Finding Your First Customer As A Purpose Business

Photo by Lay Low

In the world of business, the first customer is typically someone who purchases your product or service, hoping it will benefit them, regardless of its value. Toothpick sales statistics illustrate this; people often buy toothpicks for serving finger foods rather than dental use. Toothpick companies emphasize durability and effectiveness as their values, marketing them as miraculous tooth-cleaning tools.

However, the situation differs for purpose-driven businesses. Defining a customer here involves two conditions: willingness to pay (with money, time, etc.) and being an intended user of the product/service.

Why is having an intended user important? Unlike established toothpick companies, purpose businesses need ongoing feedback on their products/services during the early stages. Any feedback is valuable. Knowing your product’s relevance and applicability is crucial advice when seeking customers. That being said, how do you find your first customer?

Mission: Your mission as a purpose business plays a crucial part in your product/service’s relevance to your target audience. Let’s take an example, This generic mission statement, “Empowering change through sustainable solutions for a better world.” though effective, can be a starting point to understand who your customers are. Whether your company offers services or is product-based, the word “solutions” needs to affect someone.

Profile: Explore and ideate who that someone is; be as descriptive as you can. For instance, think of managers in construction companies dealing with daily heat or single fathers with three kids seeking time-management solutions. Your mission statement can guide the creation of customer profiles. Identify the specific group of people most likely to resonate with your purpose. Understand their demographics, preferences, behaviors, and pain points.

Measure: On a scale of 1-5, how crucial is it for the profiled individuals to access your product/service? This measurement matters, as it guides your next steps.If the scale leans towards 1 (least important), your material should educate your audience about why they need your product and how it benefits them. You might also attract those closer to 5 who aren’t aware of the problem and need to be educated. Your next steps depend on where they fall on this scale.

Channel: Identify the right channel to reach your customers. If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll have enough information to determine where your customers spend time, whether digitally or in person. At Anima, for example, we relied on offline strategies for over two years to connect with clients— this was especially effective during COVID when competition decreased. Discovering the right communication channel significantly increases your chances of finding your first customer (if not more).

In our next edition, we’ll delve into how to effectively communicate with leads and prospects as a purpose-driven business.

 Today’s Action Steps: Focus on uncovering the real-world impact of your mission:

  1. Reflect: Revisit your mission statement and consider how it directly resonates with your potential customers.
  2. Relate: Find connections between your purpose and your customers’ needs or values.
  3. Imagine: Visualize scenarios where your offerings genuinely improve lives.
  4. Share: Give a glimpse into your mission exploration journey to your channels
  5. Engage: Encourage your audience to share their thoughts on how your purpose aligns with their needs.

Strengthen your purpose-business connection and stay tuned for next week’s communication insights.


What Should You Do With Profits From Your Purpose Business?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

In the realm of business growth, investing in your value chain serves as a cornerstone of success, surpassing the traditional focus on expanding your workforce. Just as a symphony thrives on harmony, your business flourishes by orchestrating a seamless sequence of value-adding steps, powered by the profits you generate.

So, what is a value chain?

Imagine a journey your product or service takes, step by step, from the very start to reaching customers. It encompasses everything from obtaining raw materials, crafting the product, to delivering it to people. Each step adds value, improving your product and aiding your business growth.

(Note: For a services company, “raw materials” might not be physical substances like in manufacturing, but rather the foundational elements needed to provide your service. These could include things like knowledge, skills, tools, and technology required for effective service delivery. Similar to physical raw materials, these components are crucial for creating and delivering a high-quality service to your customers.)

Visualize a tree that consistently bears fruit, not just seasonally. By directing profits towards enhancing your value chain, you cultivate sustained prosperity. Optimizing each stage of production, from sourcing materials to delivering the final product or service, creates a balanced ecosystem that amplifies the value you offer.

Now, let’s explore why prioritizing value chain investments may make sense for your purpose business.

  1. Holistic Efficiency: Channeling resources into perfecting your value chain boosts overall efficiency. This optimization streamlines processes, reduces waste, and maximizes the value delivered to your customers.
  2. Resilient Innovation: In a changing business landscape, adaptability is vital. Investing in the value chain enables you to swiftly integrate innovations, stay ahead of market shifts, and capitalize on emerging trends.
  3. Lasting Customer Satisfaction: A refined value chain translates to consistent quality and reliability. Enhancing each link in the chain builds customer trust and loyalty, fostering enduring relationships.

Consider these strategic factors for value chain investments:

  • Industry Evolution: If your industry rapidly transforms, investing in the value chain keeps you at the forefront of innovation.
  • Premium Differentiation: If your brand emphasizes a premium experience, optimizing your value chain ensures every touchpoint aligns with this commitment.
  • Uncompromised Excellence: If unwavering quality defines your business, investing in your value chain guarantees consistent top-notch products or services.

While value chain investment offers substantial benefits, don’t overlook the value of a skilled workforce. Human expertise drives innovation, nurtures relationships, and injects creativity into your operations. Hiring skilled professionals, especially for roles demanding unique talents or personal interactions, significantly enhances your capabilities and growth potential.

When deciding between investing in the value chain or expanding your team, striking a balance is crucial. Your business needs determine the optimal approach. Value chain investment amplifies core operations, while strategic hiring adds specialized skills and personalized service.

Prioritizing value chain investment fuels sustained growth and competitive advantage. Simultaneously, strategic workforce expansion adds a human touch that elevates capabilities. Harmonizing these aspects creates a symphony of success resonating with efficiency and excellence.

 Today’s Action Step: Research your industry/niche to assess the resources required for value chain investment. Once you understand the amount of resources needed, you can then strategize your business investments accordingly.

The Heartbeat Of Purpose In A Purpose-Business (TEC#004)

Photo by Peng Louis

Read time: 3 minutes

After the term ‘global warming’ changed to ‘global boiling,’ as a purpose-driven business, everyone at Anima felt incredibly frustrated. Shaken to our core, being in the services space felt exceedingly challenging. It seemed like everything we had been working on as a team amounted to nothing. Though it was just a glimpse, we are now more aggressively determined than ever.

In this moment, we truly understood the definition of a purpose-driven business – those with business models focused on accelerating progress on societal, environmental, and economic challenges while making a profit.

These businesses are the only options in the world that can create positive change today.

As a collective of purpose entrepreneurs, our mission grants us the unique opportunity to align our business with a higher calling.

Saving the world is a profound calling that gives us a sense of meaning and fulfillment that goes beyond the bottom line — something as genetically motivating as money.

Each step we take towards sustainability and social good contributes on a scale that’s larger than our comprehension of the world.

Just as in the movie “Interstellar”, our impact transcends time and space. Our work ripples across communities, leaving a lasting positive impact on people today and in the future, while also impressing the geniuses of the past.

Our caliber of conversation sparks creativity and innovation every single time.

Imagine discussing excel sheets at the water cooler all day (our apologies to the finance folks)

It surpasses anything we’ve ever experienced, turning us into magnets for game-changing ideas that disrupt the status quo.

We’ve realized that saving the world isn’t a simple task.

We face resource constraints, limited budgets, and sometimes the uphill battle of convincing people to believe in what we’re building – every single day.

When we examine the magnitude of each issue at hand, the mountain is so massive that comprehending the impact required to instill change becomes daunting.

The words ‘global challenges’ are inherently grand, even looking at them is overwhelming. We find ourselves wondering if our efforts are sufficient to make a significant difference.

We’ve sacrificed everything in the short term. We’ve given up profits, resources, time, energy, growth, to name a few, all in the hope of immeasurable long-term goals.

we approach this challenge with determination.

Quantifying the impact of our noble endeavors can be puzzling.

Finding accurate metrics to gauge our influence remains an ongoing challenge, and it will persist as we continue on our purpose-driven journey.

Remember, we are humans, not warriors ready to dismantle everything we have in order to conform to the complex world we live in.


Even at the brink,

we strike a perfect balance between purpose and profit, ensuring our business models align with our mission and financial sustainability – even though it often feels like walking a tightrope.

Not everyone may embrace our purpose-driven approach. Overcoming resistance from skeptics and traditionalists can be an uphill battle.

However, we’ve come to understand that by coming together, collaborating, and joining forces with like-minded individuals and organizations, we amplify our impact and create a network of change-makers working towards a common goal.

Embracing transparency in all aspects of our work, and being open about our progress and challenges, helps us build trust and credibility with our stakeholders.

We’ve also realized that flexibility and adaptability are our secret weapons. Continuously learning, improving, and being open to adjusting our approach when necessary.


As purpose-driven entrepreneurs, we are a breed of empowered individuals with a shared goal – a force to be reckoned with. Together, armed with the knowledge of how to address the Earth’s issues, which comes from us and only us, we identify our journeys as marathons and confront them with stoicism and determination.

 Action StepIdentify a source of frustration in your life, then discuss it with trusted people to gain insights and strategies for turning that frustration into motivation. Take actionable steps and set goals to embrace the shift and achieve growth.


3 Crucial Perspectives To Drive System Change (TEC#003)

Photo by Pixabay

Read time: 4 minutes

As purpose entrepreneurs, our core belief lies in driving system change.

But what exactly is system change? It’s all about transforming those widely accepted social norms and processes into something entirely different.

Take a simple example: instead of just throwing rubbish anywhere, we aim to sort it out properly.

However, here’s the kicker – more often than not, we end up placing the burden of “system change” solely on the shoulders of our business or project.

We mistakenly believe that our ideas are dependent on this grand change happening first, or that our product or service alone can revolutionize the entire market.

Like many entrepreneurs who’ve hit upon a killer product or service, we often believe that if enough people experience it, it could bring about significant change. It’s like our goal is to create a bomb that goes off, and the aftermath will transform the environment and ecosystem from here to eternity.

Yet, we’ve learned a valuable lesson over the years – the goal to create change isn’t just a goal; it’s a direction. And trust us, that’s a major distinction.

If we keep seeing it as a mere goal, there’s nothing concrete we can measure to gauge our progress. We’re left with this vague notion that system change is only achieved when everyone uses our said-product/service, and then the world magically becomes a better place.

But if we treat system change as a direction, that’s where things get interesting. Suddenly, we recognize that the path we’re walking on is the change itself. We can start keeping track of our progress and deliberately assess the impact we’re making.

And it’s not just about tracking progress. Consider the business model we’re using for this journey. Having the right business model, is crucial for driving impact, for creating that system change we’re so passionate about.


As purpose-driven businesses, we need to challenge the status quo head-on.

And it’s not just about challenging it but also about making sure people notice our efforts. Are our customers even aware of the change we’re advocating for so fervently? Are they joining us with the same level of enthusiasm?

In essence, we can’t just aim for a distant goal of change; let’s stay on course, treating it as a direction, and ensure we have the right vehicle to drive this meaningful transformation. It’s time to walk the talk and lead by example, so that together, we can create the change we seek for a better world.

The three perspectives are for purpose entrepreneurs, and they serve as different approaches or viewpoints to drive system change and create meaningful transformation. Each perspective offers unique insights and strategies to help purpose entrepreneurs navigate their journey towards achieving their goals of bringing about positive change in the world.


Perspective 1: The Guided Pathfinders 
We recognize that change isn’t a fixed endpoint to be reached; rather, it’s an ongoing journey. We have a clear direction in mind, and while we acknowledge the importance of setting goals, we don’t let ourselves get fixated on them. Instead, we focus on staying true to our purpose, vision, and values.

With a deep sense of commitment to our cause, we lead by example, demonstrating through our actions that the change we seek is not merely theoretical but entirely feasible. We actively engage with our community, customers, and stakeholders to create a shared understanding of the direction we’re headed. By maintaining open communication and transparency, we build trust and inspire others to join us on this transformative journey.

Our business model is carefully crafted to align with our purpose, and we continuously refine it as we learn and grow. We are adaptable and embrace the idea that making an impact may require pivoting and iterating on our approach. Our vehicle for change is chosen wisely, ensuring that it is effective in navigating the terrain we encounter, even if it means taking the road less traveled.


Perspective 2: Catalyst Innovators
We view system change as an opportunity to catalyze innovation and creativity. We see change as a dynamic force that thrives on novel ideas and unconventional approaches. Our focus is not solely on making incremental improvements to an existing system but on reimagining it entirely.

As catalysts, we actively seek out and nurture innovation both within our own organization and across our network. We foster a culture that encourages experimentation and risk-taking, recognizing that breakthroughs often come from stepping outside comfort zones.

Rather than waiting for the perfect conditions or for others to lead the way, we take the initiative to drive change ourselves. We understand that true transformation is born from action, and we are unafraid to challenge the status quo, even if it means facing resistance or skepticism.

Our business model is designed to embrace and support innovation, providing the necessary resources and space for creative ideas to flourish. We invest in research and development, partnerships, and collaborations that push the boundaries of what’s possible.


Perspective 3: Collective Impact Architects 
The emphasis is on the power of collaboration and collective action in achieving system change. As purpose entrepreneurs, we recognize that no single entity can bring about significant transformation alone. Therefore, we work tirelessly to foster partnerships and alliances with like-minded individuals, organizations, and stakeholders.

Our approach revolves around creating a shared vision for change, aligning diverse perspectives, and pooling resources and expertise. We understand that by uniting our efforts, we can amplify our impact and tackle complex challenges with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

In this perspective, we view our business model as a platform for fostering collaboration and mobilizing collective action. We actively seek out opportunities to engage and empower our community and customers, encouraging them to become active participants in the change we seek.

We measure success not just by our individual achievements but by the broader positive changes we bring about as a united force. We celebrate the progress made together and continuously refine our approach to ensure our collaborative efforts remain sustainable and inclusive.


In conclusion, as purpose entrepreneurs, our three perspectives on system change encompass being guided pathfinders, catalyst innovators, and collective impact architects. These perspectives involve staying true to our purpose and values, catalyzing innovation, and fostering collaboration to create the meaningful and transformative change we seek for a better world.


→ Action StepCreate a survey or feedback form and distribute it to your community, customers, and stakeholders. Gather their thoughts on your business model, the impact you’re making, and the change they wish to see. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement, innovative ideas, and potential collaborations. Engaging with your audience directly through this survey will allow you to evaluate your business model, seek new approaches, and initiate conversations for impactful partnerships, all within a shorter timeframe.


3 Actions For Purpose Businesses In Corporate Negotiations (TEC#002)

Photo by George Becker

Read time: 4 minutes

Negotiating with corporates can often be an uncomfortable task, especially for purpose entrepreneurs.

Many struggle with leading negotiations and effectively communicating the value of their product, often resulting in closing deals with reduced fees or offering “free” trials.

It’s a trap that no one tells you about, and failing to close on your true value can severely impact revenues.

But what about when you’re not a big enterprise? What if you’re a small team between 1-20 people?

Before you know it, you’re anxious before a big meeting.

It doesn’t have to be that way

It shouldn’t be that way.

Today, I want to shift that perspective and make closing deals with corporates feel more natural and, perhaps, even fun.

Let’s dive in


1. Develop internal salespeople

How can you develop internal salespeople within your client’s organization without being physically present?

If your product is primarily used by a specific department and not directly by the CEO, start by introducing your product to that department.

Allow them to become advocates for your product.

Provide them with a concise one-page value sheet that clearly depicts the unique value your product delivers.

By doing so, when these advocates enter the CEO’s room, the focus of the discussion will shift from price to the value your product brings.

Over-communicate the value and forget about price at this stage.

The idea is that by emphasizing the value, the pricing discussion becomes secondary, and it becomes evident that your specific solution is exactly what they need.


2. Negotiate without price

When in a room with a decision maker, skillful navigation of the discussion is crucial.

Conversations about your business may veer off in different directions, but they often circle back to the topic of price, which can be a stumbling block for many purpose entrepreneurs.

Decision makers have a habit to shift responsibility by mentioning budget constraints from the CFO or other financial considerations.

This can indicate two possibilities:

  • You haven’t effectively communicated the value of your product, or
  • they genuinely face budget limitations but are still interested in trying your product.

If the conversation takes a negative turn, it’s important to take proactive steps.

One effective approach is to bring up the end-users within the organization and involve them in the discussion.

This may require arranging another meeting where they can participate or stepping out of the room to allow their input.

By including the people who will use your product/service, you bring a fresh perspective and demonstrate the value of their input.

This not only shows your commitment to their needs but also allows decision makers to directly hear how your offering can benefit their organization.

If the conversation becomes challenging, don’t rush their decision. Take the time to involve relevant stakeholders and foster thoughtful consideration.


3. Raise a nominal invoice

Facing with a scenario where a trial or reduced fee is being discussed?

It can be tempting to simply agree and offer your product at a lower cost.

However, it’s important to commit to the deal while also maintaining the perception of your true value.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Commit to the deal and offer your product for a select period of time at the reduced fee or as a trial.
  2. At the end of the agreed period, raise a nominal invoice that reflects the actual true value of your product, but provide a discount on the full fee.

Why is this tactic necessary?

By invoicing the true value, even with a full discount, you ensure that the client is aware of the actual cost of your product.

This way, you avoid undervaluing your own offering by accepting a reduced amount.

You want to leave the impression that your product is worth its true value, lets say “state your $”.

Then, wait.

(If &)When the client comes back for another round of your product or service, provided it is necessary for their organization’s improved performance, they will be more likely to agree to the full amount that you initially invoiced.


It’s crucial to know that most corporates will agree to your price if you have effectively over-communicated the value of your product.

However, if value hasn’t been adequately conveyed, it can be easy to fall into the trap of accepting a lower price because you’re eager for the sale.

Even when you’re experiencing a lack of leads, conversations, and the phone isn’t ringing, sticking to your true value is vital for the long-term success of your business.



  1. Develop an internal team: Empower the department using your product to become advocates for it, so they can discuss its value with decision-makers.
  2. Negotiate without price: Over-communicate the value of your product/service to shift the focus from price to the benefits it provides.
  3. Raise a nominal invoice: Invoice the true value of your product/service, even if offered at a reduced fee or as a trial, to reinforce its worth and avoid undervaluing it.


 Action StepCreate a concise one-page (A4) value sheet that effectively showcases the unique benefits of your product/service. Find the right internal team to advocate your product/service.

Male in a suit feeling uncomfortable

Overcome Your Anxiety While Conveying Value – Guidelines for a Value Proposition Conversation (TEC#001)

Male in a suit feeling uncomfortable

Read time: ~5 minutes


Executive Summary:

  • Establish a defined flow for discussions: Instead of relying on a memorized script, follow a consistent process that allows for natural and authentic conversations, similar to painting a picture with the same steps but adapting to the moment.
  • Focus on value and problem awareness: Avoid self-centered discussions about how “good” your product is. Instead, identify the reason for discussing your product and describe the problem at hand, being descriptive and receptive to tangents. Understand the pain points of your audience, clumping together common reasons why the problem affects them.
  • Communicate value and future direction: Once the pain point is acknowledged, highlight how your product solves a similar problem, emphasizing the value it brings. Assign a dollar value to the pain point to showcase the financial impact. Additionally, share your business’s vision and goals, illustrating how your company is uniquely positioned to address challenges and make a positive impact.
  • Extra: Create a concise A4 value sheet summarizing the conversation’s value, tailored to the individual’s verbiage. When engaging non-decision makers, focus on discussing value, saving the decision-making discussion for decision-makers. Avoid generic phrases like “faster, cheaper, better,” and be patient in conveying the value of your solution, adjusting touchpoints accordingly.

If you’re like me, discussing what you’re building with your company can be an anxiety-inducing conversation.

Words can only do so much justice, and memorizing a script isn’t the way to go because authenticity is key.

Instead, we can establish a defined flow to guide our discussions.

It’s akin to painting a picture—you can’t replicate the exact same image every time, but you follow a consistent process: setting the background, blending colors, and working with what you have in the moment.

Value proposition is a game-changing topic. It has the power to light up someone’s eyes or divert the conversation elsewhere in an instant.

However, it’s important to remember that your product or service may not be suitable for everyone.

Let’s dive in.


Shifting the Focus

Talking excessively about how “good” your product is can be off-putting and hinder information retention, particularly if you struggle to effectively communicate its value verbally.

The general rule is to remove the focus on “I” in our conversation, including references to your product or service.

Instead, consider why the topic of your product arose.

Is the other person genuinely curious or looking for something in the market?

Describe the problem at hand.

If it’s a common issue in the market, provide an overview without dismissing its significance.

Be as descriptive as possible, allowing the conversation to naturally explore tangents and ensuring the other person understands and acknowledges the pain point, whether they have experienced it or not.

If the issue is specific and the person genuinely considers it one of their top three challenges, take the opportunity to learn more about it.

Bring the pain point to their awareness and delve deeper into its impact.

Remember that every customer is unique, buying for different specific reasons.

Your role as a purpose entrepreneur is to identify one or two common reasons why it affects them.


Deliver Value and Vision

Now that the pain point is acknowledged, communicate the value your product provides.

Highlight one aspect that effectively solves a similar pain point.

You don’t need to explain all the intricacies; rather focus on how your solution can make things better, not just for individuals but for the overall situation.

– Assign a dollar value to the pain point

It is crucial to emphasize the financial impact of the problem.

It helps quantify the costs or losses incurred by the individual or business. By attaching a tangible value to the pain point, you can demonstrate the potential savings or gains that your solution can provide.

For example, if the problem leads to productivity losses of $10,000 per month, you can highlight how your product can help recover that amount or even exceed it with increased efficiency.

Remember, both assigning a dollar value to the pain point and sharing your business direction should be done in the same tone and style of the conversation—authentic, engaging, and focused.

– Discuss the direction your business is heading in.

It’s essential to share your vision and goals to provide a clear understanding of how your company aims to address the challenges at hand.

Illustrate how your product or service fits into the bigger picture and how it aligns with the needs of your target audience.

Whether it’s revolutionizing an industry, improving existing processes, or transforming the way people approach a certain task, articulate your aspirations and explain how your business is uniquely positioned to achieve those goals.

By sharing your vision, you instill confidence in your audience that you have a clear roadmap for success.

It helps them see the long-term value of your product or service and how it can contribute to their own growth and success.

Be authentic and passionate in describing your direction, emphasizing the positive impact you aim to make in the market and the value you bring to your customers.


Additions to help

Create an A4 value sheet—a concise, one-page digital resource that summarizes the value and essence of your conversation.

Don’t limit it to a physical paper size. Create a digital version.

As you engage in more conversations, take note of what can be included on this digital page.

Use it to enhance the conversation.

It should be something that can be easily shared and understood, using the verbiage of the individual you’re speaking to. If that person speaks to a CEO, for example, they should grasp the information at a glance.

Important note: When conversing with non-decision makers, focus on discussing value rather than seeking a decision from them. Every time, emphasize the value proposition without pressuring for an immediate commitment. Save the decision-making discussion for when you can present all the gathered information to the decision-maker, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Another important note: Avoid using the generic phrase “faster, cheaper, better.” It lacks originality and has become cliché, even if it accurately describes your product. Find unique and tailored ways to communicate the value your solution provides, highlighting the specific pain points it addresses.

Another another important note: Be patient. Understanding the value of a solution takes time. If your solution takes three months to alleviate a problem, ensure you have touch points throughout that period to discuss the ongoing value. As purpose entrepreneurs, let’s focus on providing material for each day. If you have that, you’ll never run out of valuable topics to discuss.

→ Today’s Action Step: Have 3 separate conversations on 3 different mediums: Face to face, text chain, and e-mail; using these guidelines and additions.