Rod Aparicio

Mar 17, 2022

Debunking Purpose-Washing. The Problem With Purpose As The New Cool.

Purpose being the new cool is a fad. All hype.

The problem with this "purpose being the new cool" is that it makes it precisely that: "cool". Instead of being something that drives the decision-making process, it's just a tagline or a nice wrapping. And what do you do with wrapping? You dispose it.

It's all hype that makes it senseless.

I see founders with good hearts trying to add “purpose” as a feature of their mission. Their intentions are good. Implementation can suffer if it’s not core—not foundational. John Walden

Being cool is bad business

It follows trends. And trends fade away. They change constantly. That's the problem with purpose being the new cool. As soon it's not cool enough, everything goes back to the usual. It becomes pointless, being, in the best case scenario:

  • A checkbox to fill

  • A nice-to-have

  • Décor

  • A feature

Noise.

Getting help articulating your purpose. The ONE thing to beware of.

If you hear that purpose = aspiration, RUN.

This is foundational to actually not fall into this fad. A purpose is what defines you. Who you are. What you stand for and what goes deep into how you see life, business and everything else. It's you at your best. What inspires you. Not who you want to be.

Aspiration is something you want to get or become. It's a desire. It can motivate you —but when you run out of motivation, that's it. No more pursuit.

This is the main thing to look for when trying to articulate your purpose. It's what inspires you to do more. To give more. To be present. What makes you wake up every morning.

If your business has no purpose, that's ok too. You don't need one.

Rod Aparicio

Brand Strategy Advisor for Indie Consulting Firms.

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