Finding Your Purpose – A Case Study

The Startup Business Strategy Purpose Case Study

It was a typical evening in the Simon household.

The family of four, had finished dinner and now the older teenaged daughter Katherine was in her room doing her homework while her sister Julia, was practicing her guitar lessons. In the kitchen, Shane was helping Claire putting away the dishes.

Perceiving something that Shane was not his jovial self, Claire asked “What’s wrong Shane?”

“Nothing!” Shane said as he frowned.

“Come on Shane, you have barely spoken all night, what is it?” Claire asked again.

“Well, you know that job promotion I was after? It did not happen. Apparently I am not the right fit. They think I am doing a good job at what I am doing now, but they have found somebody better. I know we had a lot of plans, but I guess that’s all fallen through now.”

“Look Shane, there will be other opportunities, don’t get all hung up about it”, Claire replies reassuringly.

“You know the sad thing is that when I was younger, I said to myself, I would never sell out. I had dreams. Like remember when we met?”

“Well you were a bit of a dreamer Shane, but I still married you didn’t I!”

“Yes Clare, but what happened? It’s like we are doing the same thing day by day.”

“Shane, we are no different to any other family like look at your sister’s family or your brother’s family? Even the neighbours.”

“But that’s my point, it just seems like everyone around us has chosen this life, but I still feel there has to be much much more.”

Do you know somebody like Shane, maybe somebody perhaps with similar traits as yourself? Living a comfortable life with a close family all around him, but for some reason he has lost his enthusiasm or direction. In many ways, he has lost his purpose.

If you knew Shane, what would you advise him? Would you say to him that this is life, this is as good as it gets? Just like with Jim Carrey in the movie The Truman Show?

Or would you suggest to Shane that perhaps it is for him to find a deeper sense of purpose or meaning, something that ignites his spirit, that connects him to others in a way that he has never experienced before? A way to fulfil his (and his families) six human needs as Tony Robbins defines – certainty, variety, connection, significance, contribution, growth?

Would Shane be ready to hear what you have to say?

A month later the Simon’s were attending a family barbeque. Shane’s brother Karl and his family were also there, as well as a friend of Karl’s, Tim. Tim had his own business that he had set up several years ago and after a difficult start, things were really going well for him now. As the afternoon went on, the conversation shifted from sports, to children to what’s happening at work.

“You were going have your own business weren’t you Shane? I thought by now you would of got tired of your job and went out on your own?” asked Karl.

“I was probably not as brave as you Karl! Besides, I have probably left it too late!” Shane says, as he reaches for his drink and tries to change the subject.

“Come on that’s got nothing to do with it. It’s about finding something you really want and then going for it. No matter what that is. Of course there are unknowns, but equally there is the big unknown that if you keep doing what you have already done you will get what you have always got!”

“Did you know Shane that, Ray Kroc started MacDonald’s in his 50’s, Colonial Sanders was in his 60’s and in fact Charles Darwin published his book the Origin Of The Species when he was 50? Even Samuel Jackson was 46 years old, recovering from cocaine and heroin addiction before got his break with John Travolta in Pulp Fiction!”

“I mean these are people who made it big, but there are also thousands more who are unsung heroes who are making it every day in all circumstances”

“Its not about having left it too late Shane. Its about you figuring out what you want to do – what your life is going to be. There is nobody else but yourself that can figure that one out”

“Perhaps you just need a wakeup call to get on with it?” Karl said.

Little did Shane realise but the conversion with Karl that afternoon burned inside Shane’s deeper consciousness. It hurt bad. But it was good as well. Like it’s what Shane’s teenage daughters would say, you know what I mean bad is good and good is bad etc!

That evening, Shane was not his usual jovial self again…

He was different.

In fact it was as though something had awakened from a very deep sleep. Something Shane had forgotten about, or had given up on.

You see the real Shane was back! 

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