Sales: Forming One’s Purpose

Why am I here? What am I doing?

pur·pose

[pur-puhs] Show IPA noun, verb, pur·posed, pur·pos·ing.

noun

1.the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

2.an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

3.determination; resoluteness.

4.the subject in hand; the point at issue.

5.practical result, effect, or advantage: to act to good purpose.

verb (used with object)

6.to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.

7.to intend; design.

8.to resolve (to do something): He purposed to change his way of life radically.

I’ve sat back and looked at what I am doing here. I’ve sat back and compared myself to others. I’ve asked myself why I am not getting attention like Meyer, Glines, Webber, Sparks. I’ve compared my success to theirs. I’ve looked at books that I’ve cursed myself for looking at like How to make $49,000 a month selling your ebook. Oh, seriously, come on. You have that secret ingredient–but sorry lovely, it isn’t mine–and I highly doubt your spamming will work forever. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. My purpose isn’t to make $49,000 a month selling books, would it be nice? I’d be happy if I made $100 a month selling my books–heck, $50 would be nice. It would be nice to make $49,000 at my management job. I don’t. It would be nice is a fallacy created by envy–by lack of purpose. It would be nice fills us with self-doubt, it fills us with a lack of purpose–a lack sight. We lose who are are in it would be nice.

When we step back we should look at what our purpose is–knowing this will help to get to nice. The thing about defining your purpose that makes it that much more difficult is the fact that it’s unique to each human being–our motives are all different. We do what we do for different reasons, but when we lose our purpose we are walking blindly–trying to accomplish a goal that we have no idea why we want, besides that it would be nice. The thing about having a strong sense of purpose is that it will give you the drive to get results. As we set on our road of purpose we learn the things that will make us successful, and in turn we make mistakes and see what won’t make us successful. How do we measure that success? When I start measuring it in dollar signs I start to lose my purpose. That’s because my purpose isn’t to make boat loads of money right now (eventually–the five year plan includes working from home in marketing and writing as a career). When we sit down to evaluate our purpose we need to make sure it’s strong enough to help us off the road of it would be nice, we need to make sure that it allows for a consistency that provides inspiration to continue even when we feel like we have just been handed a big ole pile o’… This applies to so many aspects of life. If we lack purpose then when we start with the it would be nice, all we do is sit and stare at that sign. We don’t actually do anything about it.

The easy route is just saying it–when we have to define our purpose we have to do self-examination that can be painful, or enlightening, or both. This comes into regular life much more often than it comes into the writing life for me. I have passion for writing. I love it. Regular life, regular job–not so much. The self-doubt is often measured by what others are doing.

I didn’t get that promotion. I don’t understand why that person did. I know I’m qualified.

Make a change then. Do it. I dare you. When someone says screw you, you don’t have to sit and say it would be nice. If you know your own purpose you can say screw you back.

There’s this thing in life–where you do a job because you have to–because you don’t have the means to do anything else. You’re a paper pusher, you work for the man. The man doesn’t give a rat’s butt about it’s customers…but you do. That’s your purpose. You care about those customers. Those customers can count on you when they can’t count on the man. In everyday life you don’t have to know the man’s plan–hell, if you know it you don’t even have to agree with it. He’s often after money. If your purpose is to help those customers and you do, the man’s plan is only background. It doesn’t matter. You can accomplish your purpose while sedating the man. You help yourself, you help the customer, and hell, you even help the man.

Now, in the writing world you can’t necessarily escape the man, but what you can do is become the man. The man with purpose. You’re your own boss when you write, you create your own world for others to enjoy, you create your own purpose with your writing. Even if you’re with a major publisher, they can’t take your purpose away. You know why? If you know your purpose, your drive–not the drive of your publisher, will make you successful. This isn’t to say that there aren’t writers out there that are successful merely because of their publishers, and the money they were able to convince someone to spend on marketing them to the Best Sellers List. Yet, as I have delved deeper into this world I’ve lost respect for those things–those Best Sellers Lists. I’ve learned anything can be bought. I’ve learned that dollar signs often make us lose our purpose. We need to know our purpose before we start driving forward, but purpose does change. When I first started I needed to prove some jerk from high school–some teacher that beat me up emotionally, some ex-friends, some ex-other things, that I could do what I wanted. I needed to prove to myself that I could do what I had always dreamed of. I LACKED PURPOSE. I’ll go and admit it. I don’t anymore. My purpose has evolved. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and that’s what I am. Now I want to help others do that too; I want to inspire people. I want to make people laugh and cry. I want to make people it would be nice me and then I want them to do it. Purpose isn’t easy–nothing in life that’s worth it is. I’ll lose my purpose again when those dollar signs flash in my face, as I know they will, but I know one thing–I won’t let my purpose disappear. I’ll take it back. My purpose is you–the reader.

It would be nice…Will you make it true?

*definition from dictionary.com, inspiration from article from Life Insurance Magazine.

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7 thoughts on “Sales: Forming One’s Purpose

  1. What a great article. Thank you for sharing. It has me thinking a lot now about purpose especially as it’s so meaningful right now in my life.

  2. I have recently taken solace in the fact that the majority of writers on the Top 100 Paid had published quite a few titles (8 was a common number) before they hit it big, usually quite suddenly. This means that until they became bestselling writers / famous / prosperous, those first books didn’t do well at all. It’s a strange combination of circumstances which causes a book and/or an author to suddenly rocket up the charts, but it happens all the time. For some great perspective on this from a very successful author in the ebook business, check out http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/. Especially read Joe Answers Your Questions, Backlist Then and Now, and Tie-Ins. Great Info. Also look into the phenomenon of Serialization (Episodes) which is quickly gaining traction in the ebook world. Finally, I would just say (and I get a thread of this from reading your post) that besides finding a Purpose in life regardless of if one can make money at it or not, I also think one should find things that satisfy that CAN make some money, and more than one thing. Have part-time B’s and C’s and D’s. My wife and I have gotten a number of side gigs going, and the fact that our law school (where I am head of Cataloging in the library) recently merged with a major university means that there is now an extra fire under us to make it work ON OUR OWN. I capitalize for emphasis; what would you do if you (and your husband) HAD to make it on your own? What if you knew that was going to happen and you had only a few weeks left to make it so? What are the things you would start doing now, things you might have been putting off? I probably have a few months yet before our Tech Services is merged into the larger university, but I am not waiting around and your post gave me food for thought.

  3. Just an addendum: In this “new” U. S. economy, I think it is more important than ever to be financially independent if you have the talent, wherewithal, and Smarts to make it happen. By financially independent, I don’t mean rich, I just mean you (meaning the two of you) can make it on your own and make ends meet. Baby Steps! – :O)

    • I don’t think that my writing lends to serialization…I tend to lean more towards the traditional route. I do, however, see how this could work really well for Hearth. As for making it on our own, I’m not sure what you mean by this? Do you mean as in self-employed? I’ve played with the thought plenty of times. I would probably just give in to doing wedding photography. It’s something I am good at, but I don’t always enjoy. I’ve done a few–and one of them was a train wreck because it was so poorly organized. I’m doing another one this year, and depending how that goes I might pick up a few more. I haven’t had any bites on my cover designs, but I’ve started to see that anyone with photoshop claims to be book cover designers. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

  4. “When someone says screw you, you don’t have to sit and say it would be nice. If you know your own purpose you can say screw you back.” I absolutely adore that line. Wonderful post; it got my focus realigned, that’s for sure!

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