Recently, at a friend’s daughter’s birthday party, I reunited with a few friendly faces I hadn’t seen in a while. We caught each other up on our lives and our families. And then – naturally – we began catching each other up on our work.
Wow. The conversation that started off with such lightheartedness turned quickly heavy with the change in topics. Almost everyone was unsatisfied with their jobs, and many began telling stories of grossly incompetent management or being severely overworked.
One woman even told us about how she was denied a request to see her dying father before he passed away because her boss thought she was lying to get travel approved.
HER BOSS THOUGHT SHE WAS LYING ABOUT HER DYING FATHER SO SHE COULD JUST… TAKE A VACATION?!
What’s Driving You?
Obviously, this is not everyone’s experience, but many many of us feel unfulfilled by our current jobs or careers. The next question is: what are you doing about it??
As you think about your own entrepreneurial journey, have you been honest with yourself about your reasons for doing this?
Maybe you would love to spend more time with your family, and owning a business would give you to control over how you spend your days. Or maybe it’s because you want to make a living while doing work that lights your soul on fire and gives you purpose. Or maybe there is a service or product that you know will change the world, and you’re just the person to bring it to fruition.
Whatever that reason is, remembering your “why” separates successful entrepreneurs from everyone else, so keeping yours top of mind is crucial as you run your business.
Why The “Why” Is So Important
Not keeping my “why” top of mind is one of the many things I wish I would have done sooner when I started my business. And there are so many reasons for this…
- Knowing your why helps you understand if you’re running away from something or running to something.
- Knowing your why helps to inspire your team and remind them that they truly are serving the greater good with your product or service.
- Knowing your why will keep you going when the going gets tough. And believe me – the going will almost certainly get tough at some point.
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” – Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Knowing Your Why Helps Your Customers
As a society, we are becoming more and more conscientious and morally-savvy consumers. We are curious about the types of brands and businesses we support. Your customers will want to know who you are, what you stand for, and how you are to changing our world for the better.
When your customers can relate to your purpose, they then and have a compelling reason to work with you. This means you can sell your products or services naturally and with less effort. Your customers will be lined up to work with you because they share the same values as you do.
How To Remember Your Why
Here are three unique methods to use to identify your “why.”
Create your three biggest goals for the next six months, and then your five most compelling reasons to hit these goals.
Be honest: have you written your goals down on paper? There’s something so incredibly powerful about actually writing your goals down and reviewing them regularly. In fact, a study of Harvard MBA graduates revealed that only 3% of the sample actually wrote down clear goals and a plan for achieving those goals. What’s more, that 3% earned 10x more than the other 97% combined!
Focus on three S.M.A.R.T. goals that you would like to achieve in the next six months as it relates to your business. Then, write down your five most significant ways hitting those goals will impact your life. Make sure you read both the goals and their impact every day so that you can remind yourself frequently why you’re working so hard and what’s on the other side for you.
Create your perfect day
The sky’s the limit here!
Take out a piece of paper and write down – from sunup to sundown – how to would spend your dream day. Think about it from the perspective of “if you had all the freedom in the world.”
Want to take your kids to school each morning, and meet them off of the bus when they get home? Write it in! Want to schedule a 45-minute mid-afternoon snooze? Write it in! Want to wake up to $10,000 more in your bank account from sales you made overnight? Write it in!!
The beauty of this exercise is that there is nothing beyond your reach or out of bounds here. No dream is too lofty. It doesn’t mean that it will happen overnight. But this exercise can help you – little by little – create the life you were meant to live
Create a “Never Forget” List
Have you ever had a moment in your life that was so terrible that you swore you’d always remember the anguish and agony for as long as you lived? But then, a few days, months, or years go by, and you find that you barely remember that incident or the pain it caused at all?
When I quit my 9-5, I made a list in my bullet journal called “I hope I never forget…” and I listed all of the atrocities I had witnessed throughout my career. I wanted to make sure I remembered them and remembered how I felt when they happened to me.
Sometimes I feel like I want to throw my business in the trash and go running back to a 9-5. But when this happens, I re-read my list over and over and remembered why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Every day, you are closer and closer to living the life of your dreams, and remembering your “why” when you start your business will serve you in a variety of ways. Not only will your customers be drawn to your compelling story which will make it easier for you to conduct business, but your “why” will provide you with the motivation you need to keep moving forward even with times get tough.
What do you think? If you are a currently an entrepreneur, how has remembering your “why” helped you along your journey? I’d love to hear from you!
Cheers to the journey!