James Paterek wants to build businesses that make a difference – for the people those businesses serve, the employees who do the work, and the communities served.

Paterek is the chief operating officer of Millbrook Support Services, Inc., which provides medical staffing services to commercial clients, Indian Reservations, and government agencies, primarily veteran-serving entities.

“I want to build businesses to make a difference in peoples’ lives and empower people both personally and professionally,” James L. Paterek said.

Social impact and social justice are top of mind throughout the nation and the world. Today, people are looking to the private sector to create companies and organizations that will aid those most in need, transform communities and make an impact.

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, James Paterek has some advice about the questions to ask and steps to take.

1. Find Your True Calling

Business owners who believe in what they do and the causes they support are more motivated and more successful, notes James L. Paterek. Consider what you’re passionate about and your belief systems and explore whether a business idea matches. Leading with meaning and purpose will make you a more effective leader.

2. Understand the Problems and Seek a Solution, Says James Paterek

Once you’ve got a sense of the areas where you want to make an impact, ask about the community you want to serve, whether it be local, regional, or global. Next, consider the concerns, issues, problems, and opportunities.

3. Commit to Giving Back

Your business needs to set an example, notes James Paterek. That means having as part of its mission and values a commitment to giving back. Those contributions can take several forms. If you’re a clothing manufacturer, for example, you can consider donating items for each item sold. You can also create charitable financial contribution structures. In addition, some companies allow their employees to give their time or will match charitable contributions.

4. Consider Actions Your Business Will Take

Does your company’s product or service prompt people to take action or address pressing community issues? James L. Paterek believes that a mission-focused business needs to act directly to solve critical concerns or help others.

5. Focus on Learning and Growth

James Paterek encourages business leaders to act from a place of curiosity. Be eager to learn and keep an open mind, he notes, and you will be more likely to see the culture of possibilities available. We need to be open to new ways of thinking, perspectives, and experiences that can shape our work … and our impact.

6. Hire the Right Employees, Notes James L. Paterek

You may have a powerful vision for your business venture. However, you need employees who share that vision, and that their work will deliver the same outcomes. Fortunately, people of all ages today seek work with organizations with a higher purpose. Seek out employees whose experience and beliefs align with what you are seeking for your organization.

James L. Paterek believes that organizations that make a difference are the key to solving some of the most significant challenges we face. These tips give you the starting point to making those differences.