Picture your favorite entertainment spot or restaurant. Now, consider what that business might mean to you today had it focused solely on bringing in an income from the moment their doors first opened. More than likely, much of the business’s appeal would have slid off rapidly, leaving nothing left but an unenticing place lacking any energy to drum up customer loyalty.
We’ve just described what could happen when you don’t know and nurture the “why” of your business. Businesses are fed and led to success by purpose, the “why.”
Why Your Business “Why” Is Important
“There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks like, knowing our WHY, and going straight to the places we fit.” – Simone Sinek
Your well-defined why is the most important element of your small business.
Knowing the why of your business is a vehicle that helps you avoid weak foundational decisions based on shaky, sinking, unstable ground in comparison to operating your business from a solid foundation of reinforced concrete that withstands time and challenges. When you know your why, you know which direction to turn the steering wheel and you confidently know when to press the gas pedal and go. Yes, you also know when to stop!
Your why dictates whether decisions are made, or goals are set within a common cause, enabling you to gauge when you are going too far south, north, or out in the left field—call it your business GPS.
Do you know what your why is?
How to Find Your Small Business “Why”
As the leader of your business, you may already be well-versed with why you do what you do, and you may use your why as a tool in every company decision that you make, but if you don’t, follow these steps to identify and clarify the purpose of your business:
1. Set some quiet time aside. Consider going somewhere where you are at peace, free from interruptions, and can easily dig into contemplation.
2. Ask yourself, and write your answers down:
• Why did I start my business?
• Why is my business what it is today?
• What are my personal passions?
• What do I value about people?
• What do I care most about in life?
• What makes me truly happy?
• What are my top three core values?
3. What makes you tick on a personal level typically is woven into your business why. If you are still seeking answers, ask your family and close friends to help you gain clarity. Sometimes we are blind to what others observe about us, so flip the questions around and ask your close family and friends for their sincere assessment, for example:
• What do you feel are my personal passions?
• Why do you think I started my business?
• In your eyes, what makes me truly happy?
4. Review your responses, as well as those of your close family and friends. Circle what excites or energizes you. These are your passions and should marry up with your personal values. In a nutshell, you are in the process of identifying the core of your being.
Weave Your Why into Your Business
Now that you have identified your own passions and values, you can now intertwine your personal why with the purpose of your business. You may discover that it is already done!
Example business model: Build websites for non-profits
Core values and passions: Encourage and help families and children in the autism spectrum to grow and manage life despite the challenges. To love, bolster, and cherish others.
Business why: Build websites and boost communication in the world as an advocate for clients, families, and people with autism.
Knowing your passions and what motivates you, you are able to mold the purpose of your business around the core of who you are.
Using Your Why as a Valuable Tool
Your why isn’t so much about what you do, but what drives you to do what you do. As you set goals or make business-related decisions, it is a much smoother process with achievable results when you are mindful of the parameters of your why.
Share your why with your staff and in your mission statements. Passion is contagious!
Share your why with the people you meet or network with to help get the word out about your business and build your community.
We’re Here to Help
We get the importance of your passion, your “why,” and we’re here to support your development as an entrepreneur and small business.