These days I find myself reading a lot about what drives drives entrepreneurs to keep their skin in the game instead of why.
But your why is bigger than your what.
For example, I see a lot of female entrepreneurs who exclaim that their why in business is directly tied to their children. As a mompreneur I feel the same way.
Our children often teach us to be our best selves. We launch out on this journey of entrepreneurship because we want to be better role models. Becoming an entrepreneur also gives us more flexibility to spend time with our families while providing the financial security we desire.
These are all great aspirations, but they are examples of what keeps you persistently pushing through challenges. Your why, in contrast, should be focused on the impact you want to make in others lives … that, as a result, fills your heart and soul.
What makes your soul happy?
What makes your soul happy in business? For example, when you finish working with a client from start to finish, that very thing you help them achieve is your answer — and that is your why.
Your what is the driving force that keeps you in pursuit of your why very single day. The result of your why is making an impact on others; it is satisfying and leads to ultimate fulfillment.
So, when someone asks you why you do XYZ as an entrepreneur consider the specific impact you desire to make with your efforts; this is your brand promise.
When you lead with your why your tribe will follow and the resulting success (e.g., money, recognition, influence, etc.) is an indication of how well you’ve delivered on it.
Doing business without your ‘why’
Growing up my parents stressed the importance of higher education, getting good grades, and being competitive in the workplace. In their eyes, this was the “what” that mattered most … a way for me to secure a good paying job and job security at a Fortune 500 company. Their idea of success was retiring with financial security after climbing the corporate ladder.
I applied their belief of “what” I should do in my business. My success was dependent on the amount of money I could make. So, I focused solely on income generating activities each day. As the months went by, sales calls got harder (and I still wasn’t achieving my income goals). I was constantly stressed.
I told myself I needed to work harder and hustle more for new business and make more money. As a result, my business wasn’t fulfilling or fun anymore. I felt stuck and stagnant. The worry and stress drained my self-confidence and certainly wasn’t attractive to anyone, let alone potential clients. I wasn’t clear on my why. As a result, my business (and life) showed it.
Is your business built on service and love?
Every single entrepreneur should resolve to get crystal clear on their why. Having clarity pays off because you start to conduct business from a place of service and love.
I’ve found that enjoyment comes from helping others to create change. Best of all, you can have the freedom you want while doing it.
Quite frankly, your ideal customers are intently focused on their needs, wants and desires. So, it becomes really hard for them to support your dreams and goals (e.g., time with your children, travel plans, planning for your dream house, etc.) They have their own dreams to think about, and they want to know how can you help them get there quicker.
In business, it all boils down to the impact you can make and the results you can help them achieve. All of this begins with your why.
Moreover, there is nothing more rewarding than when you light your own way and it illuminates the path for others. We are spirit beings, so your business should touch you spiritually too.
When you find clarity in your purpose, how you serve this world, you are honoring your deepest desires that live within your soul. This leads to fulfillment, happiness, and a meaningful life. Money is simply a reward.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Whitney Mullings is a Brand Therapist, who helps coaches and transformational leaders get known and recognized as the expert that they are by positioning; all from a place of service and love. Connect with @whitmullings on Twitter.
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