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BUILDING A PRACTICE ON PURPOSE SERIES PART #4 Identifying the Fear-based Culture of Your Business

In the personal life coaching I do as a Life On Purpose Coach I work with my clients to help them uncover their Inherited Purpose. This is the fear, lack, struggling to survive-based force that shapes people's lives especially whenever we feel threatened which for most people is quite often in today's times.

One way to think of a business is that it's a group of people who have come together for a common cause or purpose. For a veterinary practice that is generally to offer services to pets and their owners. So, it makes sense that when a group of people come together that their individual Inherited Purposes also come together to form a fear-based culture of business.

Now the insidious thing about a person's individual Inherited Purpose and the Collective Inherited Purpose of a business (and for that matter of a profession as a whole) is that for the most part the IP operates most effectively in the background of our consciousness and awareness. After all each person's IP begins to get formed very early in life -- those formative years that the old Wonder Bread commercials used to refer to -- so that by the time most of us are in our early to mid-teens our IP has been well formed and operating to shape our life, to keep us safe and secure.

Therefore, by the time we enter the business world our IP's are well engrained in the background of our awareness shaping much of our life like a master saboteur without our even being aware of it.

For example, my Inherited Purpose began to be formed when 2 weeks before my 7th birthday I came skipping home from the second grade only to find a living room full of very sad adults including my mom who had just learned that my dad who had gone on a fishing trip a day or two before had died of a massive heart attack. Not expecting to die at 43, he left his wife and two young sons with no savings nor life insurance, so in the subsequent years it took for us to recover, my Inherited Purpose became: "I must be

smart and know all the answers (or pretend that I do), and I must work really hard so I won't be poor and so people won't leave me."

It was that Inherited Purpose that shaped so much of the next 30 years of my life that by the age of 37, although to all outward appearances I was a successful veterinarian, inside my life felt so empty that I seriously contemplated suicide. Both the individual and the collective Inherited Purpose has tremendous shaping power, often leading to burnout or a life that leaves us asking the question, "Is this all there is?"

Uncovering your personal Inherited Purpose and the Collective Inherited Purpose of your business can be some of the most challenging work to creating a Practice On Purpose, yet will ultimately make a profound difference. So, here are a few questions to ponder:

What's been shaping your life, especially when you feel threatened that's based in fear, a sense of lack or a need to struggle to survive?

How about your staff?

What do you imagine the Collective Inherited Purpose of your practice to be? How about of our profession?

Tough questions, I realize. Tough enough that the answers could transform your life and your business.

©2005 Brad Swift of Life On Purpose Institute, Inc. This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.

About the author:

Dr. Brad Swift founded Life On Purpose Institute in 1996 with the vision of creating a World On Purpose by assisting people like yourself to clarify their life purpose & live true to it. Determine how on or off purpose your life is with the fun & insightful Self Test at: Inspire yourself with a subscription to Purposeful Pondering Ezine:

Written by: Brad Swift

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