As an entrepreneur you've probably felt stuck at some point along the way. You've experienced a lack of clarity that usually leads to frustration--even fear. When entrepreneurs are in the throes of this confusion and sense of overwhelm, the first question they ask is, "How do I get past this and make my business successful?" But the more significant question, the one that makes the magic happen, is, "Why should I get past this and make my business successful?"

Why? A single-word question that provides all of the answers you need to create the freedom, happiness, and success that you dream of.  Why? A question that too many entrepreneurs never explore; and if they do, they don't explore it deep enough. 

German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, 'He who has a why can endure any how.'

Beginning with the how may seem logical, but the answers to your how questions are rarely clear when you do. Your how doesn't inspire the energy and passion to create your most powerful  vision, the grit necessary to maneuver through the challenges and  failures, and the  foresight to pave the path to your vision. It's the "why" that brings these strengths and qualities to the surface and fuels the entire business-building process.

A surprising number of entrepreneurs don't know their why. Many believe they do, but truly haven't gotten to the heart of it. So how do you know if your why isn't complete, or that you're missing the mark altogether? 

Your  feelings are the guide to this answer. When you close your eyes and envision your why, how do you feel? Does your heart beat a little faster? Do you feel impassioned? Do you experience joy in your heart or butterflies in your gut? Most significantly, does it bring tears to your eyes?

That's right, tears. When I do this work with my clients and they discover the core of their why for the very first time, tears are inevitable. And I'm not talking about watery eyes, I'm talking deep, meaningful tears that rock their world. That is how you know when you've finally found your real why.

The process to find your why is simple, but in all of its simplicity it's not something that most people can do without the guidance and support of a strong individual who is willing and able to evoke, and experience, the emotions right along with them. Still, you can get a good start by asking yourself the following questions. I will tell you, however; there is one necessary piece that most people miss: they don't drill down deep enough. This is the part that's not easy. Ironically the question they don't ask themselves is, why?

Begin with the following questions and, after each one, ask why? Why is this true? Why is it important to me? Why do I feel so strongly about this? Why, why, why? When you believe you have the answer, ask again--why? Use your feelings as the gauge; they will tell you when you finally arrive at the real answer.

  1. What is the most important thing in the world to me? 
  2. When I lose all track of time, I am usually (doing what)?
  3. I get most excited and passionate when I talk about (what)?
  4. If money were not an issue, I would volunteer my time and money to do (what)?
  5. If there was one thing in the world that I could change what would it be?
  6. What world issue matters most to me?
  7. If I did a TED Talk, what would my core message be? 
  8. What are my personal values? (This too goes deeper than you may believe. Another process that you may need help going through.)

Remember, to find the freedom that is so important to you, this is the single most important piece of information to wrap your heart and mind around. Devote the time, energy, and money if necessary, to find your real why!