In this special section, our annual Women Minding Their Own Business profiles, you will have the opportunity to “meet” and learn more about these fascinating, hard-working women. What they do, why and how they do it. We showcase the prodigious variety of businesses local women have created. Check them out! You’ll be happy you did.
If you’re a woman business owner who cares about living a balanced, fulfilling, and impactful life, then it’s vital that you know and fully live your purpose. There’s actually nothing more important you can do for your success and contentment in 2018.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some of the most compelling statistics on why knowing your purpose truly matters.
When you know your purpose…
• It’s correlated with higher income and net worth (Carelton, Cornell, West Virginia, Northwestern, 2016)
• You’re 50% more likely to be a leader (Imperative / NYU, 2015)
• You’ll experience 64% higher level of career fulfillment (Imperative / NYU, 2015)
• It quadruples the likelihood of being engaged at work (Gallup/Healthways, 2013)
• You’re 50% more likely to have meaningful relationships at work (Imperative / NYU, 2015)
I know the cost of NOT living in alignment with my purpose. There was a time when I was on a career path to becoming a psychologist. Yet I felt drained and struggled to get out of bed every morning as I struggled with depression. Ultimately, this led me down a path filled with learnings about how to shift into my purpose work and help others do so. It’s often in our dark night of the soul that we discover what our calling is, or shift our lives in ways to move towards the compass of our destiny.
As entrepreneurial women, we have the gift of being able to weave our purpose into our business in extraordinary ways. As we evolve, our purpose often evolves too, and so it’s vital to continually engage in purpose-inquiry work.
Here are 4 tips to help you grow your business purposefully in 2018:
Clarify your purpose: January is an ideal time to reflect on your unique purpose so you can set yourself up for a year aligned with what matters most to you. You likely have experienced life lessons that have informed who you are today, which might be quite different than who you were even a year ago. Use these questions to clarify and update your purpose now: What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your life? If your business were a revolution, what is the purpose of the movement you desire to lead? What events in the world move you to anger or tears? When you reflect on the seed of what inspired you to start your business, what was the purpose at the heart of it?
Focus on the heart of what really matters: Each moment as an entrepreneur, you’re making decisions that are crucial for your personal and business well-being. The more crystal clarity you have about your purpose, the more quickly you can make decisions aligned with your values. The impact? More happiness, profit, and peace of mind. The reverse is also true. You’ll need to start saying no to that which is not aligned with your purpose. This is not always easy for women, but it’s essential for truly living on purpose. Purpose has a ripple impact, so when you keep your purpose close to your heart, you show up as a powerful leader for your business.
Put your purpose at the forefront of your marketing. So many women entrepreneurs struggle with being visible and consistent with their marketing. There’s something that can feel out of alignment or “too salesy” when we move away from our purpose with our message. Sometimes it’s easier to hide. And yet, often it’s our deepest purpose that actually inspires our clients to say yes to working with us because we are coming from a place of speaking our truth and inspiration. I’d invite you to take five minutes and answer this prompt repeatedly: “The purpose of my work is to….” Once the five minutes are up (you might want to set a timer), take a look over what you wrote and see if any inspiration is there for your website copy, your next newsletter article, or how you can share more authentically at your next networking event.
Align your values and expand your purpose. When you are clear on your purpose, you naturally find ways to expand it in the world. For example, I support an organization called TreeSisters, a network of women planting over one million trees a year. Why? Because both my clients and I value sustainability, feminine wisdom, and empowering women. Women are here to positively impact the world and your business is an incredible way to shape the world you want to live in. Is there a cause that speaks to your heart? An organization that deeply matters to you? Cause-based marketing can help you collaborate with organizations that are aligned with your purpose. Some other benefits of cause-based marketing include: more customers, an enhanced brand image, and connecting to new audiences. And research shows that customers are highly likely to buy products and services from businesses that support good causes over those that don’t. So you can live your purpose AND support the planet!
I invite you to take some time to reflect or journal on the questions posed above, and from that place of inspiration, ask yourself: If you could create anything you want in your business and life in the next 12 months, what would it be?
Terra Christoff, Ph.D. is a business coach who helps women entrepreneurs embody their soul’s purpose so they can live their full potential, feeling confident, passionate, and aligned in their business, able to have a bigger impact and truly live their calling. Terra also is a certified Best Year Yet facilitator and leads individuals, groups, and organizational teams through a proven process to create their best year by focusing on what truly matters to them.
As a business coach, I have seen a variety of enterprising women take advantage of the unique opportunity to examine their businesses at various stages – from an idea to startup to up-leveling and expansion or re-branding. Many need to assess the viability of a concept or product in the marketplace, while others are looking for specialized skills such as website creation, accounting or Quick Books knowledge, business plan development, social media or marketing expertise. Mountain BizWorks offers a smart, guiding force through its network of coaches and staff, providing a careful match of personality and skill for each student. Unlike a teacher who educates by imparting her knowledge about a subject, a coach’s job is to produce results in others. It’s a subtle but important distinction.
When I was 17, my older sister Jennifer took her own life. Jennifer was my role model, and in my grief, I also came close to suicide. I am grateful that I made a different choice. Instead of death, I chose to make life my path of liberation. Becoming an entrepreneur was born from this choice.
I remember emerging from four years of graduate training in Counseling & Expressive Arts Therapy back in 2007 only to realize that there was not a single job posting that would let me be fully myself. None of the mental health positions available offered me the freedom I craved to really show up and make my unique contribution.
So I pioneered my own way into entrepreneurship—creating a business that would set me free to do the unique work that my heart and soul called me to do. Ever since, I approach each workday as a liberating opportunity to reveal more of who I am and step deeper into my purposeful work. I live in constant discovery—always finding new treasures in response to the questions I’ve invited thousands to explore for themselves: Who am I now? What is my purpose? And how can my gifts make their unique contribution in the world?
These questions led me to the joy of guiding others to create the business they were born to lead—the one that sets them free. We begin with the inner work of re-discovering who they are, what their deeper purpose is propelling them to do, how their greatest gifts can make the most meaningful difference. And then we turn that goodness into a business focused on the people they are uniquely designed to serve.
Over the years, it has become clear that each person I work with is craving liberation, and is hiding some part of who they are. Whether they are hiding their talents, hiding their fears, hiding their value, hiding something embarrassing, hiding their power, hiding their spirituality, hiding their money, hiding a past failure, or hiding their truth… there is always something hiding that has to come out in order for these courageous individuals to show up fully to the work they’re called to do.
One of my favorite liberating things to say to my entrepreneurial clients to encourage them to come out of hiding is this: With the Earth’s population at 7.6 Billion, you need to REPEL MORE THAN 7 BILLION people in order to attract the hundreds, thousands, or even millions you’re uniquely designed to serve. My clients LOVE when I say this because it gives them permission to be disliked, judged, and rejected…which is often their greatest fear.
Because I work with individuals who tend to be people-pleasers & perfectionists, being liked and approved of by all who meet them is high on their list of priorities—consciously or subconsciously. If you have these same tendencies, you’ll constantly water down, suppress, contort, constrict, conform, hush, and hide the bold truth of who you really are, what you really have to say, and the unique Value that only you can offer.
When you’re an entrepreneur in a sea of people who offer similar services, your uniqueness, authenticity, and visibility are crucial to help you stand out to those who need your gifts the most. But if you hold back in these areas in fear of negative judgment, your business never takes off because you never FULLY SHOW UP.
Once you realize that indeed you’re not designed to serve every human on this planet (nor do you have the capacity for 7.6 Billion clients), you no longer have to be attractive to everyone. Once you give yourself permission to repel people, you can fully come out of hiding and be whom you really are! It is so much fun when the spirit of liberation takes full effect for my clients and their freedom reigns in their business. Then their business becomes a full expression of their Uniqueness and offers a stage upon which they can freely do what they were born to do.
If you want to take your next bold step in the direction of liberation, I invite you to “Unleash the Work You’re Designed to Do.” As a New Year’s gift, I am offering my
five-day online mini-course for
free. You can access it at
www.JessicaChiltonSPARK.com. May 2018 be your year to come out of hiding, move beyond fear, and say Yes to your greater calling.
Jessica Chilton guides women to come out of hiding and create the business they were born to lead—the one that sets them free to make their unique contribution. If 2018 is your year to Love Liberate & Launch, sign up for a complimentary Visioning Session at www.JessicaChiltonSPARK.com.
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