Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about achieving your life’s purpose at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.
Full Video Transcript:
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about achieving your life purpose. This is an area, believe it or not, that a lot of people really struggle with. Everyone wants to make a difference, everyone wants to leave a legacy, but they think to themselves, “Where do I belong? Where is my special place? Where is my passion?” And my advice to you is to follow the questions that people ask you in your life.
Now, hear me out on this. When people ask you a question, they’re actually telling you two very important things. Number one, they’re telling you that whatever they’re asking you about, they’re interested in that topic. They’re curious to learn more about that topic. But secondly, and this is more important, they believe you have the answer. They believe you have the information that they’re interested in. If they didn’t feel that way, they wouldn’t be asking you the question.
So it’s very, very interesting to look into your life, look at your friends, look at your family, look at your work colleagues, people you interact with and groups that you might be a member of. What questions do they ask you? Probably, if you think back, if you spend a little bit of time and think about this, you’ll realize that a lot of the questions fall into one particular category. Maybe they ask you about relationships. Maybe they ask you about some aspect of your work or maybe they ask you about an intellectual subject, [00:01:26] there’s something to do with history. Whatever it might be, there is usually a consistent pattern that people always ask you questions in the same area.
That’s probably where you belong. That’s probably what your purpose is, is to fill that need, to think about how can you deliver more information, because people automatically, for whatever reason, people trust you in that area. And this is very important, guys, because you can’t control how people perceive you. You can control how you present yourself and different things that you do in your life, but you cannot control how people perceive you.
So as an example, when I first got started, I was targeting the tech-savvy younger generation. That’s what I was doing personally. I was speaking a lot about Internet marketing at the time, driving Internet traffic, and just instinctively I thought the people who were going to be interested in that are younger, tech-savvy folks. So that’s what I kind of started to target that everything I did I had that intention in my mind.
But I found out later quite by accident—it was actually through the analytics that’s provided on my YouTube channel—that the vast majority of my views were coming from people in the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket. I shouldn’t say the vast majority. I had people of all ages and I do have a lot of younger folks as well, but the largest single percentage, the largest single category, was 45 to 54. So for whatever reason, people who were slightly older—now, I’m 42 years old right now, but this is five years ago so I was still in my mid- to late 30s—people for whatever reason, the people who were older, were interacting with my content more than the younger people.
And so that’s when I bought some suits, I cut my hair. I started trying to present myself in a way that’s a bit more consistent because that was the audience that was engaging with my content. You can’t always control who engages with your content. When you do your marketing and you’re trying to get your message out there, you can target a particular demographic, but you have no evidence to suggest that that demographic is going to engage. Hopefully they will. I hope for you that they will. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, an entirely different market is the one that ends up engaging with you. So you have to follow the demand.
And it’s exactly the same thing with my recommendation with following questions. The younger people weren’t asking me questions that the older people were, or middle-aged, right? It was the baby boom generation, and people in that demographic for whatever reason, they were the ones asking questions.
Now, what’s the equivalent of asking questions on the Internet? It’s interaction. It’s interaction. It’s views. It’s clicks. When somebody clicks, once, just once—this is fascinating—when someone clicks on anything on your website, what are they telling you? They’re telling you that they’re still interested to find out whatever it is you have in your website and they believe that the information they’re looking for is on your website. By clicking on anything, they’re showing that they’re actually still interested.
And it turns out that the more they click, the more the trust builds in you as a resource. In other words, trust equals interaction. The more they interact with you, the more they trust you. Or views – views on YouTube. The people who are viewing my videos on YouTube, they were interacting with me by viewing my content.
So questions offline is the same as interaction or views or any kind of an engagement online. So you’ve got to follow who’s engaging with you. You’ve got to look at your analytics. Any platform that provides demographic data of who’s engaging with your content, you’ve got to take a look at that. Facebook provides excellent analytics on who’s engaging with your content. YouTube provides good analytics. It’s not spectacular but it’s not bad, and it was enough to tell me which audience was interacting with my content.
Now, I’m not saying that you just have to forgo all of your personal aspirations and just follow whatever’s happening around you. Both have to be in place. So you have to have an idea of where you want to contribute content, where you want to evolve yourself, but as you do, it always look, who’s asking you questions? What questions are they asking you? Who’s interacting with your content online? What videos are they watching or what content on Facebook are they interacting with? You have to follow both.
And as you do that, the purpose of your life, the place where you belong, the place where you have…you have some natural gifts in that area—like for example, a good friend of mine, people always ask her about sexual intimacy and relationships. She would never strike you as being like a sexy type of person. She’s just a nice kind person, but for whatever reason, people just automatically engage with her on that level. Well, I would say to her—and she’s a therapist of sorts—she should evolve in that area because that’s clearly where her audience is engaging the most.
So it’s the same with you or with me or with anybody. We have to look to see, where do we have natural gifts? Where do we have a natural trust level? What topic is naturally congruent with who we are as individuals? And that’s going to be the best guess you have as far as what your own personal purpose is and where you need to go to develop yourself in the future.
Thanks for watching. This is Patrick once again reminding you to think bigger about your business, think bigger about yourself.
Video Description on YouTube
One of the best ways to identify your “life purpose” is to follow the questions that people ask you in your life. By asking you a question, people tell you two important things. First, they’re telling you that they’re interested in that particular topic. They want more information. Second, they’re telling you that they think YOU have the answer. They think you have the information they’re looking for. If they didn’t feel that way, they wouldn’t ask you the question. So just by asking you a question, they’re giving you a glimpse of your own natural strengths.
We all have a natural way about ourselves. For whatever reason, other people see us as credible in different areas. Perhaps they trust us when it comes to relationships or emotions. Perhaps they trust us with mechanical things. Maybe they want our advice about spirituality. Or maybe they look to us to help them understand difficult subjects. In order to achieve our own purpose, we need to find the intersection between our own passion and the natural strengths other people see in us. Because when we work with a passion that is also in line with other people’s perceptions of us, we have a ready audience for the brilliance we have to share.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences and in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.