RallyPoint's David Gowel on finding purpose

Patrick Campbell Jun 1 2021

What is your purpose?

Kind of a terrifying question, right? People spend a lifetime pondering that question with lots of mixed results. Some of us languish in indecision and anxiety for not knowing what we should be doing at all times. While others of us just tap into to a seam of exactly knowing what we should be doing, aggressively going after cycles of growth in whatever purpose that we have chosen.

Purpose is important, but a lot of us oftentimes overthink purpose or end up living a life that doesn’t align to whatever purpose we are actually seeking. Because if you spend your days pouring over spreadsheets to find some sort of kernel of optimization, but really you want to be helping people directly, you're setting yourself up for resentment. 

I know this all sounds great in theory, but it takes courage to live aligned to your values and purpose. And most of us don’t spend the time seeking out what our purpose should be, let alone aligning it to how we live our lifestyle.

This is where David Gowel comes into play—he isan exemplary purpose finder. After a tragic death in the family early on in David’s upbringing, he was forced to figure out a lot all on his own. He made his way through West Point and then the military which led him to RallyPoint where he currently serves as the CEO. There he helps unite former, current, and future service members on the largest social network helping dedicated to those who served. And he shares his experience with you.


Listen now 🎧








Here we summarize the main takeaways for you to implement or hand off to your team for implementation.


Key term

What is the foxhole method of business?

The foxhole method of business is derived from the military defensive strategy used in combat. A foxhole, or fighting position, is a pit or trench in the ground dug up and used by troops as a shelter and/or concealment against enemy fire or as a firing point. It’s a defensive strategy  taught to troops so that if and when they engage in combat, and are defending a position, they’re able to make smart and quick decisions with limited resources in order to survive. 

In business, it’s used as a technique to help you achieve, or get closer to a specific goal, with limited resources. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, the idea is to use whatever resources you already have—even if they may not seem obviously or specifically helpful—that can “differentiate you in a sea of noise and people,” and ultimately, help you reach or get closer to your end goal.

Why is it important?

The foxhole method, when applied to business, can be useful in helping you think outside the traditional way of starting a business or growing a business, particularly if there are limited resources. It can also be used for team building, as it’s a strategy built in a way that everyone wants and has the same goal, and need to work together to achieve it.


Action plan:

What to do today: 
  • Follow David Gowel.
  • Depending on the stage of your company, schedule a time to meet with the team you think the foxhole method could be useful.

What to do next quarter:

One you’ve decided where the foxhole method can be used, it’s time to start practicing it. Below are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Determine the problem you wish to solve or goal you want to achieve.
  2. Evaluate the resources you have available to help you achieve your goal or solve your problem.
    1. Look at the assets you have and then figure out what you can do with them. 
    2. Figure out what you're good at and/or what you have that can facilitate the process of reaching your goal.
    3. Get creative in how you utilize your resources (e.g., you’re great at networking, or you have a neighbor that’s a CEO and can provide insight, etc.). 
  3. Take action and track your progress.

The foxhole method also consists of principles that can help you stay accountable, and possibly even determine whether or not you’re on the right path. Additionally, they can help in creating a solid and unified team. Keep in mind that everything takes practice.

  • Commitment
    • What are you (or your team members) willing to do to accomplish your goal? Are efforts consistent?
  • Decisiveness
    • How is the quality of the decisions being made, particularly during stressful situations? 
  • Communication and transparency
    • Are your mission and goals understood across the board? This is important to be able to work in harmony toward the same goal.
    • How is rejection or bad news handled and communicated? Is your method effective and well received?


What to do within the next year:

Evaluate the outcome of utilizing the foxhole method of business. Try the method in other areas of your business where your resources are also limited. And continue refining the process as you see how it best fits your teams or projects.


Who should own this? 

This will depend on the stage of your company or the goal you are trying to achieve. Is it a new product launch strategy or a marketing campaign? Assign accordingly.


Who's up next week?

Next week Pricefx CMO, Patrick Moorhead, talks to us about all things marketing.

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By Patrick Campbell

Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.

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