3 Steps to Discovering Your Life’s Purpose

Deb Schell
9 min readApr 21


From the time I was little, I knew I was going to help others. Recently I reflected on why so much of my personal journey has been so emotionally draining. I realized it has been because every time I’ve made life decisions, it was from a place of lack, scarcity, and extreme stress.

When the changes occurred in 2020, I had just quit my corporate job. I didn’t know it, but at that time, my inner voice shifted from a small little squeak to a scream. Following my dream without any idea of it “working out” and living off of pure adrenaline of the “I’ll make it work” initiative — things looked optimistic.

It felt right to say “no” to things I was doing “just for a paycheck” and dedicate my life to spending my time more intentionally. Ask any entrepreneur if they are doing the work they intended at the beginning of their journey, and most likely, they will say “nope.” That’s the journey. I started thinking I’d facilitate circles and transitioned to working with leaders.

Something that has helped me when I’ve felt like giving up (a lot recently) is to return to my YouMap® report, results from assessments that I completed in 2022. Learning how my strengths, skills, and values align, I was able to identify my “ideal client” and adjust my business, services, and offers to better fit with my preferred skills and work with clients who “light me up” instead of “burn me out.”

This year YouMap has added a new feature to their assessments called Purpose Map® which is based on the concept of spiritual gifts and personal values. It helps clients narrow down their most important values and hone in on what an “ideal day” would look like. I’m going to share with you my “Purpose Map” as an example below. If you’d like to learn more about YouMap®, please email me at Deb@FindCalmHere.com.

Step 1: Move past impostor syndrome by aligning your values, preferred skills, and interests to identify your superpowers!

As I began to write the Creator to Community Builder book last fall, I struggled with impostor syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, it is the fear that I’m not “good enough” to write a book like this one or that I “need” to have or know something more before I can do the project. What helped me past these challenges personally was to revisit my YouMap® and consider what is already true. I wrote about this in a past blog, which you can read here.

Of the top five strengths, the one that stands out for me is Restorative (resilience), which has been by far the most vital. Without this, I don’t know how I would have mentally, physically, or emotionally survived the many job losses, heartbreaks, and friendships lost over the past years.

In the past, I would tell you that my most preferred skills were writing and reporting. In a time when AI is taking over a lot of tasks, and it is increasingly harder and hard to make a living at writing, I am now considering leaning more on my skills of organization and prioritization.

As someone who’s struggled to try to make a living as a writer since 2001, it’s fair to say that I’ve tried All. The. things. Blogs, newspapers, magazines, weekly editions, niche publications, travel publications, freelance copywriting, freelance editing, and more.

My most valued asset as an employee has always been to innovate and develop growth for revenue. I have proven my value for two decades.

At my newspaper when I was a photojournalist, I told the newspaper to start selling photos online instead of printing them out in the office (with a crappy inkjet). This brought HUNDREDS of dollars of revenue that the newspaper hadn’t been getting previous to that innovation.

When working as a sales rep, I developed templates for my emails so I wouldn’t have to retype each one. I created a system and process so that I would reach my outbound calls and still be able to have time to make more sales calls to new and potential customers.

Starting a new business, the growth of the community I built in 2020, I took calls with people across the globe and spent 7–8 hours a day recruiting partners for my programs to have a full calendar of events for my community before launch day.

The YouMap® workbook’s new section for Purpose Map® has the client take the top 3–5 values and the top 3–5 skills (that the client most enjoys) and highlight the interests that help identify how time is best spent. I’ve put these together into a “purpose statement” below (which I also help clients with in my coaching program).

My superpowers transferred into my purpose statement:

“I’m a curious and innovative leader interested in growth through organization and prioritization. As a creator turned community builder, I’ve found value in connecting to a community of peers to help discover what my ideal life looks like for me so I can continue helping others.”

Step 2: Reflect on my Purpose Statement to dig deeper

In step two, the client reflects on the purpose statement with some deeper prompting questions. Below I answer these questions through a series of insights.

Insight #1: I care deeply about helping individuals who have a gift that they want to share with others. Why is it that we don’t give more of our knowledge to others?

So much of what we learn in our lives can be helpful to others. Just knowing that others are experiencing the same things that you are can be so helpful. I don’t know about you, but my brain tends to spiral into “not good enough” at every opportunity. Mostly because so many people are trying to “prove” that they “are someone “ or “know something” and if you don’t … then you aren’t “good enough.”

It might seem gruesome, but I’ve always thought about a “legacy” and what would be left after I’m “gone” since I was young. This is something I thought everyone thought about, but realized later that most people avoid the topic of death as we do taxes.

Since working with over 50 entrepreneurs who all have massive gifts to give to the world, I believe it is my purpose to help them succeed in building a business, community, program, course, or training to support their ideal client or member because they are changing the lives of people who need their help.

Unfortunately most of my clients are overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted, and frustrated creators who can’t figure out how to make a living or find a way to share their gifts with others.

Insight #2: The world wants to be part of a “community”but in 2023 we don’t have the bandwidth to “support” this financially (someone has to be paid to facilitate these environments.) Many community professionals have lost their jobs, and I had to close my own community due to an inability to keep operations running without any income.

Our lives have been controlled by others and I want to be part of a creators movement that takes back our power and says “NO” to the big marketing companies who just want us to keep creating “content” so that they make money.

What drives me is the mission to give creators a voice, hear them, and help them elevate their business, so that they can truly make a difference with their life’s work.

This is so important to me because it’s my own personal mission too! I’ve spent the past 20 years caving into the idea that since society says I can’t make a living as a writer, then that’s that — well I’m no longer accepting this.

Why is it okay for a writer to have to give up writing and take whatever job is available? That’s my personal experience. I have spent the better part of two decades, since I was 20 (now 43) trying to pay bills and survive, like so many others.

We are at a turning point, that’s what the pandemic gave us, a gift to change the trajectory of the human experience. We can take what we’ve learned, let go of what’s not working, and create a new system, one that fits the humans that live in 2023.

Let go of the old “1950s” approach — Work, work, work, then … IF you make it to retirement, AND you’ve saved, now…. Relax. Know that we are OKAY. (unless you aren’t… then find safety)

Creatives know that we aren’t guaranteed “retirement” and we’ve seen so much that we don’t want to waste time doing things that don’t bring us joy, give us energy, or offer us meaning and purpose. The biggest challenge that we face as a society is how we maneuver this next shift.

We are working remotely, balancing lots of things, and trying to find a bit of joy and calm in life. What is the point of living if not to enjoy it?

It’s time to live a life that makes us happy — not the kind of happiness that advertising sells (buy this thing and then you’ll be happy) but TRUE happiness and joy which can only be found within.

I believe that helping leaders find their purpose and build a business they love will then ripple to their clients, and members of their communities that will begin to transform in unimaginable ways. That’s the power of purpose.

Step 3: Brainstorm Ideas of how to offer what you do best and what is needed right now for market fit

The third step in this process has a few prompts to consider matching what I do best with the needs in the marketplace and what transferable skills I can demonstrate for creating new offers, opportunities, and income for myself in this next phase of my business.

As I shifted from community building to focus on individual client growth, it helped me to realize coaching, guiding, and providing resources has been what I can do best.

Taking notes has been something I’ve always done, but about a year ago I started sharing my notes during live sessions and finding that this is a way to stand out in a chat box of hundreds of people. Being the ONE person who everyone comes to (my google doc) gives me the opportunity to showcase who I am, and provide value.

I’ve even gotten paid to do this — once I put a link to my “Buy me a cup of coffee” page for fun, and after an event I got $70 in free “coffee”!

This is because I learned 3 important things over the past year:

  • No one wants to take notes, and can’t type or write as fast as I can. (This is what people have told me during live calls in the chat box.)
  • Everyone wants the presentation (slide deck, screen examples). Still, they don’t want to wait for the speaker to “get around to it” so I’ve made it easier by taking screenshots of content with lots of value and adding it to the Google doc for viewing immediately after the event (no waiting.)
  • There are a TON of resources shared in chat on a live event, and usually, they are lost unless the host has an assistant who’s recording them or someone goes back and saves the chat for later. The benefit to having the Google doc is that I add all resources and links that are shared, so they are in ONE place.

The challenge here is that AI has some of the same (not nearly as detailed as me) features and functions, so that is what is “free and affordable” for most to use in regards to note taking.

So I don’t see myself creating a note taking service, however, this does bring up my skills of organization and productivity. The new opportunity for me is to transition to a virtual assistant and be able to offer this to clients, take notes for them, organize their systems and processes, and design a standard operating procedure (which most businesses should have but don’t).

But this idea hasn’t been tested yet, and so it would be my next step to begin testing this out by talking with my ideal clients, and asking others about this service.

Would you benefit from an assistant who can help you organize your business emails, marketing, sales, and content plan?

Would you be interested in hiring someone to support your organization with streamlining and innovating old processes and programs?

One example I have is that I’ve worked with several clients to restructure their online communities as they grow. Over time, a community will change and there will be a need to adjust the community strategy and content plan when it isn’t working as it had in the beginning.

Working with this client, I helped organize the content, prioritize highly engaged areas, encouraged co-creation of content, and developed a 21-day challenge to reawaken the membership. The client was able to see more activity, a fresh look, and a new vision for the space that he didn’t have before.

Do you need fresh ideas? I have tons of them! Send me an email at Deb@FindCalmHere.com and I’d be happy to help you come up with some great ideas for your next adventure.



Deb Schell

Find calm building a business you love.