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The Purpose of Purpose

You probably remember your last day of high school – stirring speeches, walking up to receive your graduation certificate, throwing your “mortar board” into the air. I’m sure you had a sense of where your life was headed.
In the journey of life and entrepreneurship, we don’t always stop to think about our Purpose in life. But Purpose is like a North Star, guiding us through the vast expanse of possibilities. Purpose isn’t static—rather, it evolves over time as we adapt our Purpose to the changing landscape of our life and business. In this blog, we will dive deep into what Purpose is, how to define it, and when it might be time to pivot and rediscover your Purpose both as a human being and as a black business owner.

Understanding Purpose

Purpose, in its essence, is the underlying reason for your existence and actions. It’s the driving force that fuels your passion, your goals, motivates your decisions, and gives meaning to your life and business. Purpose is not one-size-fits-all–it’s deeply personal and unique to each one of us. Purpose embraces four different aspects* of our lives:

  1. What we are good at.
  2. What we can be paid for.
  3. What we love doing.
  4. What the world needs from us.

When you can bring those four together into your Purpose, you live a life of, well, Purpose. A life where you feel fulfilled and where you’re making a difference. For black business owners, Purpose can be particularly powerful, as it can serve as a source of resilience and empowerment in the face of challenges.

*If you haven’t come across the Japanese concept of Ikigai, this is where the four aspects come from. Google it.

How Do You Define Your Purpose

Create a 2 x 2 grid and label the boxes with the four steps to defining your Purpose. Then take a few deep breaths, and authentically answer the questions below:

  1. Self-Reflection: What are your values, interests, and passions? What makes you come alive? What do you care deeply about? What impact do you want to create in your community or industry or the world?
    These are the core elements of your Purpose.
  2. Identifying Strengths: What are your strengths, skills, and talents? What are you exceptionally good at? How can you leverage these strengths to contribute positively to your business and the world around you? Aligning your strengths with your Purpose can be a powerful combination.
  3. What You Care About: What matters to you in life? Do you need to change from your current direction  to a purposeful path that resonates with what you care about? What really matters to you?
    Weave what you care about into your purpose.
  4. Cross Check: Does your grid reflect What you’re good at, what you can be paid for, what you love doing and what the world needs from you. Take a stab at writing your Purpose in the fourth box.

Finally, ask for feedback from mentors, friends, or colleagues. What might they see in you that you don’t see? They will offer valuable insights into your strengths, and areas where your purpose aligns with your business. Don’t skip this! You will get gems from others who see you more clearly than you see yourself and value your capabilities and the passions that make you who you are.

Pivot Points in Life and Purpose

Life is dynamic, and so is Purpose.

When you graduated from High School, maybe you had a Purpose for the next few years of your life—going to College, getting your first job relevant to your career, or traveling the world. Pretty quickly, though, significant life events such as falling in love, getting married, having children, or making a new career choice, can shift your priorities.

  1. Market trends or societal shifts, (not to mention AI) may require you to adapt your business and Purpose to remain relevant and impactful.
  2. If you’re feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied with work and business, it’s a sign that your current path no longer aligns with your evolving purpose.
  3. Your partner in life decides to take a job in Japan, and wants you to come too for a 3-Year period..
  4. If elderly parents need care, if one of your children has a serious condition, that can throw a serious wrench in the direction of your life.
  5. Persistent stress, burnout, or a lack of motivation can signal a misalignment between your actions and your purpose. It’s essential to take these signs seriously and explore ways to realign with your true calling.

There are times in our lives when it becomes evident that a change is necessary. The indicators above (and there are countless others) tell you that it’s time to pivot and rewrite your Purpose. Recreating your Purpose helps you face any new situation with positivity, knowing that you’re providing something unique and special to the world and to the people you care about.
In the journey of entrepreneurship, Purpose is the compass that keeps you on course. As a black business owner, your Purpose can be a powerful force for positive change in your community and beyond. By regularly reflecting on changes in your life and by tackling those pivot points, you can continue to thrive as you navigate the exciting and ever-changing world of business.
Embrace the power of purpose and let it guide you toward a fulfilling and impactful entrepreneurial journey.
By the way, a Purpose doesn’t have to be long-winded. The best ever (IMHO) is J.F. Kennedy’s:



And if you’d like an example, here’s the Purpose of CEOs in the Black.




CEOs in the Black is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering economic equality
and bridging opportunity gaps for communities of color.


By concentrating on entrepreneurship and leadership development,
we empower individuals, organizations, and communities to flourish,
generating growth opportunities, and cultivating lasting generational wealth.


We’d love your feedback on our Purpose!


What’s yours?

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