The crucial move: slowing down to speed up

Jane had a purpose-driven startup. If you spoke with her, you couldn’t help but be swept up in her enthusiasm. She was a crusader for the purpose that consumed her. So when we sat down to talk about how to bring her purpose-driven story to the world, it was a bit surprising that the purpose never surfaced in the conversation.

Instead, the conversation started with, “Can we talk about the website?” And quickly jumped to how we would support the distributors. I’ll cut her some slack. There was a lot to figure out. The thing is, the answer to every question she had began with, “Let’s go back to the purpose.”

Purpose first

When I work with startups, there is a tendency to acknowledge the need for purpose and then quickly dive down into the weeds.

Want an invaluable piece of advice from someone who has been in the trenches for decades? Get your purpose clarified first. With it clearly articulated, everything gets easier. I know. It feels like slowing down. But it is slowing down to speed up.

Every question you have can be answered with, “Does it serve our purpose.” Or, “How will it serve our purpose.”

With your clarified purpose as your North Star, you can accelerate speed to market. All the while knowing that you won’t be circling back to those decisions in a month or two because they were out of sync with who you are.

Slow down now. Clarify your purpose. Then watch things really take off.