• Laurent Notin

The Word Entrepreneurs Use The Most: Impact

I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for more than 20 years. I’ve interviewed more than 100 of them on my podcast Inter:views, Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code.

When they talk about entrepreneurship, they invariably use the same words and expressions.

Impact or purpose are 2 of the words that come back the most often.

Entrepreneurs are driven by impact.

They usually dream big, to the point they want to change the world.

By becoming an entrepreneur, they’re in charge. Entrepreneurship gives them control over how much impact they can make. They can influence how things are done; they can challenge the status quo. As a company, they can contribute more than as an individual and can leave some sort of legacy behind them.

There are many ways entrepreneurs can make an impact: opening a social enterprise, focusing on a good cause, solving a painful problem for people as well as treating employees, clients, and suppliers correctly.

However, the journey always begins with finding a sense of purpose. Japanese people talk about Ikigai.

So, the most important question entrepreneurs need to ask themselves: why am I doing whatever it is I am doing?

Entrepreneurs who make a difference have come up with an answer. They have found a reason for living (hint: it’s not money, it often evolves around helping others). They know why they wake up every morning, they understand their place on earth and in this life. It feels right to them.

Then, they align their business with their sense of purpose.

Let me give you an example: I was born to help people. I just can’t stop, it’s stronger than me.

I especially love all those “aha” moments people get when they have a breakthrough during a coaching session or a training course.

Doing what I do enables me to lead my clients to those moments over and over again. In my case, my clients are entrepreneurs and their leadership teams because this is the audience I feel comfortable working with.

Regardless of my audience, my purpose is a gift that keeps me awake and moves me forward like a beacon.

A female entrepreneur once told me if she’d known all the issues she’d had to go through, she wouldn’t have started her company.

This is a strong statement. It shows how difficult of a job being an entrepreneur is.

She thought about shutting down several times. She nearly bankrupted her business because of the pandemic. She persisted though, and despite all her hassles, her business is quite successful today.

When I asked what keeps her going, she said every time she struggles, she always reminds herself about why she set up on her journey. It helps her find the strength to continue.

Her purpose is her driving force.

Listen to her full interview on Inter:views, Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know what she means. Knowing my purpose has clearly made my journey simpler.

It gives me clarity of direction. It helps me build my resilience.

When things get tough, I remember why I do what I do.

So, whenever I’m faced with a difficult decision to take, I ask myself whether it's aligned with my purpose or not. If it’s not, then the answer is simple: scrap it!

How To Find Your Purpose

Your purpose - that one thing you're meant to do - comes from a place of passion and authenticity.

You need to understand your inner motivations as well as your core strengths and use them to shape your business.

Think about what makes you, you. Follow your natural gifts, values, and uncompromising principles. It’s less about just selling a product or a service, and more about doing some good in this world.

You need to be very clear about who you truly are. Don’t lie to yourself.

Because the clearer you are within, the clearer you’ll be outside.

When your purpose and your product all come together, you will create a real impact. It will drive your business, help you design your offer, dictate who your ideal clients are, attract talents, provide you with sharp focus, and gather all your people under the same banner.

Granted, it’s easier said than done, but trust me, it’s very powerful.

To conclude, let me share 3 Powerful Questions to help you find your purpose:

  1. What changes do you seek to make in the world?

  2. What are your uncompromising principles?

  3. How aligned is your company to your personal values?


This article is an extract from my special podcast series The Entrepreneur Alphabet. Listen to the episodes on your favorite podcast channel or watch them on YouTube.

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