How Discovering Your Purpose Leads To Business Success
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always had a love for technology. I discovered what Microsoft was when our family got our first computer and was completely fascinated. I started dissecting the software applications and Windows operating system that was running on millions of computers and I told myself that I would be the female Bill Gates one day and create software that improves people’s lives in someway.
I also had a passion for hair and when I started going natural in college I discovered a huge problem in the market that I was experiencing myself -- consumers had a hard time figuring out what products were best for their hair because we have such a range of hair types and hair textures. As a computer science major at Georgia Tech at the time, I wanted to create a way to improve women’s hair care experiences and my natural way of solving this problem which became such a lightbulb moment for me was when I said to myself, “there should be some type of software that can tell women the best products for their hair…..” Later on I entered the Inventure Prize competition on campus to start bringing this vision to life.
After graduation, I decided to go into Corporate America to gain some work experience and a good salary. I spent a year in IT for PepsiCo as a Data Analyst and Project Manager. During this period I started to receive a series of divine signs that led me to a deep discovery of my purpose and shortly after taking the leap to become an entrepreneur and work on this idea full-time. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in life in which I’ve experienced business success in ways that I’ve never even imagined.
What led me to this decision that catapulted my career in business and entrepreneurship? Discovering my purpose. One of the divine signs I received was to pick up this book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. This book changed my whole life. He offers a practical way to discover what your purpose is which served as confirmation for me to take this leap of faith, and guides my daily decisions to this very day. Here is the guide he offers through an acronym S.H.A.P.E.:
S – Spiritual Gifts - What has God supernaturally gifted me to do?
A spiritual gift is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit to serve others. Here are ways to discover your spiritual gifts:
- Experiment – It’s easy to discover your gift by observing how you serve others.
- Read and study – There are a number of books that talk about spiritual gifts.
- Take assessments – Like this S.H.A.P.E. assessment.
- Ask others for input – Others will often see gifts in us that we can’t see ourselves.
H – Heart - What do I have passion for and love to do?
Another way to think of your heart is to think about passion. Take a moment to think about these questions:
- What drives you?
- Who are the people you most want to help?
- What are the needs I feel most drawn to?
- What cause am I most passionate about?
A – Abilities - What natural talents and skills do I have?
Each of us has abilities that we have discovered and learned over our lifetime. Take time to think about what you excel at and love doing.
P – Personality - Where does my personality best suit me to serve?
Understanding the personality God has given you will help you more effectively express your spiritual gifts, heart, and abilities. Take a moment to think about how you are energized and how you are organized.
E – Experiences - What experiences have I been through and how have they impacted my life?
- Spiritual experiences are meaningful decisions, times with God, times you felt especially close to God.
- Painful experiences are problems, hurts, trials, etc…
- Educational experiences are favorite subjects in school, special training, etc…
- Ministry experience are how you’ve served in the past.
I went through this exercise and discovered that my purpose is connected to my unique positioning in this world as a black female computer scientist who loves hair but also cares about women’s emotional connection to their hair and sense of self. I have a heart for empowering women and using technology to improve people’s lives. I also have a heart for entrepreneurs who desire to tap into more economic development and transform families and communities. And that’s what drives me every single day and empowers me to endure challenges and reach new levels of business success.
YOU are SHAPED to make a difference in this world. When you’re walking in purpose, that gives you the strength and confidence you need to accomplish anything you put your mind to. Success is an inside out game. If you have a dream in your heart that you can’t shake, something that you believe in with every ounce of your being, then that means God placed that desire in your heart. It reveals your true purpose on this Earth. Something has been birthed in you that needs to manifest for some segment of the world to experience. And if God placed that desire in you, He has already given you the power and ability to accomplish it.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started fulfilling your purpose. I hope this helps you connect the dots. To read more about my entrepreneurial journey and how I’ve persevered after taking that first step of faith, check out my book titled The Shift.