There can come a point in your life and business when you feel as if you are just treading water or running on that old treadmill, going nowhere. Is this happening to you?
The truth is that the old saying that “hard work will get you everything” is wrong. You need much more than just hard work. You need to know where you are headed and the reason why, or it is unlikely to change, no matter how much hard work you put in.
There is an invisible component here that is called ‘Your Why’.
According to Simon Sinek (who first proposed the concept), “The WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us”.
In his TED talk ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action‘ he indicates that the difference between businesses that innovate, grow and thrive and those that fail is a concept called the ‘golden circle’.
The golden circle is made of three ‘rings’ with ‘Why’ in the centre, which leads to ‘How’ and then ‘What’. Yes, there is the “What” and the How”, but the much bigger question is the ‘Why’.
Your ‘why’ is the first thing that you need to understand before anything else.
Your ‘Why’ is What Drives, Motivates and Inspires You. It inspires you to keep going in times when it would be easy to falter, and others would stop. It is the invisible power the fuels your ship.
Connect with Your Passion! Shout it from the rooftops! Your ‘Why’ connects you directly with your passion. Your personal and business life will be ignited with this passion and the results will be nothing less than spectacular.
Remove Distractions. Knowing and owning your ‘why’ allows you to set and work toward your own goals instead of being distracted by others. This will be a great bonus for your decision making in both life and business.
Maintain your Focus! In life as well as business you need to have a strong focus to help steady your direction. It is the glue that keeps you in tune with your values and what is important.
Attract Others. Knowing your ‘why’ creates a magnetic energy that surrounds everything you try to do. It attracts people to you and your brand as they can see your purpose and values. It will be easier to make more sales and attract team members.
The bottom line is that it gives you a purpose and a driver for your life and your business.
Having a business vision, mission and brand starts right here with your ‘why’.
Clarifying your ‘why’ can begin by clearly stating, in writing, what motivates you to do what you do. Write this from your heart. Be clear, concise and specific.
Simon Sinek, the author of ‘Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’ who first wrote on this subject, suggests a format that explains what you do and why you do it:
“To ______ so that ______.”
Here are a few examples:
“To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change the world.”
“To serve and facilitate so that others can elevate themselves and experience more happiness and love.”
Here Are 4 Questions to use to help you work out what is important to you and nail down your ‘why’.
What turns your crank? What causes you to lose time and gets your heart rate pumping?
What talents do you possess and how do people react to them? What things are you better at than others?
Take some time and reflect at some of the hardships you have endured and how you have dealt with them. What did you do to survive them? Ask why you never quit when times got so tough. What is most valuable to you and to what length would you go to protect it?
Everyone has heroes and I am sure you have some, you know, someone who you admire and respect, and who inspires you. Have a close look at who these people are and why they are important in your life. What attracts you to them? Somewhere in there you will discover a connection to your ‘why’.
The next step is to get deeper into your ‘why’ journey by looking at your answers to the above questions and asking: “Is this how I really feel, or is this what people would expect me to say?”
Throw out everything but the real truth… nothing but the truth.
If you did all this in an hour, please go back and do it again and again. This cannot be done in a moment. You would just be kidding yourself.
Your ‘why’ will give you the confidence you need to face life and business challenges that you will have to overcome to be successful.
So, it is worth the time to get it right.
So now that you have done the soul-searching work and can articulate your ‘why’, it is time to put your it to work.
Let’s start with your current goals. Do they reflect your ‘why’? If the answer is ‘no’ then look at what is out of order and either drop it altogether or revise it, so it aligns. It may be that new goals are the order of the day for you.
Do your daily activities and behaviors reflect your ‘why’? Build relevant activities and strategies into your daily schedule and monitor your results.
Revisit your business vision, mission and core values. How can they more accurately reflect your ‘why’? Do the members of your team know your ‘why’?
Use your ‘why’ as a tool to stay motivated, set goals and make decisions. Use it is your blueprint to a better life and better business.
“I started my own business in 1995. The Self Employed Business Academy gets it. Clear, concise, and actionable information. You may be in business for yourself, but with the self Employed Business Academy at your fingertips, you won't be by yourself"
Ed Carey, AMG, LLC