Patrice Tanaka is a best-selling author, public speaker on business and life purpose, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of three award-winning, PR & Marketing agencies and the consultancy, Joyful Planet, focused on helping individuals and organizations discover and actively live their purpose to unleash greater success, fulfillment and joy in their personal lives, workplaces and communities.

Joyful Planet is the name of Patrice’s consultancy and her vision of 7.7 billion people leveraging their talents, expertise and passion in service of other people and our planet.

Patrice said. “Doing great work and feeling your most fulfilled and joyful is the life I would wish upon everybody,” Patrice said. She believes the key to success in life is to follow your passion and to live your purpose. “You can actually pursue your passion and your purpose in a career in PR.” 

Patrice is a believer in doing things in the most efficient way. Most of all, she felt her time, energy and life force was invaluable.  

For us communicators, we like to work in a fast environment, performing at our most efficient level. Patrice claims that discovering your purpose will drive you to what matters most in a highly efficient way. Most people don’t think about this life purpose until they’re older, usually on the heels of a major life event. If you discover your purpose earlier on, it will inform all the choices going forward. 

Patrice’s experience with finding her purpose

After potentially losing a client, Patrice was faced with a decision to fire several employees. After a buy-back, Patrice began a start-up in New York City called Patrice Tanaka & Company, Inc., with the motto “Great work. Great workplace. Great communities that work.” They focused this as their business purpose, which helped them become recognized within eight years as the foremost creative PR agency in the country in the early 2000s. 

Four years later and after 9/11, she was forced to think of her life purpose. She felt uninspired, confused and looking for something bigger. Most of all, she thought about those who went into work unable to come home. Many of them had things they wanted to accomplish, which made Patrice realize the value of living a joyful life. 

“My purpose in life is to choose joy in my life everyday, to be mindful of that joy and to share that joy with others.” 

Patrice realized actively living our purpose is the single-most efficient way to unleash our leadership potential

“If I can live my life this way every day, it wouldn’t matter how long I lived, it mattered the quality of my life,” said Patrice. She had this dream of dancing like a famous ballroom dancer, like Ginger Rogers. Under her new life purpose, she began taking ballroom dance classes. Eventually, participated and won in several competitions. This made Patrice think, “How can I share this life purpose with others?” So, she wrote a book and started a consultancy: Joyful Planet, LLC. 

Living my purpose helped me “. . . to create a lot more joy in energy for me to support 3 nonprofits that are near and dear to me,” Patrice said 

Patrice made a Zoom Series, where she invited artists from different disciplines to bring joy during this time. 

She transitioned her live work into webinars. 

We live our life purpose in every area of our lives. You live it with every breath you take and every moment of your day. The thing is, if you don’t know your life’s purpose, you can’t live it. 

Patrice pointed out that 20% of leaders have a strong sense of their individual purpose. Even fewer can distill their purpose in words. The process of articulating your purpose finding the courage to live it — what we call purpose to impact — is the single most important developmental task you can undertake as a leader. 

Most of us are purpose-driven in areas like school and our professional lives. In our personal lives, not as much. When we think of life purpose, we often shrug it off and say “It’ll come to me!” Or maybe you think you will bump into it along the way. Patrice urges us to be mindful of our time on earth; knowing your purpose will help you optimize your life.

Bottom-line: Knowing our purpose is a powerful “competitive advantage in school, business and life because it can focus and drive us to achieve what is most important in a highly efficient way.

What is a life purpose?

  • The immediate rejoinder is: “I’m not sure what I want to do in my job or career.”
  • A life purpose is not specific to a career. A life purpose is about how we will leverage our talent, expertise and passion in service of other people and our planet.
  • Recognizing our lives are connected to others. When we serve others, we serve ourselves, too. Finding your life purpose helps ourselves succeed, but it helps other succeed. 

Types of life purposes:

  • Personal purpose, more growth-focused. 
  • Social purpose, more focused on relationships
  • Societal purpose, focused on impacting society

The formula to craft a purpose message

Name + Title + Affiliation + Purpose

A life purpose statement succinctly communicates:

  • Who you are 
  • What matters most
  • How you serve others

This is what people consider when they might want to spend more time with us, hire us, work with us, etc. Sharing your purpose is important, too. Sharing your purpose will make yourself more “deeply known” in the process, engage others and “enlist support” to accomplish what matters most. 

Our life purpose statement is the “ultimate calling card” to introduce our self to others in a way that is profound, memorable and succinct. If your purpose is too long, people will probably not listen! 

Once you know your purpose, you can use it to introduce yourself when:

  • Attending networking events
  • Meeting a potential employer
  • Being interviewed
  • Making a deeper connection

Patrice gave us some great tips during her time with us. Reach Patrice via or connect with her via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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