Think like a Beggar when you think of your Purpose

What’s your Business Purpose is one of the fundamental things I ask every client when I work with them.


Some of them will get it. Some of them won’t.


The ones who do, have probably read Start with Why by Simon Sinek and are very clear on their business purpose so we’re already off to a great start.


Understanding Business Purpose is fundamental to every business and every entrepreneur. Because it’s the “why” that sustains us on this entrepreneurial journey.


It’s also the thing that we usually need reminding of when we go off track.


And when we remember our “why”, we make better decisions every time.


I always tell the story of when my son Sean was 3 years old sitting in the back of the car asking me “What are you for, Mammy?” which totally floored me and resulted in me digging deep to remember my own “why”.  Of course, Sean didn’t need to be reminded… He knew immediately and with absolute certainty that he was “for digging”! Cue the John Deere stage in his growth 😉


Today I want to give you a Different Perspective on Why.

It is a result of my daily journalling practice using the 6 Minute Journal that I received as a gift from someone I greatly respect.


As part of this journaling practice, there’s a weekly series of questions. They are different every week. This particular week was all around Purpose and Why Does it Matter that you exist?


And of course, I duly reflected and wrote on each of these prompts. But the one that stopped me in my tracks was this…


If You Were A Beggar,

What Would You Write on Your Begging Sign?


Now, this I love because you have to dig deep to answer.


You have to imagine yourself on the street with only one opportunity to connect with the rest of the human race.


This is your one chance to make them stop in their tracks.


To turn around and read that simple sign that has a limited amount of space on it.


There can be no waffle here.


And you can’t hide behind “ism’s and acronyms, you’ll have to say it simply, clearly and in a language they can understand.


This is your one chance to make YOU, stop in your tracks in this exercise and really think about your why, your purpose, your reason for being…


What will you say?


Dig deep now…


Deep in the gut… not the head… because you’ll over-intellectualise it and this won’t be a learning experience.


And it needs to be…


I did… I went straight to the gut with no fancy brainwaves to cloud the way…


and I was surprised but I learned something really valuable here…


Here’s What I Wrote on My Sign…


Think like a Beggar - Business Purpose


Let me Show you What I’ve Learned from This Experience!


Forgive the image… but hopefully you’ll get the point.


The revelation for me was the impetus to share what I’ve learned on this entrepreneurial journey, warts and all. I have always taken the stance in the development of How Great Marketing Works that I’ve gone there… so you don’t have to.  This is why you’ll always hear me speak about the map.


It’s because, I want you to have the benefit of my experience and the experiences of all those entrepreneurs and businesses I’ve worked with over the years.


But this exercise added a deeper component to my previously stated Business Purpose which I may not have tapped into before.


I will now.


It made me reflect that even if I was a beggar on the street I would want to share what I learned from that experience. That this experience, this deeply challenging and gut desolate place could hold something that would have value to others. That here too, was learning that I could share.


This deeper dive into Business Purpose also calls to mind a heated discussion I had a with a client recently around this topic and he said and I quote…

“It’s NOT my passion Finola! It’s my CALLING!”


Powerful words, well stated and I know they came from deep within.


I don’t think he realised how deep his purpose was until he said that out loud.


That’s what’s called for here… depth and gut and all straight from the heart talking.


It’s not just Business Purpose.


It’s more than that.


It’s deeper than that.


And stating it will add Gut to your business and frame how you speak about what you do whether you’re a technology company, an artist or a restaurant.


Nobody is exempt from this stage if they want true growth.


So, dig deep and Think Like a Beggar, when you think of your Purpose.


What would you put on your sign?


Please share in the comments below.


Please share outside of your own inner circle.


Be proud of it. It comes from a good place and you know, I’d really love to read it.


I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.

6 responses to “Think like a Beggar when you think of your Purpose

    1. and sometimes we really need to switch off the brain to listen to what the rest of our bodies are telling us and often screaming at us… the goal obviously is to allow all of our wisdom’s work together – it’d be amazing what we could do then wouldn’t it! Thank you for sharing Mary Ann 🙂

  1. Love this. We should always act with humility knowing how easy it can be to lose it all. Mine would be something like:

    I’ve made mistakes. I need your help to turn my life around. I promise to help someone else in need when I’m back on my feet.

    1. Wonderful Grant. I love your sign… I know I would stop and help you… just because of how you wrote it… powerful stuff… the humility of it as you say would make me stop…

      I did a powerful exercise also recently where you had to dig deep and identify who you are at your core… then you were asked what would happen if that was gone… discovered some really deep and useful things in that one – it’s the work of – check her out.

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