Finding meaning in your business

by | May 15, 2015 | Entrepreneurship, Mindset

Finding meaning in your business
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Photo Source: PhotoXpress; Design: Carma Spence

I have two questions for you:

  1. Are you happy in your business?
  2. Do you find meaning in your business?

The two don’t always go hand in hand, however recent research suggests that meaning might actually be more important than happiness at work.

A University of North Carolina study examined self-reported levels of happiness and meaning and found that 75% of participants scored high on levels of happiness, while scoring low on levels of meaning. Another study found that finding meaning in your work has the highest impact on longevity: people are more likely to stay the course if they find meaning in what they do.

As an entrepreneur, there will come a time, sooner or later, when you’re going to want your business to be either an expression of, or at least in alignment with, your spirituality. You’re going to want your business to have meaning in your life.

I say, “Why wait for the angst?” Get started now in integrating your spirituality with all aspects of your life now.

The good news is that regardless of what you do for a living, from garbage collector to brain surgeon, from janitor to business coach to art teacher to astronaut, you can find meaning in your work and have your business be in perfect alignment with your spiritual beliefs. Here are a couple of things you can do to find meaning in your business:

Get very clear on your core spiritual guidelines or values.

These guidelines or values are the “rules” you follow in being a good person, your own “Ten Commandments” so to speak. How do you evaluate whether an action you are considering taking is “right” or “wrong”? What are the underlying assumptions you make that create that kind of judgement? These are not necessarily universal, although some of them may be consistent across cultures, belief systems and people.

Now figure out ways that your business can follow and be in alignment with those rules and values. For example, there are marketing practices that are perfectly legal and, to some, perfectly legitimate, that just don’t sit well with me. And that is why I don’t use them in my business. If I did, I would feel slimy and out of alignment. I hold no judgement of others who use them; I just can’t use them myself.

Uncover your greater purpose in life,
then figure out how your business can support that purpose.

Sometimes your business supports your purpose directly. For example, if your purpose is to help people reach their potential, being a coach, mentor or inspirational speaker directly serves that purpose. At other times, your business is a vehicle that empowers you to live your purpose. When this happens, your business is more likely just a funding mechanism that either contributes a portion of the profits to your cause or affords you the freedom to pursue your purpose on the side.

Many people have hobby-based or multilevel marketing businesses that are linked to one of their passions, but not their greater purpose. However, they are able to make their business be in alignment with their spirituality by seeing it as a tool for achieving their purpose, rather than an expression of it.

Either way, when your business contributes to — either directly or indirectly — causes you believe in, you will be able to find meaning in what you do and, along the way find greater happiness in your business.

May is Spiritual Literacy Month, so for the five Friday’s in May, I will be covering various topics that touch on spirituality. Here is the planned schedule.

Eventually, PDF and audio versions of Own Your Awesome Friday content will be made available. If you’d like to know when this content becomes available, complete this form:

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