Understanding Your Why
One of the foundations for growing a business is your understanding of Self. Important to this understanding of Self is knowing your Why.
Your Why is a tool to give you focus and clarity as a business owner. It provides future direction for you and your team, and gives you the feelings and emotions that bring your products and services to life.
Do your customers know Why you do what you do? Why you chose to be in the business you are in? Or do you only tell them What you do?
Understanding and sharing your Why with your customers is an important tool in connecting with them. People by from people, those they Like, Know and Trust. Your Why helps show your customers why they should buy from you.
What Is My Why?
Your Why is a deep-seated purpose specific to you and thus, your business. Your values, beliefs, talents and experience can all help form your Why.
When you do the work to understand what values and beliefs are important to you, you start to uncover the real importance of what you do and why you do it.
Your Why inspires you (and your team). It drives you and builds trust and understanding with your customers.
It’s the reason to exist in this business you have chosen to create.
Imagine the power of your Why if you could articulate this and share it with your team and your customers!
How Do I Find My Why?
Working out your Why is a very personal journey. It is part of the understanding of Self. You are likely already running your business based on your Why, you just can’t articulate what it is.
There are many ways you could delve into your Why. There are more structured ways like a course, workshop or coaching, or informally through your own self-development work such as reading books on the topic, journaling and being open and curious about why it is you do what you do.
Books such as ‘Start with Why’ and ‘Find Your Why’ by Simon Sinek are a great source of information on how to find and refine your Why.
In Simon Sinek’s own words – ‘Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King have one thing in common: they STARTED WITH WHY’.
Finding your Why is not a one hour or even a one day exercise. If you really want to uncover your Why, then I would suggest doing a course or starting with Simon Sinek’s book ‘Finding Your Why’ which is a practical walk-you-through guide.
If you want to start with a very simple self-discovery exercise, I have put together a few prompts to use below. (Note this is not an exercise in discovering your Why, merely some thought-prompting questions to get you thinking).
To do this exercise, write your answers in a journal or notebook. If you are a visual person like I am, you could also get a large sheet of paper and write all over it with some words that answer these questions.
- What are the top 3 values that drive your business?
- If there was one thing in your business you could do all day, what would that be?
- What is the last business activity you did that made you lose all track of time?
- What do your customers enjoy about your products/services?
- What is the most painful lesson you have had in your business so far?
- What is the one thing you won’t do in business?
- Who is your most valued customer – what is it about them you value so much?
- Which part of your business are you most proud of?
- What do you not compromise on in your business?
- What difference does your business make?
Once you have answered these questions or as many as you can/want to, go back and dig a little deeper. Look for meaning. Look for indications of why you do what you do.
Tip: If you couldn’t, or didn’t want to answer some of these questions, there may also be some hidden meaning there if you dig a little deeper. Explore those further too.
A question that may help you dig deeper is asking ‘So What’ of the answers you have given. See if you can get down another level to your answer.
Write Your Why
What did you uncover? Did any new ideas, concepts or threads start to appear?
You may start to see some answers as to Why you are in the business you are in, using what you discovered.
Using Your Why
Your Why is a constant reminder of why you are doing what you do. It is foundational work that sets you up for the future.
Use it to bring you back to your business purpose.
Use it to confirm you are still on your chosen path in business and to bring you back when you feel you are on the wrong path.
Use it to inspire yourself and your team.
Use it to connect with your customers.
Your Why is an important part of your business!
I’d love to hear about your Why and what you uncovered.
You can reach me on email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to finding and connecting with your Why,
P.S. For more inspiration – watch Simon Sinek’s talk below on ‘Start With Why’ – the 3rd most-watched TED talk of all time!