Recently I took a trip to Silverton, Colorado, where I spent my days hitting the slopes and enjoying some of the most adventurous, extreme skiing that the state has to offer. 

But I wasn’t just on vacation. I had an opportunity to give back on a skiing trip to support First Descents. This charitable organization focuses on providing life-altering outdoor experiences for teenagers and young adults who are living with cancer and other serious health conditions. First Descents understands the importance of helping these young people focus on living, and firmly believes in the healing power of adventure. 

In between my time spent on the slopes, I was able to have a personal conversation with Jessica Collins. We grabbed breakfast at the shop in town. Jessica is one of thousands who has benefitted from the work that First Descents does. 

After a thyroid cancer diagnosis at 30, Jessica, an intense athlete, struggled with the simplest of tasks like getting dressed, until she embarked on an outdoor adventure with First Descents that gave her the drive and the sense of purpose she needed to fight her sickness and recapture her health. Jessica is the perfect embodiment of First Descents’ motto: Out Livin’ It. Not only does she have a thirst for adventure, but she has a larger reason why. She’s truly an inspiration and a reminder of just how fortunate we all are.

All this time supporting First Descents, raising money, enjoying great skiing, hearing these inspiring stories, and soaking up plenty of blue sky days made me stop and ponder what it means to really have a sense of purpose—and what it can mean for your future. 

Your Sense of Purpose

When I work with potential franchise owners, the first thing I ask is why; why are they thinking about making a change in their career trajectory?

Recently, I’ve observed an increased lack of a sense of purpose in the people I talk to who work in the corporate world. It seems there’s no institutional motivation for exceptional work. And why would there be? For many with corporate jobs, it seems that whether employees do a great job or they do an average job, they get paid the same salary. There’s no additional reward for being a standout or a changemaker. 

I recently heard one example of a corporate employee who worked on a project for over six months. They were well on the road to revolutionizing the entire customer experience for their corporate employer. But then the whole project was shelved with little to no to-do. 

It’s instances like this that make it hard to see the value in working so hard day in and day out for someone else. Perhaps this is why we witnessed the “Great Resignation” last summer. The common thread I hear over and over again is that corporate work isn’t a passion or a career. It’s often not much more than a “day job.”

There’s currently a clear disconnect between what employees are looking for in a lifelong, fulfilling career and what a corporate manager can promise or deliver. 

Perhaps the reality is lots of ongoing stress and too many changes. Or perhaps too many corporate managers are understaffed and forced to rely on overworked employees. Or maybe it’s a mismatch in employee skills and job requirements. Whatever the reason, many find that it leads to a sense of futility or a lack of purpose.

The Big Question

For potential franchise owners, I ask one question.

“What is it you want to accomplish as a business owner?”

Of course for most, “more money” is the obvious, typical first answer. But upon digging a little deeper, I hear answers like:

Ultimately, it comes down to impact.

As franchise owners, we have the ability to create a significant impact on our communities. Not just for ourselves but for our employees and customers as well. We even have the chance to get involved in our communities and give back. As a franchise owner focused on what drives you—what your sense of purpose is—you end up with countless opportunities to make the impact you wish to see. 

So, the next question?

How do you want to create an impact on the world around you? And for your community?

Business ownership can be a deeply meaningful way to create change in your life as well as the lives of those around you. And like it did for me, it just might provide you with a true sense of purpose. 
If business ownership sounds like the right path forward for you, let’s get in touch. If not? That’s okay too. Regardless, now is the perfect time to make a list of what you want to accomplish, what you need from your career to find a sense of purpose. And then, spend your time Out Livin’ It!

David Weaver is the Founder of Franchise Your Freedom and a senior consultant with FranChoice, the premier national network of franchise consultants. David helps people all over the country find the right franchise fit by sharing his personal experience and philosophy on how to select the right brand.  He shares proven strategies and over a decade of experience growing franchise companies for himself with those that are doing it for the first time. You can learn more about David at FranchiseYourFreedom.