When I first left my job at Columbia University, and joined Nikken, a global health and wellness network marketing company, this was a big question addressed in all of our trainings.
What is your WHY?
This was such a great question to be introduced to first thing in my excursion into entrepreneurial life. I knew nothing about business, much less having my own business. I grew up in an academic family where making money was not a priority, and business was viewed with real skepticism. Joining a network marketing company was the last thing that anyone thought I would do – including myself! But it’s what presented itself to me when I knew I had to leave my career, so I jumped at the opportunity.
I had the good fortune to have an incredible sponsor, Julie Tara, and to be exposed to Bob Proctor, who became one of my mentors. Both of them emphasized the importance of knowing why you are developing a business. We all need motivation in life, and especially if you are going to build your own business. Even with the support of a company, like you have when you’re in network marketing, developing a business takes pretty much everything you’ve got. And to stay focused, be persistent, and keep going during the challenging periods, you’ve got to have a compelling why.
I have a number of whys. One has to do with my family, particularly my daughter, and wanting to provide a certain type of lifestyle for her. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, and don’t have a desire to do so. But we do live in the country, in a town where we want to live, and we create our business schedule around her schedule. We enjoy experiences that matter to us – and we eat really good food every day!
My other big why is my purpose in helping to retool our economy with transformational work more in the mainstream, and to channel more resources to More Life industries rather than to those that foster addictions, pollute the planet, or promote war. I deeply believe that by helping to financially empower spiritual thought leaders, healing arts practitioners, and transformational experts, I contribute to creating the world I want to live in.
These two whys together help me get up every morning, be purposeful about what I do, find ways to enjoy the challenges, and do what needs to be done even on the days when I would rather not. I’m not talking about suffering or struggling. I am talking about refueling my system from a deep place of purpose and commitment, because building a business is not the easiest route to take. To stay the course, I have to, you have to, we all have to have a WHY that takes me out of the everyday into the visionary. Without that, it’s just too much of a grind. It would be easier to have a job.
So what is YOUR WHY?
What matters so much to you that will you put your comfort second to it? Good places to look are at what you hate, or what makes you angry.
For me, polluting the common air supply and common water supply make me angry. Or not having enough money to keep open our state parks when we’re building more roads. Or knowing that many, even most girls don’t have the kind of experiences that my daughter does – to go to school, be supported at home, go to summer camp, even have a full belly every day and a dry warm place to sleep every night.
- What motivates you?
- What makes you mad?
- What do you want to see created in the world?
- What puts the wind in your sails?
- What fuels your energy tank?
Write about it. Blog about it. Tell the people around you. Make it a key part of your message. Let the world know what matters to you, and WHY you do what you do. And you will see people flock to you, which will also motivate you more than you might imagine!