We are all searching for purpose and meaning in our lives. This article explores how we can find and fulfil our purpose through our business endeavours.
Mentoring entrepreneurs and helping them reach their full potential is a passion of mine. Through discussing and exploring their drivers and aspirations I work with these people to form ambitious goals, overcome limiting beliefs and develop their business ideas.
Sometimes we discover purpose in through chance events – but to do this we must be on a constant look out, and willing to seize new opportunities. Just over 20 years ago, on a whim, I attended a talk given by The Prince’s Trust – a leading UK charity dedicated to supporting budding entrepreneurs.
At this talk a local leader from the Prince’s Trust shared the transformational power of business mentoring.
What stuck in my mind from their inspiring talk was the fact that the Prince’s Trust specifically targeted and helped people who had no savings and were unable to secure even the smallest loan from their bank to start a business.
In business banking terms these people were deemed high risk, with a low predicted success factor, and would most likely be part of the national statistics of businesses which fail in the first one or two years.
Furthermore, the Prince’s Trust, also aimed its support and services to disadvantaged people who had either experienced issues through the education system or had been unable to get work through traditional routes.
Against this challenging backdrop, the success rate of businesses supported by the Prince’s Trust is extraordinary, with over 70% of businesses still in operation after 3 years. This would be successful by any normal business measure. However, when considering the financial situation of the people being supported, and the fact that all have been disadvantaged in some way, the results are incredible.
When sharing this information and the impressive success statistics, the local Prince’s Trust leader smiled in anticipation of his punchline. In reality, the whole purpose of the talk was to share the principal reason so many of the Prince’s Trust businesses succeeded.
Three powerful words, Volunteer Business Mentors.
People from all walks of working life who were specifically assigned to each business, right from the very outset. Whose role was to work with their assigned business owner and offer ongoing mentoring support through the first three years for the business life.
As the talk concluded, the local coordinator asked the audience to register their interest in becoming a Prince’s Trust Business Mentor. I signed up on the spot and, after the necessary training, spent 10 happy and fulfilling years mentoring several local start-up businesses.
Success was jointly defined, measured and tracked by the business owner and myself. We discussed and agreed what specific support and assistance they were looking for from me – and then we met on a regular basis to track progress.
All Prince’s Trust mentors offer their time and work on a voluntary basis. Time and time again the business owner and I experienced the transformational power of effective mentoring – with new clients being secured, and services being delivered.
Through many years of enjoyable and fulfilling work with the Prince’s Trust, I discovered my life’s purpose – to mentor ambitious entrepreneurs to launch and grow their business ideas. All from an opportune meeting at the right time in my life.
A good place to look for your own purpose and inspiration is at the intersection of what you’re passionate about and would dedicate your life to – even if you weren’t paid!