2.1 Finding Your Why

Lesson 7 Module 3

Your why is the deeper reason that you are in your business. It usually has something to do either the contribution you want to make to the world, or an attribute or quality that you think is needed in the world, or a deep longing on your part.

Finding your why can be so important to a number of things in your business. Especially when you are a purpose driven ​entrepreneur—your why may even be the reason you started your business in the first place!

Your why can:

  • Keep you going when things feel hard in your business. Remembering what’s important to you can sometimes be the extra motivation to keep going when you’re questioning whether you should throw in the towel.

  • Help ideal clients find you as they will likely resonate with your why, or respect you for it, or even want to emulate it for themselves. We are drawn to people who have similar values to ourselves or to those who are trying to create a world we want to be in.

  • Support you in creating messages about your business that are meaningful rather than shallow. It’s nicer, for example, to hear that XYZ solar company came about because of the owners deep longing to create a sustainable world for her children than that she saw an opportunity to cash in on the green movement. Not that there’s anything wrong with cash (we are after all talking about our biz here, not our volunteer work!) but hearing the deeper why that drives someone is inspiring.

Luckily, you may already be enacting some of your why, even if you aren’t fully aware of it. Since it lives inside of you, it can push you to make certain decisions, gain specific skills, and even start your specific business, even if you can’t exactly name it. You may just seem drawn toward certain actions. The universe, in turn, helps you by bringing you experiences and opportunities that resonate with this inner truth. It’s common when I help someone find their why that they recognize that it’s been at play in their lives all along.

How can you find your why?

Think of your business and what it does for people, or animals, or the environment. Answer this question: why is it important this gets done? For example, if you style hair, your answer might be that it’s important so people look their best. Or, if you repair cars, you might respond that it’s important because it gets them where they need to go. Using your answer, ask yourself why that’s important. Why is it important for people to look their best or to get where they need to go? You might say that it’s important that people look their best so they feel confident about going about their lives. Use this answer and ask yourself why this is important. Keep going by asking, each time, why it’s important that your answer happen, always using your last answer as the new subject of “why is it important?” until you’ve drilled down to some essence that feels meaningful to you.

Think about the contribution of your business: what’s the highest level of contribution you can imagine your business making? Is the most contribution your business is going to make happen at the level of self expression for yourself? Or will it also make a contribution to your community? Or for the world? Journal or visualize this for a few moments. Does this give you a clue as to your why?

Watch this Simon Sinek video: Start with WHY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE

Illustrate what you might believe your WHY for this business is. You can write it, draw it, collage it, sculpt it, video it, or whatever you want to convey the essence of your WHY. The more expressive you can be or deeper you can go here, the better. Sometimes we find our answers in letting go of our intellectual approaches and instead let art, or our bodies doing something expressive, find it instead.