Why Defining and Knowing Your “Why” is Truly Important to Your Personal and Professional Success
Knowing your “why” is something I’ve spoken about before – and I’ll continue to harp on about (sorry not sorry) – because it’s absolutely fundamental to your personal and professional success.
It’s the driver that keeps you going when things get tough. It’s why you’ll drag yourself out of bed an hour earlier to catch that webinar, go for that morning run or sneak in an hour of business planning. It’s what makes the difference between doing something for the sake of it, and doing something because it will get you closer to your own personal definition of success and happiness.
Think about your business; why does it exist? What’s the reason for doing what you do? Really think about it and let it take you down a rabbit hole. Here’s an example:
Does your business exist to make money?
Ok, so why do you want to make money?
To give you comfort and security?
And why is that important to you?
Because it means you can provide for your family and friends.
Okay, now we’re starting to get somewhere real. Keep going!
Does your business exist to provide a service?
Ok, so why is that service important?
Because the repercussions of that service (or product) can provide deep healing to others, offer physical or mental pain relief (or both), and ultimately help to heal the world.
Boom. There’s your why. You’re not making money for the sake of making money. That’s your top-level, ‘go-to’ answer. Go deeper. I promise you, there’s a deeper reason. That’s what you need to explore – because that’s what will keep you going when things get tough. (And I hate to break it to you – but they will get tough…).
You’re not just exploring your “why” to stay motivated during the rough patches either; running your business in alignment with your “why” can also give you a real sense of achievement and pride on a daily basis – and who doesn’t want that?! It can also create a business culture that your workforce can buy into and believe in; they know why they’re working on a certain project, they know why their contribution is making a difference, and they know exactly what their impact is. The result? Happier, more motivated staff.
Defining your “why” doesn’t just relate to your professional life either; think about your personal “why” too. Whether you want to build a better life for your family, futureproof your finances or simply make the world a better place, what drives you? Motivates you? What’s your purpose? What are your values? The more you can pin down and define these answers, the more you will live every day of your life with purpose. Fewer moments will be wasted and fewer regrets will exist. I can promise you that.
Your personal and professional “why”s aren’t mutually exclusive either; one can totally inform the other. Usually, your personal “why” can really help you out when your professional life is screaming “forget it all, let’s go live in a cave”…
Don’t forget to check in with your goals and reward yourself along the way too. Yes, living and working in alignment with your “why” feels great – but so does booking in for a massage after a tough few weeks. Know that, whilst your “why” can make all the difference, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to always live by – so give yourself a break and treat yourself for doing the hard stuff.
Think of your “why” in the broader context; what impact will it have on not just you, but others too? You do your work a disservice if you settle for money as your “why”. What you do is far more important than that – to you and to others. So explore those reasons, feel them in your soul, and remind yourself of them on a daily basis.