As I stated in Part One of this series, being misunderstood has three levels to it; The Personal, The Cultural, and The Visual (or Identity). To recap, Personal deals with finding the right words that adequately communicate our desires to connect. The second is cultural. Purpose moves from the individual to the group and involves putting all those thoughts into a common language. The Visual aspect—taking the language and creating visual symbols and signs that support that message. We will be covering how being understood affects someone personally in the context of business and branding.
The Personal need to be understood entails understanding yourself and being understood by others. Understanding your purpose helps you make decisions, reduces disappointment, and saves energy. Being understood by others facilitates teamwork, reduces missed expectations, and saves time.
Let’s look at each one of these to help reduce obstacles to your ideal future — first, the need to understand yourself.
1. Decisions. Decisions become easier when you ask, “Will this help me fulfill my purpose?”
2. Reducing Disappointment. Stay doing what you love and what you are good at doing.
3. Saving Energy. Won’t go down an attractive, yet not purpose-aligned, path. Knowing your purpose will keep you from saying, “How did I get here?”
1. Facilitates Teamwork. Team members stay in their swim lanes—each can move forward without getting in the other’s way.
2. Reducing Missed Expectations. Being able to articulate your purpose clearly will help others not have misguided expectations about what you can provide or produce.
3. Saves Time. Clear purpose brings efficient alignment of purposes between two individuals. There will be less time wasted discovering if there’s a good fit. Purpose attracts the right people for the right reasons.
A practical application I see quite often is in regards to entrepreneurs. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in wanting to see an idea come to life that they try to do everything themselves or spend years managing a company. True entrepreneurs won’t be happy managing and running a company for a long time. Suppose they realize they love to be the firestarter and not the marathon runner. In that case, they will start with the idea of selling the rights to some other person or company that can do a better job at growing, managing, and facilitating the operations.
There are many ways entrepreneurs can structure a business to keep them doing what they love and allow others to contribute their expertise to make a better product or company for the long term. If entrepreneurs can articulate the purpose of their idea, it will enable the right people to get on the bus—from investors to potential partners to future employees.
Defining your purpose in concise and understandable language can make business decisions simpler and bring an idea to reality more rewarding. Let purpose be your guide.
Here are a few great resources to help you through the process.
The online article How to Pick a Career by Tim Urban and the book The Invisible Leader by Zach Mercurio.