Do You Know Your WHY?

why?So, what is your WHY? And yes, I’ve capitalized it all on purpose, because it’s your big WHY and it is powerful. The WHY you do what you do.

There are two ways to answer this.

  1. The most common way is look at WHY you help the people you help, why are you passionate about it?
  2. The second way is more personal (yes, the first one is definitely personal too), what are the personal reasons WHY you do what you do.

The first type of answer covers why you are passionate about helping who you help. The second answer covers why it is rewarding to you or what it allows you to be/do. Coming up with generic answers to these questions isn’t working, so I’ll give you my answers:

  1. Why I work with the people I do, why I am passionate about my business:
    I was stuck for almost a year with goals that I wasn’t reaching, tasks that were never done and time that just seemed to disappear without me knowing what happened. It was really, really, really frustrating. And I couldn’t figure out how to change it for quite a while. When I did look for help, I didn’t find what I was looking for. Which was even more frustrating and I wondered if working for myself was just a horrible fit. However, the thought of being an employee again made my stomach hurt and deep down I knew I could do this. After I pieced together something that worked for me, I realized that I don’t want anyone else to feel that frustration and overwhelm that I had been feeling. And that’s why I’m now the Entrepreneur’s Productivity Coach – to help others create their own systems for their time, tasks and goals.
  2. Why I became an entrepreneur – and stay one:
    My husband and I want to start a family. We both wanted me to be home more than was possible as an employee. So, I started my own business (after spending several months exploring options while I was employed). Having my own business means I can set my own hours and goals (even though that wasn’t as easy as I initially thought). The biggest reason is so I can be an involved parent to my future kids. How do I know that’s my WHY? Because I tear up when I write it or think on it. That’s how important it is to me.

The first WHY is my passion for the people I work with. I know it’s my why because whenever I hear about someone struggling with these things I get it and know I can help (I can’t do the work for them, but I can help them on the path).

The second why is my really big WHY – and if you look closely, you can see the finger prints on my first answer. It’s what guided me toward entrepreneurship and keeps me here when things feel difficult. When I think on it (not just a passing thought) my eyes tear up and I really feel it.

Why is knowing the answers to these questions so important?

  1. Messaging. Your WHY is what you think about when you’re coming up with new products or offers. You think about it when you’re writing sales or opt-in pages. Your WHY is at the core of everything you do and how you describe it.
  2. Motivation. Your WHY is powerful and when things feel a bit scary, your WHY keeps you moving (and if your WHY doesn’t do that, it’s time to revisit and maybe revise it).

Basically, your WHYs color everything you do. Each goal you set ties back to your WHYs in one way or another. And if it doesn’t, well, that goal probably isn’t really that important to you.

Not sure what your WHY is? Ask yourself why you do what you do. When you have an answer ask yourself why again (why is that important to you)?

I’d love to know what your WHY is or any questions you have! Share in the comment section below.

Photo credit: e-magic / Foter / CC BY-ND

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