Today, I’m going to completely level with you.
The last month has been a bit insane for me with client work.
I have two clients going through massive shifts in their own business, which is great.
But the late nights and long hours could be draining if I wasn’t focused on one thing.
“Why” I do what I do.
Why Do You Own a Business?
There are so many reasons why people start their own businesses.
For many of us, it’s because we wanted flexibility and freedom. We wanted to create a business that served us instead of a 9 to 5
When I worked for other people, I was at the mercy of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. I was at the mercy of the hours and the salary they were willing to provide me.
There wasn’t a way for me to really grow within a box.
I’ve also been freelancing on and off since I was 18. I knew that I wanted to build something, but I lacked a conviction in myself and my skills for a long time until I was about 29 and just went for it.
Your Why Needs to be About More
Knowing what you wanted when you left and started your own business, but if you want to be able to connect with the humans that will be buying from you, you need to dig a little deeper.
Why do you do what you do?
When someone asks why you own a business, you probably have an answer pretty similar to what I just said. You wanted freedom. You wanted to be in control of your own career and destiny.
(I’ve been watching Lord of the Rings and House of the Dragon, so yes, we are going to get a little fantastical, sorry).
But why do you do precisely what you do? What is it that drives you every day?
Finding Your Own Why
If you haven’t, I highly recommend you read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Throughout his fabulous book, he goes through the reason you should and how to discover your why – the thing that drives your business.
It’s not about the founder, either.
It’s about why your business exists and who you serve.
His mantra throughout the book is “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
When you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it helps your customers to connect with your business better.
It brings back that human touch in your marketing and helps your customers feel seen.
The Power of Your Why in Your Business
To me, your “why” isn’t just about making more sales and gaining more customers.
It’s about empowering your employees and even yourself to continue to show up, even on the hardest days.
As I’ve gone through the last month or so of crazy deadlines, working myself and my junior developer into some late-night hours to stay ahead of the game, I’ve had to remember why I do what I do.
This isn’t just about money for me (In fact, honestly, it rarely is).
My why is about providing the kind of service that most of my customers haven’t ever gotten from a web developer. But more than that, it’s about helping them grow their businesses and giving them control over their own marketing.
Throughout the life of my business, I want to help my customers – no matter what kind of business they own – to have more ownership of their sales process, brand story, and impact.
When I can focus on that why and share it with my team, it’s far easier to work within these (temporary) tough timelines to ensure our customer is succeeding.
(And believe me, we don’t plan for it to be like this long-term, but sometimes temporary circumstances require a bit of sacrifice.)
Questions to Find Your Own Why
How can you find your own why? Getting to mine took time and asking myself quite a few questions.
Grab a notebook and write down answers to the following questions:
- What inspired your business idea?
- What problem do you solve for your customers?
- What’s unique about your business?
- Why do you love doing what you do?
- What do your customers say over and over again about working with your business?
That last question is actually the most important. Your why needs to be driven by your internal factors, yes, but it also should be driven by customer experience.
When I sat down and reworked my brand story a few months ago, it was far easier to articulate my why because it was a thing I’d heard from my own clients over and over.
They wanted control over their sales, over their brand story. But they also appreciated that I actually cared about all of that. I wasn’t just there to do the things they told me, but I was going to help them discover all of that.
The Power of Purpose
Finding your own why can be a powerful tool in your business. Not only can it influence your marketing and help you better connect with your ideal customer, but it can also assist you when things get hard.
If anyone has ever told you that owning a business was the “easy” choice, you probably should stop reading or listening to them.
This shit is tough.
When you have a purpose that drives you, it makes everything easier.
Show up for your purpose and for your customers and you’ll be amazed at what can happen.