Ep. 76: From purpose to profits with Matt Saunders
Ever filled out one of those “find your why” webinar worksheets, only to hit save and forget about it as soon as the next email popped into your inbox?
Yeah, me too.
(Incidentally, if you’re running a webinar any time soon, check out Amanda Natividad’s latest newsletter for tips on how to make it more welcoming and engaging.)
I have a theory that the reason these well-intentioned pdf-purposes don’t stick is because what we’ve written isn’t actually our real purpose.
We say what we *think* our purpose should be.
It’s like that scene in Friends where Rachel claims her favourite movie is Dangerous Liaisons, but her actual fave is Weekend at Bernie’s.
We want to seem smart, commercially-minded, community-minded, ethical, hard-working, whatever… We fall into the trap of confusing how we want to be seen and sharing what we think is the right answer, versus being honest (with ourselves) about what we really want.
Maybe hustle culture makes you feel like you should be aiming for eye-watering profits.
Maybe the growing emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability makes you feel like you should be espousing a nobler brand purpose.
(You can do both, by the way.)
(And I spoke about the importance of not chasing someone else’s goals in my 6-month review.)
Or maybe you just haven’t thought too much about it at all.
“My purpose? To do great work and get paid for it 🤷🏻♀️”
I notice this a lot when I speak to new freelancers. When asked why they started their business, the default is often to say they want to support their family, make a decent income, have an impact… and, yes, your real purpose may well be something on that list.
But you could have done much of that with a boss and a regular paycheck, too. So maybe there’s more to it?
If you don’t figure out what really drives you, you’ll miss out on the benefits of having having a genuinely useful compass for your business.
So many decisions to make. So many shiny things to avoid.
I’ve said it before: my fave thing about working for myself is being able to make all the decisions. But that’s also the toughest part!
So many decisions. So many distrac– oh look, a squirrel 🐿
A clear purpose can keep you on track, but it has to actually mean something to you – not what you *think* you should say in case the business gods are watching 👀
This is all to say that I was delighted when Matt Saunders got in touch to say he’d like to join me on 15 Minute Freelancer to share his experience of figuring out a tangible, meaningful vision and purpose, and how that took him from feeling somewhat “directionless” to building a successful and scalable business.
Matt is a former freelance web designer and creator of the Freelance Business Builder, and on today’s episode, we discuss:
What happens when you have a clear business vision – and what happens if you don't
How to figure out what your purpose *actually* is (not the one you think you should have)
How a shared purpose can reduce client conflicts and make pitching easier
How to make decisions that keep you moving in the right direction so you can create a more profitable business.
Listen here »
➡️ 15 Minute Action: Do you have a vision, purpose and strategy for your freelance business? Big words for small businesses, but essential all the same. If you haven’t already got these pinned down, jot down some ideas and stick them somewhere obvious, so you can refer back to them whenever a sticky client situation comes up or you have a tricky decision to make. If you’re stuck, it might help to think of them like this:
vision = the what
purpose = the why
strategy = the how
Would love to know, have you got a clear vision or purpose driving your freelance business, or are you still trying to figure that out?
Until next time, happy freelancing!