BY TARYN JEREZ
“What is your why?”
It’s one of the first questions you are asked when you start a business plan, but how often do we really revisit it?
Sure, you might have read a blog post or two or watched a really thought-provoking TedTalk on the subject, but do you actually think about it? More than likely, you have a million things on your plate, from professional to personal, that the why behind it all isn’t something you’ve revisited in some time.
The truth is that as you are starting your new year off and looking into the future of your business, it’s the perfect time to circle back on your why. Understanding the motivation behind the steps you are taking towards growth just might be the secret ingredient for creating a banner year in your business!
Many people launch businesses because of something they enjoy, have a talent for, or see a genuine need in the marketplace. What about you? Think back to what first inspired you to start your business. What factors played a part in the hunger you felt to make it happen? Was there one major mission behind it or a collection of things fueling that fire? Often business owners think of their “why” as just another section on a business plan when, in reality, it is the ever-present purpose that drives you. Close your eyes for a moment and think about what your why started out as in the very beginning and ask yourself how it’s changed.
Now you know your why and you feel like you’ve done your part in this whole “revisiting” plan, right? Wrong! There’s a little more to it. If you want to sustain and grow your business, you’ll have to dig deeper. What’s the real meaning behind what you’re doing? Don’t think about what answer sounds good to an investor or a sales pitch. Challenge yourself to let your mind wander a little, visiting not only the why that first got you started but the one that’s kept you going and inspires you now. Why are you doing the work, and what drives you? What are your mission and vision? What goal are you trying to accomplish?
Ask any entrepreneur today, and they will tell you that the journey they chose wasn’t free of failure and included so much redirection that they felt like a GPS recalculating. The why that drives you in your business and your life will surely encounter experiences and events that challenge you. It’s so easy to let life derail you from the mission you started with. Keep your purpose close by and let it help direct you when you’re not sure which direction to take. Give yourself permission to pivot in your business and even take a pause when it’s not aligning with your why. Stay consistent in pursuing the things that motivate, encourage, and inspire you, as these are key indicators you are still working with your why in mind.
Make it Count
Knowing your WHY is the foundation of your business. The answer to that question is your key to success because it’s how you remind yourself to keep going in the difficult seasons. It’s also the compass of your business, directing you away from the things that aren’t serving you or don’t show alignment with your needs. As you go through the next few weeks of this new year, invite yourself to make your why really count! Everything you do from morning email replies to the customers you serve throughout the day help build a road that – when paved with the things that reflect your why – will get you to your destination.