… that lights a fire under you.
“Purpose it keeps you going strong like a car on a full tank of gas.
“Everyone else has a purpose, so what’s mine?”
So goes the song in the wonderful musical ‘Avenue Q’. (If you haven’t seen it I can thoroughly recommend it)
Whether you’re in business, or not, do you ever feel that everyone else knows where they are going, yet you feel like you’re constantly floundering, treading water and not getting any further?
So much motivation, so little depth
If you find yourself in a holding pattern, you find yourself reaching for the motivational quotes:
- It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop (Confucius)
- Failure will never overtake me, if my determination to succeed is strong enough
- Stop over-thinking things and just do
- Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement
And so on.
So you keep going. You stay positive and determined. You do all the right things and get the job done. Yet you still seem to be going around in ever decreasing circles.
The million-dollar question
How do you know that when you put one foot in front of the other, you are actually moving towards your goal and not just back round in a circle?
What do you need to do to break free and start moving forwards?
You need to ‘find your why’.
The reason for you to get up every morning.
The reason you spend all day, every day working on, and in your business.
What is your why?
If your ‘why’ was a simple as: “Because I love what I do”, why would there be books and articles a-plenty on the importance of discovering and nailing down your ‘why’?
Your why, or purpose, is simply your core value(s). What is it that you really, really want? (Cue The Spice Girls’ song)
Money? Influence? Success? Time?
Ultimately, I believe most people simply want freedom:
- Money – financial freedom so you don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage, the bills, etc. (Why do you think there are so many ‘get rich quick’ schemes out there? But don’t be fooled, there is no quick win on this one)
- Time – freedom from a 9-to-5 job so you can spend more time doing the things you love with the people you love
- Success – a chance to prove the cynics wrong, so you can finally free yourself from the pain of the past
- Health – freedom to take time to recharge when you need – an incredibly important aspect of life, not to mention your mental wellbeing
- Flexibility – freedom to be able to work wherever and whenever you choose. So you can take a holiday without being constantly glued to your smartphone. So you can do the school run and be around for your children as they grow up.
How do you find your why?
The best place to start is at the very beginning by asking yourself:
Why did you start your business?
If I take Kook as an example, I started Kook because I love writing and in the absence of contracts, thought it was something I could earn money doing, working wherever and whenever I chose.
But if I just use that as my company’s ‘why’, I achieved that from my first client.
So, to find your company’s real ‘why’, we have to behave like a child, or Olaf from Frozen, and just keep asking ‘why’?
Taking Kook as an example again, why do I want to be able to work wherever and whenever I choose?
I am the original gig-worker. I have always contracted, always been a freelancer. So being tied to a permanent job, with fixed hours, limited holiday has never been on my radar.
And, as a single mum, being able to work location and time independent means I can ensure I am around for my son whilst still earning money.
But even that isn’t a deep enough ‘why’. So, you simply keep asking and asking until you find your ultimate why.
Why is it important to be around for my son and still earn money?
Obviously so that we can maintain our brilliant relationship, but more importantly, so that I can set a good example of work ethic for him.
Why do I want to set a good work ethic?
So, he can observe that with hard work you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.
Why is it important to achieve your goals?
To feel fulfilled and be free.
When do you know when you have achieved your why?
If you don’t know why you are doing something, how do you know when you’ve succeeded?
My ‘why’ is to feel fulfilled.
I know I will have achieved my ‘why’ when Kook employs other freelancers and it works even when I am not present.
I will have fulfilled my goal of creating a living and breathing business, where I am not the only person pedalling furiously to keep it going.
In other words, when my ultimate ‘why’ of freedom is achieved.
I can be anywhere in the world, making memories with my son and at the same time, safe in the knowledge that Kook, like a well-oiled machine, is in perfect working order and requires my full attention for maybe 2 hours a day.
Now it’s your turn.
What’s your business’s why?
Do you agree that the ultimate ‘why’ is freedom?
Let me know in the comments below.
Kook Content helps businesses create blogs and social posts. If you need articles editing or writing from scratch email email@example.com now.
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