As an independent business owner, it is vital that you know the “why” for your business. The thing that drives you to make the next sale, write the next blog post, or sign your next client. Why did you start your business in the first place? What keeps you going when things get difficult?
Most businesses begin with a “why”. It clarifies why the business exists, and what it needs to accomplish. Without a “why” a business can flounder directionless and drifting. The “why” statement brings you back to your main purpose and redirects actions in a positive direction.
First start by defining your “why”. Is it so that you can spend more time with your family instead of commuting to an 8 to 5 job setting? Did you start your business so that you can be your own boss and decide on your hours and your income level? Think about what really motivates you.
For me, it is the ability to provide additional income for my family but also have a flexible enough schedule so I can be there for my kids when they come home from school and need help with their homework. I need a creative outlet, and I strongly desire to work from home.
So what does defining your “why” and getting crystal clear on it do for you?
It gives you a purpose. You know exactly why you are working hard every day. It gives meaning to every little detail of what you do. And that helps you to feel fulfilled.
It gives you drive. It spurs you on to the next step, the phone call or connection you need to make, or the post you need to write. Your “why” can encourage you to keep moving forward every day.
It gives you focus. If you get off track, recentering yourself with a look at your “why” can bring you back to where you need to be to continue forward. If I find myself getting distracted by Facebook, Instagram or email, I redirect myself by turning my thoughts toward my “why”. This keeps me on the right trajectory to fulfilling my “why” instead of wasting time.
It can be your inspiration. You don’t have to have something fancy written down. I sure don’t. But it will be the lift you need when you’re not feeling it. Make your “why” into a cute graphic or write it in a favorite font and print it out and hang it on your wall. This will help you to keep your “why” front and center.
This leads into our final benefit of getting clear on your “why”. It gives you a boost when you need it. It helps you to tackle that difficult task that you just don’t want to do. It helps to lift you into action. It can give you the encouragement you need to keep going even when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Your “why” can change and develop over time. Maybe at first you just wanted enough income to cover a car payment, or you just needed a creative outlet. But as things progressed, and you had success, your “why” became wider in scope to include paying for vacations, or even making enough to keep your husband from going to a job he hates.
This is a very personal process and requires a lot of introspection. Many women find their “why” is so that they can stay home with a new baby and be a mother and income provider together throughout the day. Other women have grown tired of working a job they really don’t like and are looking to have a job that they are passionate about where they can be their own boss.
Look within yourself, at your family dynamics, your relationship with your current job, and decide on your “why”. You’ll be glad you did.
I would love to hear your “why”! Leave it in the comments below so we can all encourage each other!