Your Purpose Has Value: Insights from “A Sacred Voice is Calling”
While I was finding my path to becoming a leader in my own marketing firm, coaching and
teaching always made up a big component of my job. Whether I was consulting with business
owners or teaching in a classroom, what really interested me was uncovering my client’s
passion and connecting it with the systems and processes they wanted to master in support of
their day-to-day work. Following this purpose is what brought me to Chicago, through my early
careers in education and IT consulting, to where I am today.
A family friend of over 25 years who happens to be a Catholic priest recently recommended a
book that explains exactly what that unexplainable nudge feels like that speaks from inside
telling you this is what I am meant to do and breaks down how to chase that spark of joy in a
way that supports a full and satisfying life. A Sacred Voice is Calling by John Neafsey was
enlightening not just because it put my own experience into words so clearly, but also because I
really connect with clients who are on a similar journey. It’s rare to find someone who can blend
spirituality and faith with discussions about the entrepreneurship journey so seamlessly, in a
way that’s welcoming for people of all backgrounds.
Here are a few takeaways from the book that I think will be helpful for those who are starting a
new service-based business or getting back on track with their purpose:
Your Purpose is Valuable
The most refreshing and energizing part of Neafsey’s message, for me, was the idea that your
purpose has value. I have always been drawn to entrepreneurship because it allows individuals
to personally provide a service and find fulfillment, which most people don’t get working for
someone else. But being honest with ourselves about the value of our purpose in the world and
our service to others is absolutely necessary to build these ideas and feelings into a sustainable
business. It’s good to have a servant’s heart, but you also need a mind for business!
Learn to Listen for the Spirit
Neafsey draws on the wisdom of various saints, sages and traditions of spiritual direction, so in
this case, “spirit” can have divine connotations or it might be more about what makes you feel
energized and alive. It isn’t too hard to identify our unique talents, skills and strengths, but the
issue is figuring out what to do with them. As the title suggests, Neafsey’s answer is that each of
us needs to learn how to listen and discern the voice of the spirit (whatever that means to us).
For those of us who love to serve, he suggests paying attention to our responses to injustice
and inequality in the world.
Find Where You Fit
With a purpose and some ideas about how your skills and talents might be applied, you can
open your eyes and start to look for the specific people and places with a need you can fill.
Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner describes it as the place “where our deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.” So after we have listened inward, the next step is to listen
outward in the real world to locate those places of need (or “demand,” in business terms) where
we can serve authentically.
So there really is a business case for finding your purpose and staying in touch with it: this is
your source of motivation to do the incredible amount of work it will take to build a successful
business. But I find that so often, people wait to reach out for help building their dream until they
are one hundred percent certain they have found their calling. If you agree with Neafsey, this is
a journey you’ve been on for your entire life! So it’s never too early to talk through what you’re
feeling with a coach or a mentor.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of the insights and skills I’ve picked up along the way right
here on my blog. Sign up for my email list to get notified about upcoming posts!