We’ve known for quite some time that knowing your personal why and business purpose contributes to success. In fact, Simon Sinek wrote a book on this very subject 10 years ago and his TED talk has been watched by katrillions of people since then.
Before we dig into the how to uncover your why, let’s start with why it’s worth investing time in this process.
Why “Why” matters
We live in unprecedented times. In many parts of the world, we are safer, healthier and wealthier than at any time in human history. And yet, there is a growing crises of suicide, mental health issues and loneliness in the wealthiest economies.
Knowing your personal purpose, why you get up in the morning and what keeps you going, especially in challenging times, is critically important. In light of the alarming stats about mental health and suicide, fostering deep resilience is an absolute essential. It’s imperative. It can literally save lives.
At the same time, the global economy is more volatile and unpredictable than ever. As a result, business results are volatile and unpredictable, making things very difficult and challenging for everyone working in businesses, small and large. It is especially difficult for leaders and business owners.
People who are led by their why, can thrive under even the most challenging conditions. The same is true for businesses.
Uncover your personal Why
You have a personal why. You just may not know it yet or you may not be able to articulate it because you just feel it in your gut.
To uncover your why, start thinking about those times in your life you have been really excited about what you’re doing. Think of those moments when time is just flying by, you’re working hard but it doesn’t feel like work, you’re really energised and uplifted by what you’re doing and when challenges crop up, they inspire you, rather than overwhelm you.
Now answer these questions
- What activities were you doing?
- Who were you with?
- Why did you love it?
- What do those activities or situations have in common?
- Is there a common theme?
We need to give ourselves time and space to reflect on our life and find the clues that help us to connect with our own unique why. Journalling is a great way to get some distance so we can look at our past and see patterns.
Uncover your business Why
You can use a similar approach to uncover your business’ why. Ask yourself, team, colleagues and friends to brainstorm with you about what really excites them about your business. Then dig into why it motivates each person.
Use that rich thinking and conversation to look at how you do what you do, how you communicate with each other, clients and the market place. Then embark on the very satisfying journey of figuring out how you can tweak things so your clients and the communities you work in experience your why when they connect with your business.
An ongoing journey of discovery
This is a journey with no end point. Over time, it creates new habits of thinking and ways of doing things. It’s fun and creative and can be frustrating at times. It’s always worth it.
Sharon Gilmour-Glover is a consultant, educator and speaker. Her greatest passion is helping leaders with a vision bigger than themselves expand their capacity for success. Visit Sharon to learn more.