A Purpose-filled Year for the Control Freak

control freak expertise mission statements new year's planning purpose rebranding solo-entrepreneurship starting a business vision board Dec 03, 2018

As a solo-purneur do you believe that this adventure you're on is guided by a journey to uncover your purpose?  Did you decide to be in business for yourself because it was a calling or a divine mission statement placed on your heart?  Most of us solo-entrepreneurs, or even not so solo want to believe this about ourselves and this line of work we have chosen.  You volunteered for this endeavor because your deepest desire was to serve a greater vision “bestowed on you” for others, but today I am going to call you out.  I believe if you peel back the layers of most entrepreneurs reasoning for doing what we do, it was no divine intervention, no act of clarity - it was the want and the determination to control something. #sorrynotsorry  It is our “inner control-freak” desperate to mold things to our bidding. If you’re honest with yourself, you know I’m speaking the truth.

Now, I know this is somewhat harsh on you.  It’s harsh on myself & harsh on the community I like to call my “work family”, but hear me out!  I don't believe you are a part of the small minority of entrepreneurs who are takers, and that the majority of you are in business to give to others in some way.  Otherwise, why would you purposefully put yourself in this line of work? So it’s a bit harsh on you, but I have been pursuing this life as a solo-entrepreneur for approximately six years now.  This year perhaps your pursuit for a purpose is a glorified excuse to calm your anxiety of the unknown ahead.  That it’s a way to try to find some kind of control in a position that has no real manual to guide you. Sound familiar?

If you don't believe this, let me give you some stats.  This year, Americans spent $11 billion in the self-help industry alone.  Majority of them will be GenX and Millennials.  The average rate of the typical American entrepreneur opening a small shop has fallen 30% over the past three years (FYI: the historic route that has an educational map to building a business), where the online-solo-entrepreneur has risen almost 70% in the same timeframe (no real educational track available because it encompasses everything.!) Interesting, huh?...  So in this space, it is no wonder, that a lot of you are preparing for years of “what can I control” with “I am in business because it’s my purpose.” When what you really need to be asking yourselves is, “what can I do to keep my skill, my craft, and my expertise in a telescopic focus”? So we can actually RUN a business!

If you want to pursue a purpose-filled year as a entrepreneur, you need to let go of your beliefs that mission statements, “words of the year”, goal setting planners filled with stickers and vision board parties are the guiding lights to you feeling you are preparing yourself to change the world in some way with your businesses.

This may be sac-religious but being in business is NOT a purpose!  I just want to set you all straight and remind myself as well (because I’m *woo-woo curious and can fall in this trap too).  A business is a means of economic development and income. Business is not a purpose. Being in business requires you to focus on providing your customers with a product, tool or service they need; and yes I’m saying it, a business is not a purpose!  It’s an outlet for you to feel some sort of control to change something, not finding meaning. You can’t find that in business and neither can your customer. Finding purpose requires work that isn’t about your business.

In past years I’ve pursued my own control of what I believe needs to be changed in this world as an entrepreneur, I have been convinced and hoodwinked by solo-entrepreneurs believing they had the perfect recipe for me to follow to my purpose.  They will have you fallen in line to let them guide you in what they say you should be doing to be successful. All it will do is feed your anxiety and cover the skills you've developed to mentor and lead others. You probably already are an expert in figuring out why the hell you can’t let go of this dream of yours to have your own business! I promise you, I’m no business badass who knows your most direct path to success. If anyone tells you that, it’s bullshit. The thousands of dollars you'll spend on knowledge-based resources for your business before you realize this, is because we are grasping at straws at some piece of advice that will guide you to feeling like you know what the hell you are doing.  Some of it is necessary, and then some of it is just fun, but I promise you, you are not going to find your purpose on Pinterest. I know it for a fact; know you’ve searched there too?

Listen, I’ll be the first to say, I love a good affirmation card as much as the next entrepreneur, keep using them. I’ve made a vision board the past five years and love it; I think you should make one too! 

What I hope you’ll take from this is, if it is your pursuit for this year is to remain on the path of entrepreneurship, stop pressuring yourself to live your purpose.  Didn’t you start this because you wanted a bit of freedom from that kind of pressure?

  Vision Board 2016

 Vision Board 2017

 Vision Board 2018

 Vision Board 2019

*woo-woo curious - interested in all things that have to do with belief, but doesn't necessarily practice all of them