What if you could use your time, skills, and passions to have a far greater impact than ever before on people’s lives — particularly those who need it the most? What if you could build your own self-sustaining business around your purpose and your craft?
Your purpose: the reason why you get up in the morning. It’s your contribution to the world. It’s a commitment we have in our lives that drives us from within.
Your craft: the things you’re good at and enjoy doing.
Your Purpose Craft: Applying your craft in such a way that it drives after your purpose. It’s the intersection of the two.
When you discern and develop your Purpose Craft, the work you get to do is both intrinsically motivating; you’re doing what you love to do, and deeply fulfilling; what you’re striving towards makes the world a better place; it helps solve the problems that matter the most to you.
From a food truck sharing misunderstood cultures, to artists providing those experiencing homelessness therapy through creating art, the Purpose Craft movement is creating a brighter world every day.
At its best, Purpose Craft is also self-sustaining financially; it involves a thoughtful business model that allows you to replace a traditional job so you can act on your Purpose Craft more, better, and more motivated. Later in the book, we’ll cover some example business models we’ve seen that have supported Purpose Craft-ers going full-time on their initiatives.
Purpose Craft is a simple idea: it’s pursuing the intersection of what you love to do and solving the problems you most care about. But simple does not mean easy; pursuing Purpose Craft is certainly a feat. That said, when done well, we’ll discuss how it leaves an individual with better fulfillment in the pursuit of purpose, better health, more motivation, and greater autonomy. And for those who benefit from your work, it leaves the world with something sorely needed today: more work done by creative and passionate people solving the hardest problems affecting those whose full dignity as people are compromised by unjust social structures.
This is the future: of work, philanthropy, craft, entrepreneurship, and altruism.
This is what Purpose Craft is all about.
We are living at a time ripe with immense opportunity for individual freedom, fulfillment in the pursuit of purpose, and prosperity. This is partially because of (rather than contradictory to) the current state of things: a huge percentage of our workforce today is made up of people doing jobs that they believe are meaningless, or that they don’t enjoy at all, or that they love but that don’t pay a livable wage to support their family.
Scores of students graduating from college today are wondering where to find meaning in their work. Many startups have caught on, and have created what often seems like internal propaganda to help employees feel that they are contributing meaningfully to the world through work that mostly strives to bring a big payday to investors and founders.
Beyond fulfillment and contributing to the greater good, people are craving autonomy more and more. Remote jobs are highly in demand because people believe they should be able to conduct their lives as they wish — and they should!
We have gotten to a place with our technology that we do not need most of the country working desk jobs over 40 hours a week. We have gotten to the point where people could spend much more of their time doing things that are meaningful, and using the gifts and strengths the individual is best at and most enjoys, all while making enough money to live a comfortable life.
We are also living in a time when people increasingly question the impact their actions have on the world beyond themselves: from the kinds of products they buy, to who they buy it from, to the ecological footprint they pay for; people want to ensure that there is a net gain in the world as a whole because of the choices made in their lives. But there is a great disconnect here that causes great frustration for most: the work many of us do for two-thirds of our waking lives (our full-time jobs) feels entirely meaningless. Far too many jobs today do not clearly provide a net gain to the world, or at best a minimal one. Meanwhile, great problems exist in our society that very few of us are tackling because it isn’t profitable to solve homelessness, substance addiction, depression, human trafficking, or food insecurity.
Never short on irony, our society also has a great inhibitor: the more meaningful the work, the less you’re expected to get paid. And if you do get paid a competitive salary to do meaningful work, then you’re obviously not in it for the right reasons; you don’t actually care about the cause, you’re just profiteering instead of getting paid half and letting the other half help “save the world”.
Another inhibitor: many assume that meaningful work is only done by volunteering at a traditional nonprofit, like sorting canned good donations for an afternoon. Many who have a great craft or skill fail to see how what they are good at and enjoy doing could contribute to the greater good. We have yet to see a skill or craft someone does well and enjoys doing that cannot, in some way, contribute to the greater good in a meaningful way. The barbers and stylists who have given their services to those experiencing homelessness helped individuals see worth in themselves for the first time, land jobs and apartments, and pull their lives back together — all from a small mental shift triggered by a good haircut and shave. Their 30 minutes of pro-bono work helped protect the full dignity of a person’s life at a time when the person failed to see any worth in the mirror. Their example gives us great inspiration in realizing the potential impact of any craft on some of the most difficult problems we see in our society today.
In the full Purpose Craft Manifesto book, we will strive to help break down the ironic myths that surround the future of purposeful work, shine a light on the new reality, discuss the research-backed benefits of this new kind of work, share with you the stories of those who are already doing this kind of work, and provide you with some starting points for you to achieve Purpose Craft in your own life.
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