You’ll never get to where you want to get to if you don’t know where you’re going.
Now that might be OK for a part of the journey: you could head off in a general direction and decide later where you want to go. However if you’re headed toward the beach with your snow goggles and skis, then it might be time to make your mind up.
Defining your business purpose makes all subsequent decisions easier. How? Well, if you know your purpose, then you can define the characteristics of the journey towards that purpose, the factors that help you move that way. If your purpose is to build a business that your family will run for generations, then the decisions you make may well be different to others whose purpose is to grow a reputation for innovation leading to being acquired. Once your purpose becomes clear, then your measures of success, your milestones, perhaps your values, and your sense of accomplishment all take on stronger meaning.
If you agree, then you might challenge whether “purpose” is something that needs work or whether it must be obvious: my response would be that probably the majority of people and a significant proportion of privately owned businesses do not have a clear view of their purpose. It’s often clear to assess those with purpose – they exhibit a confidence, a sense of knowing what they want, and a drive that can be inspiring.
Finding your purpose is often not an easy task, and needs an independent, objective and non-judgemental friend to help you to work this out. Sometimes it can be analysed and deduced, and sometimes it just needs you to get into a state where you can absorb ideas and inspiration.