Having a clear purpose is in my DNA – and should be in yours, too…

My parents are well known in the business world, having co-founded Specsavers in 1984 – and growing it to a multinational optical...

Written by Wyseminds · 2 min read >

My parents are well known in the business world, having co-founded Specsavers in 1984 – and growing it to a multinational optical and hearing company. Accustomed as I am to see them in the press, I did sit up and take even more notice than normal when I saw a double page spread about them in a local Channel Island newspaper, as I sipped my morning cup of tea. And that was because of the headline of the journalist’s story: “The importance of having a clearly defined purpose”. 

This is the very reason I started my business, Wyseminds. There it was, clear as day. I know purpose-led businesses succeed, because I’ve lived it and breathed that ethos for most of my life, seeing it in action and witnessing its power to fuel growth. I took this model with me as I spent twenty years growing Specsavers in Northern Europe. And I live by it today – helping women entrepreneurs discover their North Star and developing the golden thread that runs through all that they do,  while being guided by Wyseminds’ purpose of supporting them to grow their businesses, on their own terms. 

Danger of distraction

“An organisation cannot have a fragmented purpose or one that keeps changing,” says Doug Perkins, wisely. “The purpose has to be at the heart of everything and it will keep you focused. Without purpose, there is a danger of distraction, heading down paths that will not enhance or enable success.”

For my father and mother, purpose has given them clear sight of where Specsavers has been heading throughout its almost forty-year journey. Namely, that it would make a positive difference to people’s lives by helping them see better. Since then, hearing has been added to the mix. But the accessibility and affordability aim hasn’t; it’s always been the guiding light for all its employees and partners – fundamental, as brands explore new markets and new opportunities.

Thriving, not just surviving

I am a firm believer that purpose gives women entrepreneurs the confidence to thrive, not just survive. This clear vision is empowering and important as your team grows around you. It grounds you, as collaboration with partners and experts gathers pace. Everyone living your vision and values; clarity and alignment as new people jump on board. Purpose pervades the culture of a business – something my mother and I appear to be aligned on, too. 

“Sometimes leaders feel threatened to have team members who bring more skills and expertise, but that’s exactly what you need. There’s no room for solo thinking, it is all about collaboration,” explains Dame Mary Perkins. “As a leader, you will always face challenges, {but with the} right structures and values in place, more often than not, you are able to keep moving forward.”

Holding on to great ideas

In my mind, this is key; purpose builds resilience for leaders and their businesses in the moment – and for the future and ensures we never lose great ideas. There’s great freedom and joy in knowing the why behind what you do, rather than just the what. The ‘so what?’ in other words.

“Defining your purpose and values from the outset is paramount, but you must stick to them and live by them yourself as a leader,” insists Doug Perkins.

So, there we have it. Alignment and agreement on this for sure I am entirely on the same page as my parents;  The success of Specsavers, established in 13 countries based on purpose, partnership, and a unified vision of making a difference in people’s lives, stands as the only testament we need..   Having a clear purpose is not only in my DNA – I am urging it to be in the DNA of all women entrepreneurs, so they can grow on their own terms. While enjoying what they’re so passionate about, every step of the way.

To discuss how Wyseminds can help you with a clearly defined purpose, find out more about our programme here – and when you sign up receive a complimentary eBook on seamless, joyful growth, an evaluation of your business, access to a growth workshop and a one-to-one consultation with me, Julie Perkins – Founder of Wyseminds.