There are hundreds of thousands of articles out there walking people through the basic “whats” and “hows” of online business.
But these articles are designed to excite readers so they’ll keep reading. I’m not saying the articles are necessarily false or misleading, I’m saying it’s easy to get wrapped up in the read, read, read mentality because you’re already primed to search for a way out of your current work situation.
I get it. I’ve been there. And not too long ago, in fact.
But if you decide to take the entrepreneurial jump and don’t end up starting with why you could miss out on a lot more than you bargained for personally or professionally.
Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? – Simon Sinek
What Is Your Why?
Simon Sinek talks about the golden circle – starting with why in the center, then how in the middle, and finally what on the outside.
Everyone knows their “what”, or should. Very few know their “why”.
What is my why? Why do I care?
We act from the outside in, but those who are inspired – no matter how small their business may be – start in the center with the why vs those who are “uninspired”.
I make X product. X product will help you with X. Buy X product. (Where is the why here?)
Reverse your why – people don’t buy what you do but why you do it.
I think the same is true in life. Go with me for a second…
If you have your why then your what directly follows and is more complete – inside out. However, if you do your what and aren’t guided by a grounded why… then what you do doesn’t really matter.
The circle, the cycle, is incomplete.
You can have a why without a what because anything after is doing. But what without a why is playing it safe, not smart.
I have seen this concept play itself out in the lives of friends and family – this idea is made to be so complicated when it’s really not.
A year ago, I was driving for Lyft… kind of full-time. I’d reached a point at work where I was done with the office and senseless meetings that more often than not never happened.
So I left to pursue podcast production full-time. While doing that I decided to also offer voiceover services. I had no training and no direction so I thought Lyft would fill some time and help my husband and I make some extra cash for groceries and our basic needs while I learned a few things.
We. Were. Broke.
But we were confident that the path I was on would get us to where we needed to go financially – and put me in the place I always wanted to be.
I quit my job BECAUSE I knew I was meant to do other work.
I drove for Lyft BECAUSE I wanted to make some money to support our family while I pursued my dreams.
Do you see what we’re talking about here? There has to be a BECAUSE in everything we do and pursue.
Because… Guess what? If you solely exist and work in the WHAT by the HOW… you’ll run yourself ragged and not have much to show for it.
Working towards a goal is one of the most beautiful journeys we can take ourselves on. Even better if we have someone to share it with, but working towards something for the sake of the thing (without a why) is just working hard toward a reward that isn’t real or satisfying.
Word of Caution
If what you are working toward is substantially interfering with your personal life and priorities, you need to stop and reassess. Define your why with others in your life who are directly affected by your behavior and your work.
Accountability is key. If you don’t have a partner or spouse, seek out a friend or colleague to come alongside you.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
If it’s time to assess your why, here are some questions to ask yourself for the process of starting with why:
- What behaviors have I noticed that are affecting my personal or professional wellbeing?
- Have my behaviors affected anyone in my immediate circle? How?
- Do I need to bring in a trusted family member or friend to talk out my why?
OTHER FUN STUFF
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