Often when working with PLHB Believers, I encounter matters that can only be addressed by a clear switch from being determined to being driven; and vice versa. These shifts alter the trajectory of purpose by producing a subtle, yet significant, change in intention. Without this change, there is no fix to the issues at hand and success is jeopardized.
Determination and drive are often treated as interchangeable; yet, I often share with those who will listen, how dangerous this is. Determination and drive give us different things; how could they be the same?
While both are needed, determination and drive each provide different outcomes.
There is no denying the power of determination. It is often the difference between celebrating success and suffering failure. Clearly determination – a “firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end” – is useful each day as we get things done.
Be determined when you want to accomplish a goal.
It is easy to miss the freedom that determination brings – a freedom particularly beneficial for those of us who only accept excellence! For example, if your goal is to send your team an invitation to your holiday party, you simply must do it. The invitation doesn’t have to be designer quality, it must have details for people to RSVP and show up – that’s it!
This freedom from excellence grows exponentially as your goal becomes more complex. Mark Jamnik highlights this in his short article: “To accomplish your goal, you needed to find something that you never did before. You needed to ask yourself questions you never asked before. You needed to find answers you never found before. What you lacked in knowledge, you made up in discipline to succeed.”
Something that drives you can’t be shaken. Unlike determination, it oftentimes does not register as a choice. When you are driven by something, it is able to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on you. Drive is what develops our gifts and talents.
Be driven when you want to gain expertise and skill.
Drive is what often gets us into the arena to begin defining our path, start seeing strategy in our journey, and have the insights to choose what to be determined about.
Drive is what compels a photographer to work on capturing light well with different sets of resources and environments. That same photographer may become determined to shoot an a-list star within the next year. It’s her drive that makes the determination possible.
Simon Marshall Jones says it best on his blog: “Having drive, or more precisely perhaps, being driven, means, in my view, that even after someone gets to where they want to go they’ll carry on doing whatever it is they’re engaged in, regardless of how far they’ve gone or what they’ve achieved.”
Simply put – we can’t get far or do much without determination and drive. I firmly believe that it is important to be strategic about when to focus on determination and when to focus on drive.
Ask yourself –
It takes time to determine your purpose because it is born of your path and journey.
What drives you is a strong indicator of your purpose. What you are determined to do will impact your journey. Pay attention, choose love over fear, and let what drives you, guide you to producing the determination needed to get meaningful things done. THIS is how I define strategically living a life with purpose.
May you have all the impact and success that your determination and drive warrant!
I am known for sharing stories from my life with clients. This has always been important to me because in doing so I provide important insights and perspectives for their own progress and success. The story I tell the most is the one about how I “found” my purpose. As I focus on motivations and passions fueling purpose with my networks this week, I thought it worthwhile to share this story with you today.
Jessica Lauren Debry asserts in her short article that: “Passion is your compelling emotions behind your dreams. Your feelings drive your passion. Purpose is the why behind it all. Purpose is the deep reason for your existence." I love how she uses a campfire in metaphor to drive it home: the results of passion increase with purpose!
Today, it is very easy for me to see how the girl I was – the child with all the thoughts, the pushback, the questions, the thirst for experiences, and need to share what I knew – it is easy to see how she grew up to be who I am today. But I can confess that for at least two decades, I felt lost and believed I was without a path or purpose. I couldn’t translate the old me to the new, nor could I reconcile her dreams with my reality. It was a true struggle…until the day I had an epiphany and chose my current purpose.
See, I’ve always been quite annoying – ask my mother! Raising a child with an insatiable curiosity and unnerving need to share what she’s learned must have been especially fun! Oh, the things I got into – Mom taught me to have confidence, so there was nothing I felt I couldn’t learn about or learn to do.
It was never lost on me that passion connected to feelings like purpose to ideals – passion and purpose were MY thing, I was just too young to know.
From school, to work, to entrepreneurship, I’ve started with my ideals (of the time) and launched into strategic planning using all I knew. When I had productive feelings about what I was planning – and therefore doing – it created better outcomes for me. I could realize and actualize the connection between passion and purpose in my own life and the results were good.
Even as a young girl, I remember being intensely motivated by spirited, open dialogue. I enjoyed voraciously absorbing information from every person and book I could get my hands on. Adults and children alike suffered the wrath of my “teaching” them everything I had learned and could think to share. I felt compelled to help others with what I had learned.
These rumblings of motivation and passion speak to sparks of purpose. They are easy to overlook; in this process, don’t be sheepish or modest about YOU – it all counts!
As I got older, I realized that if I focused my motivations on things that fueled productive passions, that I’d have a better chance at living the life I envisioned. It took another decade to learn how to focus my motivations.
Although it took another few years my epiphany came when I realized what I had learned during that decade:
It takes time to determine your purpose because it is born of your path and journey.
A guru can guide you through things to consider and pay attention to on your path, yet no one can decide your purpose or passions for you. Our motivations can be externally-influenced, yet we get to prioritize what ends up motivating us whether from nurture or nature.
My path and my journey led me to redefining my company and my brand in 2015 so that I could empower others by sharing what I know and have access to. While taking care of myself and my family, running PLHB, building my coaching business, and being the friend and community member that I am, I focus on living what I know today as my professional purpose: to diversify approaches and innovate solutions to cross-functional issues.
I asked my networks what they found to be the biggest wastes of time in business. I found it meaningful to provide fixes and enjoyed engaging with you this week!
Most interesting, the responses indicated a divide between the perspectives of my employee and entrepreneur followers - my fixes consider this divide. I look forward to your engagement and feedback in the comments below!
The waste of time most of you would like to avoid in business is working under unclear instructions from leadership or when involved in group/project work.
Additionally, many of you responded that business meetings were the biggest waste of time you encountered in business; the concerns varied between:
Both issues stem from lack of proper planning. Let's start with a scenario we all are familiar with. Your team is meeting about a business concern or issue; someone thoughtful says "What if we were to...?" and the leader in charge says "Great idea! Let's get started with that right away!"
When someone in power has an idea or sponsors/green-lights an idea, it becomes a project. This project then becomes the responsibility of a team that is assembled - usually - before the project scope is effectively developed and determined.
I recommend developing business ideas well enough to produce a draft project scope.
This draft project scope should include:
In this way, you can avoid the wastes of time tied to having meetings. Even if the team meeting is not assembled for a project, the same concepts apply: determine the team's what, why, hows, when, and who at the conception of the group and update the hows to align with what matters to the business for each meeting period.
Not only does this process avoid employees having unclear instructions on how to move forward with their work, it also ensures that everyone involved with scheduled meetings:
I've had dozens of entrepreneur clients, and almost all of them suffer from what many of you shared as your biggest waste of time: business operations/processes and doing everything on your own.
I received responses such as:
Entrepreneurs are often working with fewer resources than is optimal for success. This often leads to an owner or partner doing much of what is needed to run the business. Trust me, I get it - it's expensive and risky to hire staff and leadership to manage them. It is easy to understand why small businesses make this choice. Yet, what’s pertinent, and often overlooked is the cost of that choice.
Dan Lok has a great YouTube video about valuing your time and productivity. In this video, he demonstrates that when entrepreneurs spend time on nonproductive tasks, they are throwing away money! He defines productive time as "doing an activity that makes you money" so it follows that non-productivity involves doing anything that doesn't make money.
Dan asserts that you will not be productive most of the time, and to expect this. Yet, he concludes that if we - as entrepreneurs - focus on accomplishing what he calls "critical success events" (the successive events needed to accomplish something), we will ultimately be as productive as possible. Dan's insights are valuable for the wastes of time you've shared with me.
Avoid throwing away money by doing things yourself that can be done cheaper and in less time by another with more skill.
Understanding that while there will be nonproductive time worked each day, we can increase the priority of what we do during our nonproductive time by doing things that enhance our ability to make money. Paperwork and reading useless emails rarely ever create more opportunities to make money; they are best left to someone else who doesn't cost your company as much as you do to complete the task. Creating effective systems and managing your company's bookkeeping / social media might create more opportunities to make money yet are usually completed in less time and for less money by someone who has the expertise to do the work.
Avoid throwing away money by not planning for success and improvement.
Understanding that there are "critical success events" for everything worth doing as an entrepreneur - whether productive or not - we can plan our days for success and improvement. If entrepreneurs determine the critical success events for their projects and tasks, it is easier to prioritize the work for the day. To improve, Dan recommends tackling the project or task you've been avoiding first to increase confidence and momentum for other projects/tasks.
I recommend that entrepreneurs have a sense of purpose or intention behind their work that drives each aspect of it. This purpose aligns with each entrepreneurs "critical success events" - and can be used to determine what to do today, tomorrow, next week, and beyond!
I love and am quite obsessed with the cycle of learning, applying, and teaching. This blog is my place to exercise this passion while fulfilling my purpose to empower.