We all have times where we feel a little stuck or unclear. Sometimes it's when starting a new business or trying to decide what to do with a struggling one.
At those times, it's important to take a step back and take an objective look at the path we're on. Maybe it's time to go in a slightly different direction – or even make a complete 180 and blaze a completely new path.
Even if things feel 100% right, it's a great idea to go through this brainstorming exercise. Doing so may help you find why you do what you do and develop a greater sense of purpose and importance to your mission.
It's important for all entrepreneurs – both aspiring and established – to feel a deep connection to their purpose. To feel that we're living our mission, that's where happiness, fulfillment and contentment come from.
At the end of the day, it's about doing what makes us happy.
These 9 brainstorming questions will help you rediscover your priorities and put you on a path to discovering your purpose.
So start here:
1. What Am I Good At?
You aren’t perfect. But you have strengths. There are things that come easily — or more easily — for you.
What are they?
We’re brainstorming. Try not to spend too much time on each answer. Attempt to create a list of 5-10 primary strengths.
To provide an example and show that I have skin in the game, too, I’ll try a few of my own…
– Problem Solving
– Big Picture Thinking
If it’s easy to list 10, 20 or more strengths, go for it!
2. What Are My Weaknesses?
Be kind to yourself here. The truth is we’re not good at anything without experience. So this list could easily be long. But don’t allow it to be any longer than your list of strengths.
Mostly, these should be things that you struggle with on a daily or regular basis. Things that you are working on — or maybe things that are a lost cause.
Here are a few of my weaknesses:
– Public Speaking
– Verbal Communication of Love and Appreciation
– Completing Tasks
We don’t need to obsess over each weakness and provide details. You know what they mean. Focus on assembling a complete list.
3. What Am I Knowledgeable About?
This could be related to your strengths, but it doesn’t need to be. Here, we’re focused more on subject matter. What types of useful and useless information clutters your brain?
My short list:
– Facebook Marketing
These are things that interest you. You have experience here. Maybe people come to you when they need information about the topic.
4. What Do I Value?
We start getting more personal now, but don’t skip ahead. These things are important. We will ultimately need to go on a path that allows you to embrace what you value.
These could be things, people, personality traits or anything that matters to you.
Here we go…
These five things certainly frame what I do — and what I’m unwilling to do.
5. What Do I Despise?
It’s important that you’re clear about things that repel you. Ultimately, your direction needs to steer clear of these things.
Things that I stay away from:
Knowing what you don’t want to be is as important as knowing what you want to be.
6. Whom Can I Help?
Now we start approaching business-related possibilities. Based on your knowledge, what you’re good at, and what you love to do, who can benefit from your experiences?
A few of mine:
– Baseball coaches
– Baseball parents
You don’t need a business idea in mind for any of these. Just recognize what groups of people could use your help.
7. What Problems Do They Have?
Now create a list for each group, putting yourself in their shoes. Think about the problems they are facing and the questions they may be asking.
Below is my example for marketers:
– Targeting properly
– Putting together a strategy or plan
– Understanding all of their options (overwhelm)
– Achieving a positive ROI
8. What Makes Me Happy?
There doesn’t need to be a direct relationship with business when creating this list. But know this: Whatever you do in life, it must allow you the ability to experience these things that make you happy. If it takes you away from them, it isn’t worthwhile.
A few of my “happy places”:
– Making a difference
– Sitting in the stands at a baseball game
– Achievement and overcoming obstacles
– A smile on my sons’ faces
9. What is My “Big Why?”
This is your story. Your purpose. The meaning behind what drives you.
In 2003, our oldest son Michael was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. That period of time helped me appreciate what was important, prioritize my life, and ignore what doesn’t matter. Michael is a healthy teenager today, but that experience forever changed our family. I appreciate time: Time with my sons, time with my wife, time that I’m alive.
My “Big Why” is my family. My motivation is to provide for them, and — more importantly — spend time with them. Providing for my family without creating time that can be shared is counterproductive. I ultimately want to look back at a lifetime of experiences — not wasted hours spent on and endless desire to “achieve” and profit.
You can learn more and find 8 more important questions to discover your purpose at Jon Loomer.