Why? If you are a parent of a small child then you will hear this word an awful lot! It might be taxing to answer 20 questions about why you need to put your pants on before your shoes. But the tiny humans are definitely onto something by asking about the motive behind each and every action. It really is the most important part of any story. Including your business story.
When it comes to your business, knowing ‘what is your why’ will really help to keep you on track. You will be committed to your dream and be able to get back on track if you fall off the wagon. Let’s look at how you can find what your why is and why it is so important.
So, What Is Your Why?
What Motivates You?
There can be many things that motivate you as a business owner – sharing your knowledge, achieving your goals, personal autonomy and supporting your family. All of these motivations point back to one particular thing… freedom.
It doesn’t just mean the freedom to do what you want (though this can be a large part of it). But freedom comes in many forms. To be in control of your own destiny, to act on the ideas you think are great, to give out as much knowledge as you want to, or even the freedom to not punch the clock from 9 to 5 in uncomfortable office attire.
So what kind of freedom drives you? What is your why? Why do you do what you do every day, and what lights a fire within you.
The motivation should not solely be money, that is not a good enough reason. The reason should be strong enough that it picks you up again when you fall and pushes you to achieve higher again and again.
So How Do You Find What That Is?
If someone asks you why you do what you do, the answer might not come to you immediately, unless you have had the chance to really think about it. Sometimes you might think you know what your why is, but then it turns out to be a superficial reason in comparison to what truly drives you.
To get right down the to heart of it, you need to finish every sentence with ‘so that…’ For example, ‘I am working at midnight, so that I can watch my kids race in the athletics tournament tomorrow’, or ‘I am writing this blog post so that hundreds of people can learn how to look after themselves better’.
By adding ‘so that’, you can work out what is driving you. Your family, your desire to help, or your vision for a new kind of world. That becomes your core purpose.
What You Can Do With Your Why
Now that you know your driving passion, you can use it to your advantage. Passion is absolutely contagious. If you tell a good enough story about why you do what you do, then people will want to join you in your journey. Clients will be drawn to your business not so much for your products or services, but for your personality and your passion.
Not only will your ‘why’ drive clients to your business, but you can also use it to better your business. Set yourself some great (slightly scary) goals that fall in line with your core purpose. Because they are so well aligned with your direction, you will strive to achieve them.
How Your Why Can Help
Let’s face it, being in business for yourself is wonderful, but crappy at the same time. There are some fairly significant highs and lows. You are responsible for your own successes, but you are also responsible for your own failures. There will always be hurdles to jump and teething problems to overcome.
Knowing that you are working for a bigger purpose will help you to overcome these struggles. It will give you the motivation to pick yourself back up again and carry on. Not every idea will work, not every goal will be achieved, but it will never stop you trying if you are working for something utterly valuable.
Having a clear understanding of what is your why is vital for the success of your business. Once you understand the thing that is behind everything that you do, it makes it easier to complete those horrible tasks and to start afresh after a mistake. Sharing that thing that lights a fire in you will draw your clients in and give them a real reason to work with you.