Finding Your WHY –
Start With WHY –
When people discover they have a great idea and want to turn it into a business, about 50% know WHY. They have explored their memories for experiences and discovered a pattern that develops into their WHY.
For the other 50%, it’s a process. They know WHAT they want to do, and HOW they want to do it, but the WHY is illusive. This article will help you find your WHY.
Ever been at a gathering where a stranger asks you What Do You Do? Knowing your WHY will motivate you to develop an Elevator Pitch based on your WHY and give you the motivation to pitch your company.
WHY goes much deeper. It is the purpose, cause or belief that drives us. And making money is not a WHY – it is a result. It’s part of the motivation, but it is not the reason we get out of bed in the morning.
I found my WHY many years ago, but until I realized I needed an Elevator Pitch, I never sat down to write it. I started writing various pitches in my Business Journal, but they sounded hollow, because they felt hollow. Then my coaching clients needed help with their WHY and it all came together for me as well. Teachers benefit by learning from their students.
Your WHY becomes the focal point for your entire operation. It allows you to develop your company culture around it and you become known for it. You hire workers because they believe in your WHY. You develop your marketing and promotion campaigns around it. And you become known for it. But it takes time, not in years, but in hours.
Discover Your WHY
To discover your WHY you must first know and write down the answers to these questions:
- Why does or will your company exist?
- WHY did you get out of bed this morning?
- WHY should anyone care?
Those answers should lead you to knowing that what you are doing or want to do solves a problem for your customers and provides the motivation for you to get out of bed each morning. But there’s much more to your WHY.
Even if you are in your 20’s, you will have some stories that have helped develop your character and lead you to a set of beliefs, or a cause, and help define your purpose. It is those experiences that you will spend time writing about over the next few days.
Yes, you’ll need your Business Journal so you will have them to refer to. You might even want to rewrite them later. What are the stories in your life that have made the biggest impact on your life?
Write as many as 10 different stories. Be sure to include details that guided the impact and the emotions/feelings you experienced. All these details are important.
When you’re done, look for the theme within those stories, and then draft your WHY statement. Your statement should be:
- Simple and clear
- Focused on the effect you’ll have on others
- Expressed in affirmative language that resonates with you
Chances are high that you’ll rewrite this several times. HOW we feel about something, or someone is more powerful than what we think about it or them. No sure HOW to craft that?
Start with the TO portion of your statement and finish with a SO THAT clause.
After many years and different jobs in different sectors, I realized the theme of my writing was helping others solve problems and crafting long-range plans and content strategies. And I realized HOW many homemakers were trying to start a home-based business without the knowledge and resources to succeed. My statement evolved from those stories.
To – pass on support and inspiration through coaching and mentoring
So That – other small business owners will feel supported in their journey.
Once I understood my WHY I was motivated to get involved with the Women’s Business Center of Utah and coach for their Ms. Biz program. I get excited when I see one of our students open their doors knowing they have the support and knowledge to succeed.
The To- statement represents the contribution you make to the lives of others. The So That clause represents the impact of your contribution.
Write Your HOW’S
Now that you know your WHY, you need to write your HOW’s.
HOW’s are not aspirational. They don’t express who we want to be, they express the things we do. They are the actions we can choose to take daily to ensure we’re creating the type of environment in which we thrive.
Your HOWs are your strengths.
To find those items go back to your stories and the themes that surfaced. The items that didn’t end up in your WHY statement can serve as the foundation for your HOWs, which moves you from theory to practice. You may have to do some further writing to clearly identify your strengths. Remember to use the same criteria for your HOWs as you did for your WHYs.
Use Your HOWs as a Filter.
In help ensure that my clients are aligned with my personal values, I look at their HOWs to filter out those that are not a good fit. This is also true if you’re looking for a coach. Be sure you’re on the same page. Ask questions that will help you decide if there is mutual respect and motivation for your success.
Your HOWs bring your WHY to life.
Going through the process of finding your WHY allows you to discover HOW and WHAT. That process gives you the opportunity to develop a list of HOWs that you can rely on to make decisions and run your business.
When I developed by WHY I realized it was built around Journal Writing. Having used one in our Tourist based Gift Shop for over 30 years I wanted to be sure and share the value of record keeping. My HOWs developed into
- Show the value of Journal Writing for work/life balance
- Help develop a writing habit in my clients lives that fits theirs by offering simple downloadable journals
- Support their work through affirmations and positive writing examples/prompts/worksheets
- Guide clients through a Content Strategy Plan that focuses on the long term.
One of the companies that has benefited from these approaches has developed a system for considering whether they take on a client or not. They simply answer this question:
“Will doing this project help us bring our WHY to life?”
Finding your WHY is important for your long-term success. Using your HOWs to provide goods or services reinforces your WHY and provides your customers consistency and confidence in your business that you will do what you say because of your belief.
Having trouble Finding Your WHY? Passing On my thoughts and offering free coaching is part of my WHY. Sign up for up to 2 hours of complimentary coaching and get started living your WHY!
Not sure about coaching at this time? I’ll trade you a list of questions you can ask yourself to help “Find Your WHY” for your email. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Until Next Time - - -