Cover image of The Pursuit of Purpose with Amy Austin

The Pursuit of Purpose with Amy Austin

Purpose as a noun means the reason for which something is done or created. As a verb, purpose is to have as one’s intention or objective. Imagine a world where you and your purpose are aligned. Simon Sinek challenges us to Start with Why. Lead with our intention – through life and business. I believe when you’ve discovered your purpose, daily tasks become easier, and business decisions are made with clarity and confidence. The Pursuit of Purpose explores how to put your unique purpose to work building an authentic and successful service-driven brand. Your host, Amy Austin, is a successful entrepreneur, coach and branding strategist. Her experience spans over 20 years and many service industries including healthcare, computer software, and entertainment. Additionally, she leads workshops focused on defining your purpose and using it to build authentic personal and business brands. Our stories start with purpose.

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Know your strengths with Arica Ohloff

Do you know your strengths? Have you heard people talking about their top five and wondered what they were talking about? In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, we'll uncover the importance of your top five - your Strength Finder's top five. What's the top five? If you've taken the CliftonStrength's profile, the top five strengths identified of the 34 ranked are your signature strengths. Approximately 1 in 33 million - that's roughly the odds that someone shares the exact same sequence of the top five as you. Your greatest opportunity for professional development comes from knowing your strengths and improving upon them rather than focusing on your weaknesses. My guest on this episode - Arica Ohloff - has built her coaching business around helping her clients understand how to maximize their strengths and understand how your strengths work with others in your life - whether it be family, friends or colleagues. Arica helps me understand how my key strengths influence my life and fulfill the HOW in my WHY Golden Circle. Additionally, we talk about how our strengths can be perceived negatively by others who are not strong in those same areas - and how those responses can result in us trying to hide those traits. About Arica Ohloff Arica has been living out her calling as a Women’s Business and Leadership Coach for the last seven years.  She is missioned to inspire others to live a more fulfilling life and is passionate about helping others grow into a more confident version of themselves by developing their unique God-given strengths and empowering them to pursue their full potential.   Arica lives in North Liberty with her 4-year-old son, Dawson Dean and her 9-year-old Tiny Teddy Bear dog, Bella. She loves to play and watch sports, enjoys spending time outside with her son, reading developmental and leadership books and traveling with her family.  Connect with Arica: www.aricaohloff.com LinkedIn Always pursuing purpose,


26 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is important but is often considered an unnecessary task or busy-work. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A brand strategy, especially when it is interlocked with your business strategy, can make your day-to-day life as a leader, owner, or entrepreneur so much easier. Why is a brand strategy important? I believe when you have a brand strategy outlined or documented, you have a foundation to come back to whenever you need to make decisions about your business. Brand should be included the same as you’d take into account financial considerations, staffing, or capacity. If what you are about to do doesn’t MATCH or FIT within your brand strategy – your audience is going to notice. And when they notice something before you do, that is never good. Your brand should also align with the overall purpose of your business – it is a reflection of the intention or objective of your business. Again without a defined brand strategy, your purpose can get lost or becomes a blur – and then when you have leaders in your organization making decisions, they aren’t as in tune with company purpose. The risk is again your audience noticing the mismatch. Three helpful examples In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, I share with you three scenarios where having a defined brand strategy can help guide your message development as well as your path to purposeful decision making. Business development and prospecting Preparing to pivot and how to talk about it Bringing on staff or additional help Brands are the sum of all experiences with your business. Derrick Daye, Branding Strategy Insider Don’t let your desire to get something out into the world – a tactic – take the place of strategy. It takes time and some soul-searching but in the end, the work will be worth it, and future work will be managed more efficiently and effectively. As always, be actively pursuing your purpose, Resources from this episode: Branding Strategy Insider – this website is FULL of excellent information – I highly recommend you bookmark it for future reference. Elements of brand are featured past episodes in Branding is a Verb and Characterizing your brand Related blog posts include: Educate. Engage. Empower. Keys to a marketing strategy Use education to improve your marketing strategy Branding is a verb Brand is more than a logo


6 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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Customer experience is proactive with Joey Coleman

"Customer experience is proactive. Customer service is reactive." This quote from Joey Coleman, author of the Wall Street Journal #2 Bestselling book Never Lose a Customer Again, has helped provide me with much-needed clarity regarding the difference between experience and service. Having that context of one being proactive, meaning anticipating and creating the experience we want our clients to have, is impactful to our businesses. Why wouldn't we want to do that? And as he says, businesses routinely hire for customer service but only occasionally hire for customer experience. Join us for a conversation about how simply understanding your customers can begin moving them from an occasional purchaser to a lifelong customer.


7 Feb 2020

Rank #3

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Burnout and Purpose

Burnout and purpose may not seem logical but there is a connection.  We hear about burnout regularly - whether it is the signs, symptoms, the prevalence in one profession or another. As our society continues to value 24/7 availability, instant gratification, and short term goals/gains, burnout will exist. These three expectations push us into productivity shame.  When we start to look at suggested strategies to overcome burnout, the connection to purpose becomes more apparent.  Click here for show notes. 


17 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Seven lessons from being a caregiver and running a business

Being a caregiver and running a business is not easy. It isn't impossible but it most certainly isn't easy. And as I found out while putting together this episode, there isn't a lot of information out there to offer guidance when facing this situation. Or if there is, it is hidden under a different string of words than I used in my search.  In the end, I decided to share a combination of ideas that have enhanced and shape the way I do business today as well as a few things to be aware of should you find yourself caring for a loved one while trying to keep your business moving forward. This episode was done in honor of National Family Caregiver Month and National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. My hope is this information will help someone else who is trying to balance their business, their family and caring for someone they love very much - whether that be a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend. More information and resources in the shownotes 


9 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Three steps to a killer message with Zach Messler

Three steps to a killer message. Zach Messler has fine-tuned this methodology. What is it? What does it do? And why does it matter? Define those three steps and you have the start of a killer message for your business. We all know what we do but when don't understand why it matters, can we relate to our audience? Probably, but Zach simplifies the process and helps put it in context. What to expect in this episode? "Connecting the core value of your product with the core value of your customer" leads to context and clarity of message development. Know your target audience and remember they are humans. Get to know them in the same way we do new people in our lives. Learn about them, what they like, what they don't. This effort can shape your messaging and make it more relevant to them. They will see themselves in your words and feel as though you are talking directly to them. To have a killer message, the message needs to be clear, compelling and convincing. Learn more about Zach Zach spent 20 years focused on product marketing for B2B tech, teaching non-technical sales pros to explain complex software to executive buyers. And, it’s where he came up with a simple methodology that makes your message clear, compelling, and convincing. About a year ago, he left the corporate world for good so he could help more people. Today, he helps entrepreneurs and growing tech companies know what to say and how to say it so they can make a bigger impact on the world…and their wallets. www.zachmessler.com LinkedIn Join The Killer Message group Twitter One thing I can guarantee about this conversation with Zach, you will smile. Our conversation was filled with laughter and fun but it is jam-packed with value. As always, pursue your purpose daily,


20 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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Tactics before strategy rarely works

It is not uncommon to see businesses jump into implementing tactics they THINK are going to solve their problems, however, tactics before strategy rarely work. In this episode, we cover the three things you should know about your business before tactics such as websites, videos or ads should be developed. Additionally, we break down 10 different types of stories you should know about your business.  Click here for show notes. 


11 Jan 2020

Rank #7

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Possibilities and Personalities: December's Favorites File

In the December Favorites File, we'll discuss the brillance of Benjamin Zander and The Art of Possibilities. "Your job as a leader is to awaken the possibility in others." It doesn’t matter what your job is or the relationship you have to that individual, encouraging others to see the possibilities makes a positive impact. Next we'll explore the connection between our personalities and building our brand, specifically looking at the role of the Myers-Briggs and enneagram personality assessments. This will be the last episode for 2019. New episodes return the week of January 6, 2020.   


21 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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South Dakota meth campaign

South Dakota's new public service campaign about the methamphetamine problem in the state has captured the attention of people across the country - because of the creative direction of the campaign. "Meth. I'm on it." Some people see it as a huge joke and not helping the solve the problem it is supposed to address. Some believe it is a success - because people are talking about it. What do you think? Show notes


23 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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Competition or Worthy Rival?

How often do you find yourself focused more on your competition than your own business? And does that cause you to lose track of what is important or become stressed? Or even frustrated with where your business is in terms of market share or profitability? Comparison is a thief. What would happen if you shifted your thinking and viewed the competition as a worthy rival - someone or something that makes you want to continue to get better, regardless of the timeframe or circumstances? In this week's episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, I talk about how this shift in mindset can make a big impact on our lives and our business. It is about staying true to your purpose - your WHY - and knowing when you are in a finite game or an infinite game. Resources mentioned in this episode: Simon Sinek's website The School of Greatness podcast interview with Simon Sinek Entreleadership podcast interview with Simon Sinek Bernadette Jiwa Show notes


19 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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Being Epic and You've Got Mail

What does Wil.i.am and You've Got Mail have in common? As I see it, my November Favorites and excellent business insights. Becoming epic will mean different things to different people but to Wil.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, epic means compounding the impact of opportunities when possible. "You've Got Mail" offers a reminder that business always has a personal element to it - no matter how big or small the business may be. 


30 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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ROI for Sponsorships and Memberships

Do you achieve an ROI for sponsorships and memberships that you engage in for your business? Is the money you put toward these activities an investment or an expense? If you are questioning whether that membership or sponsorship - or even a conference - is worth the money, think about how the opportunity aligns with the values, goals and the PURPOSE of your business.In this episode, I share some points to consider when evaluating the value of sponsorships and memberships. It is not uncommon to question whether you've made the best decision. Here is a starting point to determine the return on investment. A worksheet of things to consider when working through those decisions is available for download on in the show notes at  http://austinmarketingoncall.com/roi-for-sponsorships-and-memberships/Other resources include:  How to calculate ROI for sponsorships How to effectively your event sponsorship ROI Send the right message about membership ROI Proving ROI of memberships and sponsorships


12 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Your strengths are your stories with Sarah Elkins

Your strengths are your stories. And how you tell your stories makes a big difference in how the story is received. In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, I talk with Sarah Elkins of Elkins Consulting,  about how bringing context and understanding to your storytelling creates shifts for both you, as the storyteller, and the audience. My key takeaways from the conversation are: how context changes the impact of our stories learn to maximize our strengths in communications the power of story in creating credibility and trust know your audience and the circumstances


18 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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3 tips to improve the customer experience

When was the last time a brand experience with a brand excited you? Do you think your brand is exciting your customers? To help you do that, here are three tips to improve the customer experience. Our customer's opinions about their experience with our business can make or break the business. Are they raving fans or raving critics? Customer experience is proactive. Customer service is reactive. Read more on the show notes. 


25 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Recognizing your ideal target audience

Is your ideal target audience in your stories? Are you recognizing your ideal target audience when you see them?  If you answered no to those questions, you are not alone. It is not all that uncommon for businesses to believe they do all things for all people or have a much broader target audience then you can actually serve. In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, we talk about the importance of recognizing your ideal target audience, why it is important for them to see themselves in your stories and messages, and the value of empathy in branding.  For the resources mentioned in this episode, check out the show notes. 


15 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Building What Works with Tara McMullin

Building What Works, both the podcast and the online network, represents the culmination of 10 years of entrepreneurship for Tara McMullin. While the path has not been a direct route to where she is now, it is not far from what she had envisioned at the start of the journey. In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, Tara and I discuss how her purpose and intentionality guides both business and personal decisions how the realization her status and notoriety had moved her away from her true purpose for her business and the changes she made to bring her back to the original vision the process she and her team use to make sure decisions are in alignment with the overall purpose her view of The What Works podcast as a product rather than a piece of content And challenges us to think about where are we willing to be fully present and what does that mean to us? "With the business, the purpose is upholding transparency and honesty, and just getting smart people to talk about smart things. And that is really what my personal life is about to." Tara McMullin About Tara: Tara McMullin is a podcaster, writer, and small business community leader. With over a decade of experience helping thousands of small business owners grow their businesses, she’s on a mission to change the dialogue about what’s really working from hype to candid conversation. She’s the host of the What Works podcast, a top small business podcast that’s been recommended by Forbes and Entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The What Works Network, a community hub for small business owners. She’s also a bestselling Money & Life instructor on CreativeLive. Her work has been featured on Fast Company, Inc, Daily Worth, and The Huffington Post. Always pursue your purpose, Resources mentioned in this episode: The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin What Works network and podcast The Power in Purpose with Candice Coppola; interview with Rhiannon Bosse The August Favorite's File. Tara's podcast is among my favorites!


13 Sep 2019

Rank #16

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Branding, Motivation and a Legend

Branding, motivation and a legend - the thread connecting these three ideas is purpose. An authentic brand is rooted in purpose. Motivation is a result of a clear understanding of purpose and a desire to put it into action. And a legend, such as Kobe Bryant, used his purpose to guide him daily.  For more information and the resources mentioned in this episode, check out the show notes. 


1 Feb 2020

Rank #17

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The Infinite Game, Context and Being Indispensable

What do the infinite game, context and being indispensable have in common? These are all part of my favorite learnings in September. Podcasts, books and quotes Simon Sinek's new book, The Infinite Game, will be released in mid-October. As part of the book promotion, Sinek is on the interview circuit talking about the concepts of the infinite and finite games. In business, we should focus on the infinite game but many business owners/leaders tend to focus on the finite game instead. It is easier to set metrics and manage expectations in a specific timeframe. This interview from the Entreleadership podcast is the perfect introduction to his new book. Let's talk about context. Context is the difference between a good message and a great one. When we take into consideration the context of the situation our customers are facing when needing our services, we are able to relate with them better, therefore speaking to them with more relevance. After my conversation with Zach Messler (Episode 14), I did some work on my own messaging with him. It is always good to get outside advice. What makes us indispensable? In his interview featured on Entreleadership, Seth Godin discusses the increasing role of artificial intelligence in society and what it means to us. And the last key learning this month comes from a neighbor offering advice on finding balance in our lives. Always in pursuit of purpose,


28 Sep 2019

Rank #18

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Appreciative Inquiry: Finding the positive in business

What is appreciative inquiry? At its heart, AI is about the search for the best in people, their organizations, and the strengths-filled, opportunity-rich world around them. AI is not so much a shift in the methods and models of organizational change, but AI is a fundamental shift in the overall perspective taken throughout the entire change process to ‘see’ the wholeness of the human system and to “inquire” into that system’s strengths, possibilities, and successes. – Excerpt from: Stavros, Jacqueline, Godwin, Lindsey, & Cooperrider, David. (2015). Appreciative Inquiry: Organization Development and the Strengths Revolution. In Practicing Organization Development: A guide to leading change and transformation (4th Edition), William Rothwell, Roland Sullivan, and Jacqueline Stavros (Eds). Wiley My guest, Stacey Margaret Jones, calls it an elegant methodology. And after our conversation, I understand why. Appreciative inquiry focuses on the positive and getting in touch with what makes the organization a great place for those who work there. The positives about your business impacts: culture employee morale employee recruitment and retention brand (both internal and external perceptions) and customer experience. About Stacey Margaret Jones: Stacey Margaret Jones is a market research consultant in central Arkansas, who has worked with regional and national organizations on custom research studies to provide the foundation of comprehensive and targeted communications campaigns. Her consultancy, Ariel Strategic Communications, celebrated its 10th year in March 2019, and her research has been used for award-winning and effective campaigns by nonprofits, universities, health systems, retail, educational, transportation and professional organizations, among others. She holds a master's of science in communications management from Syracuse University and a master's of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Central Arkansas, along with her bachelor's degree in elementary education and English from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. She's an adjunct instructor at UCA and a published novelist who likes to travel and run marathons and half-marathons. She lives in Conway, Arkansas, with her retired medievalist husband and four dogs.  As she says during the interview, we deal with problems all the time so taking 90 minutes to focus on the good the organization does is good for everyone involved. As always, pursue your purpose, Resources from this episode: Learn more about appreciative inquiry Stacey M. Jones on LinkedIn Stacey's recently released novel: Mr. Catherine Previous episodes of The Pursuit of Purpose


4 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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23 leadership lessons in 25 minutes

23 leadership lessons in 25 minutes is my summary of 90 ideas in 90 minutes hosted by the Corridor Business Journal on May 28, 2020. On this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, I share 23 leadership lessons shared by these leaders - and offer my take on the meaning and identify the unifying theme I recognized after spending the day reflecting on the messages. Additionally, I recommend a couple of podcasts for you to check out. 


30 May 2020

Rank #20