Case Study (Part 9): Operating Your Business On Purpose

October 19, 2012

What is your life purpose? Do you want to make a difference in people’s personal or business lives?

Or do you want to achieve your full potential … and enjoy the benefits that come with this achievement?

And before I comment on yesterday’s coaching session with Martha, one more question. How does your business or self-employment venture help achieve your life purpose?

Like many of us, Martha wants to make a difference in people’s lives. She possesses the ability to help adults creatively interact with children. A natural mentor, she can also help individuals organize their personal activities and systematize their business practices. And to enrich her personal resources even more, Martha can and does help individuals develop and maintain healthy work-life balances.

I developed this profile based on Martha’s assessment and her responses to my questions I yesterday’s coaching session..

When I asked her how her business helped her with these things, she replied “…it used to help but now it just gets in the way.

She went on to explain that she had never planned on running a business—she drifted into it encouraged by friends. As long as she was actually working with clients she happy; but when she had to do the ‘business stuff’ like marketing and ‘messing around with numbers and reports’ she found something more interesting to do.

With this background information, Martha’s response to the key question of the day was not surprising. When asked about her vision of success for her business, Martha said that she wanted to help clients but didn’t want to be involved in marketing or other business management issues.

Like many of us, Martha doesn’t want to market her professional services…she wants clients, and lots of them, to come to her.

That’s a good start.

However, my next question brought back her marketing muddle. When I asked who her ideal clients were, Martha listed anyone who might be interested in any of her services.


Try though we may, we simply can’t be all things to all people. Nor as individual service providers can can we hope to attract a broad range of clients to whom we can provide an equally broad range of services.

If like Martha, you provide a broad range of services to an equally broad range of clients, I invite you to ponder this question that I left with Martha to consider.

Who are the ideal clients to help you achieve the purpose of your business?

In identifying your ideal clients, limit your focus to the single group or category that best meets these two criteria:

  1. you love working with them
  2. they make significant financial and non-financial contributions to your business.

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Complete your own marketing performance assessment.

<<Part 8

Part 10>>

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