Professor Roy Seaman Managing Director and Founder of Franchise Development Services
Looking back on almost 30 years of advising owners of successful businesses on preparing themselves for the expansion of their business by franchising, one recognises - with tremendous satisfaction - that there is a golden thread that runs through their lives. That golden thread is having a specific purpose, which gives these people real meaning in life. I find that both franchisors and franchise owners that are successful in their businesses face every situation with the extreme confidence bred from their lives having a steadfast purpose.
I recently took a phone call from a 75 year old man who had been involved in the wholesale flower market for all of his life. He had been thinking about how he could help others to enter his business - he believed that he had a duty to pass on his knowledge in some way. It had dawned on him that he had always been in the business of helping other people in one way or another and the idea of creating a new way to sell and distribute cut flowers has provided him with a new purpose and added excitement to his plans for the future. He shared with me that as a result he was determined to live to be a very fit and active 100 year old.
So, for those that lack a deep sense of purpose, there's never a better time than now to stop, think and search for your own purpose. A purpose will simplify your life and provide an anchor when you see the approach of a storm, such as a personal crisis or an oncoming recession. Without a purpose you will have little or no real foundation upon which to base decisions.
Here is a simple test that you can follow: ask yourself why you got up this morning. Before you read on, take a minute to consider this question. Your answer can help you to define whether you are a person with a purpose or a person that needs a purpose. If you thought of a crystal clear answer in just a few words then congratulations, you most likely share the golden thread of people who possess a specific purpose in their lives. If you thought of lots of reasons, you may be still looking for your primary purpose in life.
At some stage everyone comes to a crossroads in life. Quite often this is accompanied by the realisation that you cannot do everything that people want you to do, no matter how hard you try. Far better to have a steadfast purpose and make your life a sane and safe harbour.