Have you ever taken time to figure out your purpose in life? Maybe you should…if you’re trying to increase your income.

Road to higher purposeI’ve been interviewing women who make millions for a new a new book I’m writing. Like all high earners, these seven (and eight, nine, ten)-figure women clearly had a very strong profit motive. But what pushed them to even higher levels was not the money, per se, but this profound sense of a higher purpose. Making millions may have been the stated goal, but what deeply motivated these women was what they could to do with those millions to make the world a better place.

When I asked a successful financial advisor how she went from six figures to seven, her response reflected this common theme: “It happened when my mentality shifted to making a difference. You get to a point where you have more than you need, so you start thinking how you can help others.”

These women possessed a “fire in their belly” ignited by an almost a divine sense of mission, a transpersonal commitment to something larger than themselves . What struck me was how this combination of a lofty purpose with a clear profit motive created a really powerful alchemy. Here’s why:

1. Their strong sense of a higher purpose fueled their unwavering perseverance. As one told me: “Having a big vision creates the drive to something meaningful in a big way.” And another added: “I have such a deep sense of mission and purpose, that I go into full throttle, even in volunteer work.” Still another said, “When you’re on fire with a higher purpose, all you need to do is move through your self imposed blocks.”

2. Their strong sense of purpose bolstered their courage. Whenever they were scared, stymied, or facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, they immediately went back to that purpose. “When in doubt, I revisit my mission. I know that’s why I’m here and I know I have to act.” said a multi-million dollar earner.

3. Balance and sanity are by-products of a strong sense of purpose. There’s a significant difference between drive and addiction. Addiction arises from feelings of inadequacy, pain, and fear, inevitably leading to burn out. Drive comes from a vision that nourishes one’s soul and enriches their life. As one young woman told me, “I had a massive inner critic and I’d push myself until I broke down.” Her solution: “I did lots of self improvement work and started to focus on achieving my purpose without killing myself.” The results: a significant increase in earning and decrease in stress.

To all those underearners who think there’s nobility in poverty, think again. As successful women have taught me, prosperity paves the way for generosity.