a second home in Wales that we plan to turn into a second business venture.
“Use your imagination until your big dream feels so familiar that its manifestation is the next logical step.” – Abraham-Hicks
The best way to gain insight into someone and how they run their business is by their values. My core values for not just my business but for my life are intuition, integrity and authenticity.
Intuition or as some might call it, that gut feeling. As women we are often very in tune with our intuition, and I will continue to be led by this in the decisions I make both in life and within my business.
Integrity – honesty and clarity should be at the heart of all business. I will always be honest, open and clear with clients.
Lastly authenticity, probably the most important value but also the most difficult. The one I struggle with the most. Telling my own story, being my genuine self and learning that it is ok for people not to understand me or not to want to work with me. This is the one I am continually working on and I am getting better at accepting that I’m not for everyone.
There are also a few other values that I think are a must in my business, for example, accuracy, collaboration, determination, passion and productivity are all traits that I feel are essential, particularly in the work that I do but also within the wider business community.
Outside of business I have slightly different values for my life, I am a great believer in stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. You need to push yourself in life just as much as you do in business, so my life values are:
“Strive for integrity – that means knowing your values in life and behaving in a way that is consistent with these values. – Unknown
Strengths (and weaknesses)
Being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses is so important, but this is also difficult as a lot of us don’t like to shout about our achievements and we therefore focus on the weaknesses.
I took a profiling test as part of this programme and this is what it deduced. My core strength is as an organiser, that’s really no surprise. It’s essentially the word my whole business revolves around. If I wasn’t organised, I wouldn’t be able to do the job I do. Secondary to this I am an explainer and if we go back to my intentions, explaining and clarity go hand in hand don’t they. I always try to take topics that can be quite complex and break them down into clearer, simplistic terms that my clients can easily understand.
I have four further strengths that rank highly pride – no surprise there as I’m a perfectionist! Service – I love to help people, incubator and resolver – I research a lot both in business and life, I never just accept what I am told, draw my own conclusions and find a way that works for me and my family!
The test also showed some of my ‘learned strengths’. The key ones that help me in my business are work ethic, courage and authenticity, I believe these are all are fundamental to the discipline needed to work for yourself.
Of course, this isn’t just about my strengths, I also learnt a lot about my weaknesses! The good and the bad and even the ugly! I, like everyone else, have quite a few weaknesses. The key ones I’d like to share are humour, I’m just not a jokey kind of person. They just don’t amuse me; I don’t find them funny. Those silly cat videos on YouTube, just not for me. My other key weakness was optimism. That’s a big one for me and one that I am working hard to change.
“When I learn something new – and it happens every day – I feel a little more at home in the universe, a little more comfortable in the nest.” – Bill Moyers
I feel that this part of my programme has made me feel really confident in the foundations that underpin my business and that is why I wanted to share these in this blog. Now I have these in place I look at the next steps for my business and thinning down my post-it covered ideas wall by prioritising the things that are aligned to my intentions and purpose.
Let me leave you with this quote:
“I stay true to myself and my style and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original.” – Aaliyah