According to experts, about 90% of startups end in failure. In many cases, entrepreneurs simply run out of money and are forced to quit. However, according to consultant and coach Holly Woods, there is a deeper reason for insolvency: Founders lack clarity about what matters to them and what they want to achieve. For several decades, Woods has been helping them find their purpose, which, in turn, leads to profit and success. “When you are focused on why you got into a product or niche, you can make decisions that result in more optimized strategies,” says Woods.
Having spent 35 years in human and organizational development as well as 30 years building and scaling businesses, Holly Woods, Phd is well poised to help clients discern their business intentions. She is the founder of The Emergence Institute, which guides visionaries, innovators and changemakers to get deep clarity about purpose and build products and business rooted in it. An Integral Master Coach, Purpose Guide, Professional Mediator and Facilitator, Master Energy Practitioner, and a Stages of Consciousness developmental practitioner, she is also the author of The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life (2020).“When you are focused on why you got into a product or niche, you can make decisions that result in more optimized strategies.” - @hollykwoods Click To Tweet
At an upcoming Founders Network event, Woods will demonstrate how more precise clarity about purpose helps you create products that represent the true talents you bring to the world, enables you to stay inspired for the long-haul and more easily course correct, all while guiding your next steps toward profit.
- Explore the Golden Thread that led you to your product/ innovation and business
- Become newly inspired about the WHY behind your product/ innovation
- Gain clarity, focus and flow to guide your next steps
- Reap the benefits of your precise purpose for yourself, your business and the world
For those doubting their ability to make a success of their current projects, Woods initiates a process of rediscovery. “Once founders reclaim their purpose and get reenergized, they can truly commit to their startup and persevere through any challenges that come up,” she explains.“Once founders reclaim their purpose and get reenergized, they can truly commit to their startup and persevere through any challenges that come up.” - @hollykwoods Click To Tweet
Using your Origin Story to Explore the Golden Thread of Purpose
Many of us live unintentional lives and are unaware that our impulses and the things that excite us are rooted in our origin stories. Woods helps people “unpack who they are” and look through their personal history to find the common themes and motivations. “The golden thread is really the thread of purpose as it weaves itself through your life and helps create clarity and focus about what would be your next best step.” Many people set out on a path because it seems like the most viable alternative for them, but don’t know why. Woods believes that becoming conscious about one’s deeper intentions will help refine efforts. For entrepreneurs, this knowledge helps them to best market their product or service and to become aware of the next step to take for the company’s growth.
Staying in Positive Motion with the Purpose Flywheel™
Coined in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, the term ‘flywheel effect’ refers to the concept that successful enterprises are characterized by a process that resembles pushing a flywheel, a mechanism once used in large machinery to keep them going. Companies operate successfully by creating systems that enhance stability, resilience and momentum, even in volatile growth phases.“The golden thread is really the thread of purpose as it weaves itself through your life and helps create clarity and focus about what would be your next best step.” - @hollykwoods Click To Tweet
According to Woods, the “perpetual motion” mechanism suggested by a flywheel also mimics the notion of the evolutionary impulse to improve as a means of filling the ever-expanding universe. That requires iteration, which requires feedback. In our own lives, we must continuously experiment, fail and receive feedback from the system in order to learn – a process that Woods knows well from working with clients.
Inspired by her experiences setting up “virtuous cycles” for her clients, she created the Purpose Flywheel™, “a continuous series of learning loops” that enable startup founders and others to find clarity about their direction and keep experimenting toward success.
Taking the Next Big Step Amid Doubt
When you have created something successful, the next step can feel daunting. Woods recalls working with a serial entrepreneur who had successfully built a $500M environmental cleanup company. He was about to exit and had no idea what to do next. During his work with Woods, he became aware of his next desired direction, an area in which he had been volunteering his services, but he had a crisis of confidence about his right to turn a passion project into a business. After working through those doubts and getting precise clarity about his purpose, he immediately started building his new venture, this time in an arena that reflected his purpose.“It is difficult to move forward in things that matter most, to reveal ourselves to the world, so we choose something that feels easier.” - @hollykwoods Click To Tweet
According to Woods, “It is difficult to move forward in things that matter most, to reveal ourselves to the world, so we choose something that feels easier.” But, she adds, it is only when we are in alignment with our purpose that true innovation can happen.
In that spirit, she has created the Purpose LaunchLab Incubator for innovators and founders who want to get more clarity about their purpose and product. By approaching new initiatives this way, many entrepreneurs are finding they can improve efficiency and profit, leading to more startup success stories.
Founded in 2011, Founders Network offers lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally. Our platform, programs and high-touch service facilitate authentic experience sharing, warm introductions and long-term professional relationships. Additional benefits include over $1M in startup discounts and mentorship from 50+ Institutional Investors. Members are located in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, London and other tech hubs. Each month our Membership Committee admits a new cohort of full-time tech founders who are nominated by an existing member.