One of the most powerful things you can know in business is having a clear purpose, which many would define a ‘mission statement’.

Purpose can be best defined by answering three questions:

  • What do you do? (your products and services)
  • How you do it? (how you deliver your products and or services)
  • Why you do it? (your ‘why’)

Your ‘why’ is the most difficult to articulate but is the most powerful part and forms the major part of your marketing message.

It’s difficult to get it right the first time therefore you must work on your ‘why’ over time and eventually you will get it and when you do you will feel totally different about your business. And when you know your ‘why’, your motivation will go to another level.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported to The Huffington Post in November 2016 that 70% of startup businesses fail within three years and 90% within five. In addition, many business owners reluctantly admit their business is not going as well as it should or divulge their work-life balance is not acceptable.

In addition, US-based research from various business sources highlights that 90% of owners don’t manage to find a buyer for their business when they come to sell and, of those that do, most achieve only 50% of what they expected.

Anecdotal evidence shows that the situation in Australia is not much different.

How can this picture be so dismal in light of all the information available? When government studies business around the clock, spitting out reports about lack of capital, financial knowledge, planning, etc.?

Clearly something is missing that is prohibiting more businesses from reaching their full business potential and success. What’s the problem?

In a nutshell, it’s YOU!

The reality is, most business owners and leaders are focusing on everything except themselves. This has been proven to be a barrier to success, time and time again.

Over the last couple of decades, I think that “profit” has become almost a taboo word. For some, it conjures up ideas of greed and selfishness. Others have been brought up through the ranks believing it’s one of those things — like your co-workers’ salaries or personal lives — that you’re just not supposed to talk about.

Others don’t like talking about profit because if anybody delves too far into the books, they won’t find any. It’s a source of embarrassment or simply pride. Profit needs to be the focus of everybody in the organisation.

It’s only through profit that you’re going to be able to achieve your personal goals, so why wouldn’t it be at the top of the agenda in every decision you make?

It’s ironic that, even among many successful companies, profit is something that is not talked about. Yes, profit is the amount of money that is made after all costs are considered, but it’s also the sum of all of your decision-making.

We have been conditioned to avoid talking about profit, but until that changes, you’re going to see the number of failed businesses remain at 90% (five years after start up).

Here’s the thing — if you’re not focusing on profit, you’re focusing on something else. That ‘something else’ is not the No. 1 reason you are going to stay in business.

That is only going to happen if profit is returned to the top of the agenda — until it becomes your ‘why’.