Do you know why you are in business for yourself? Is it the freedom? The ability to stay home with your family? Perhaps it's because you had a great idea and knew that you could make lots of money implementing it?
These are all good reasons, and common amongst the collection of wonderful entrepreneurial minds in this world - especially the quest for freedom. But is that really, truly, honestly, your 'why'?
We spend so much time trying to break the code on the 'how' of business success that we forget about our 'why'. Why is the 'why' important? Well, because it is what drives the passion, the soul and the purpose in your heart and business.
I've observed that, of all of the successful people I have coached, the happiest and most successful are the entrepreneurs who are in business for a reason larger than themselves. I believe that this is because they are driven, not by fear or need, but by passion and desire; something much deeper and more meaningful. Oftentimes, they discover their 'why' through the coaching relationship and things just seem to fall into place once this awareness has occurred. It's rather amazing to witness. Let me give you some examples of the meaningful 'why,' including my own:
Joan always knew that she had a passion for helping others succeed in business, but never fulfilled her desire on a large scale. After years of struggle she realized that her business was the gateway to something far greater. If she was hugely successful she could help other women learn how to achieve their dreams; she would have the answers, not just for herself, but for them. Once Joan allowed herself to be driven by this higher purpose she was able to let go of her fears and over-analyzing and drive her profits to the top. Today, Joan happily speaks to audiences, has appeared on national television and helps business owners understand and achieve their goals.
Beth lives a 'green' life and wants to support others in learning how to respect the planet on which we live. She's never lost sight of her 'why' and chose jewelry design to carry out her mission. She creates beautiful, earth-friendly jewelry and donates a portion of her proceeds to a like-kind cause. She blogs and speaks about earth-friendly living and helps others grow as her business grows.
'But what if I don't have a why,' you might ask. I think you do. Mine didn't actually reveal itself until I was about 2 years into my coaching career, but it was always a part of who I am.
When our children were only 8 years old, my husband passed away. Some of the most amazing resources and support came from people I hardly even knew. I never realized how powerful a kind gesture from a near stranger could be. It was at that time I realized how awful it is to feel alone in decision-making and life in general and what a little help and support can make. As years went by I developed a passion for supporting people who felt 'alone'. Business owners all too often fall into that category and a coach can make all the difference. So my 'why' is that no one should ever feel alone. I am driven by a desire to create resources and support for, not just my one-to-one clients, but for millions of entrepreneurs around the world. Even so, I didn't truly realize that I was on that path until I explored my 'why' with intention and awakened to the fact that I was actually fulfilling a passion through my business. That awareness has allowed me to grow in so many ways.
Getting to your 'why'
So what's your why and how are you fulfilling it? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What does success mean to me?
- What am I most passionate about?
- In what way is my business an extension of my passion?
- If I could make a difference for anyone or anything, what would it be?
- What are some small steps I can take to begin to make that difference?
- How can I support or contribute to a cause, organization, individual or group that stands for something that is important to me?
- Is my passion represented in my company culture, mission and vision?
Do you know your why? Please, share it with us here!
If you would like to discover your why and learn how to drive your business with this powerful engine - and much more - join me for the next Million Dollar Mindset Group Coaching program. It begins on Tuesday, February 1st and doesn't stop at the 'why'!
Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.