One of the hardest questions for me to answer is, “What do you do?” It’s not because my job is incredibly complex or mystical. It’s mostly because what I do for a living doesn’t fit inside the typical career “box.” Trying to describe that to others can be tough – because it’s not an exact science. So, every time I’m asked this dreadful question, I think to myself…I wish they had asked, “WHY do you do what you do?” instead. The answer to THAT question is far more enjoyable and palpable.
You see, most people think starting a business, developing a product, or working for themselves IS the reason they want to become an entrepreneur. They often say things like, “I would just love to be my own boss.” But the fact is, if that’s your motivation, eventually you will end up hating YOU just as much as you hate your boss today. If you don’t have a very specific WHY for starting a new venture or stepping out of the traditional work world, then you’ll eventually find yourself unsatisfied, unhappy, and unsuccessful.
The reason I’m an entrepreneur today is because I have a clear and defined WHY. It helps me to focus in the hard times, and it keeps me on track when I begin to veer off course. Everything should come back to the WHY.
Maybe your WHY is that you want more time with your kids and/or spouse. Maybe you want to change the world…inspire people…or start a revolution. Whatever it is, make sure you have your WHY in place before figuring out WHAT you’re going to do to achieve it. Oh, and here’s some sage advice…making lots of money should not be your WHY. No amount of money will keep you motivated long enough or keep you on track. In fact, it has been known to pull many people down dark and dangerous paths as they pursue MORE MONEY. So, don’t be that guy (or gal).
Here’s this week’s challenge: Get out an actual piece of paper and start writing about your WHY. If you can’t fill an entire page you need a stronger WHY. It’s the first step in starting a business or venture that will go the distance. Go on…do it now!