What’s Your Why?

As a business owner you are probably working day and night to build your business. To be successful, you may now have so many things on the go that you are running from one thing to the next and maybe you have even started to lose sight of the real reason you started your business in the first place. 

What was that reason? 

Perhaps you started a flower shop because you loved to create beautiful arrangements to make people happy. Maybe you bought a retail outlet to spend time chatting with customers. What were you passionate about? What did you plan to spend your days doing?In other words, what was your ‘Why?’ – your purpose?

Maybe you started the flower shop because you loved to create beautiful arrangements to make people happy. Then as you started working in the business, you found out there was all this other stuff behind the scenes that slowly took more and more of your time; ordering inventory, negotiating with suppliers, paying bills, tracking cash flow, hiring and managing employees, and everything else. When you started, you never would have dreamed how much time all of this behind the scenes work would take. And, perhaps you are really sure that you don’t like doing certain tasks and maybe you even hope for the day that you can once again just work on making flower arrangements that make customers smile.

Sometimes as a business owner you may need help clearly defining your purpose – your goals, dreams, and vision for the future. It’s the big picture view of your business and not a lot of business owners will necessarily spend a great deal of time thinking about this. Maybe you knew your purpose in the beginning. Maybe it was because you wanted to create a life away from corporate world, corporate America, bad bosses, and those types of things. Your purpose may have been as unique as you are.

Decision making

One reason to think about your purpose and spend some time clearly articulating it is because it will help guide your decisions as you move forward creating better systems for you and your business. Knowing and understanding your purpose will help you decide what tasks and projects you are best suited to take on and which ones should be left for someone else. If you have a clear picture about what your purpose is, it will help you guide your business decisions.

The odd detour

As you clearly define your purpose, more options will appear that will help you reach your goals. Here is an example. 

Let’s say you plan to go to the city to go shopping, and your purpose is clear – buy a gift for a friend, and not just any gift but their favorite wine from an exclusive shop. You head out on the highway and encounter road construction and a detour. You still have the same end goal in mind – buying your friend that bottle of wine. You can still accomplish your purpose, you just have to take a detour. It may take a bit longer, or require a different path, but it is still achievable. 

There is more than one way to reach your purpose, just as in your business. A detour does not mean a wrong turn, it just means a different path. The clearer your purpose, the easier it is to make choices regarding the best way to be successful.

People tend to start a business because they are really good at something, or have a passion. This is great! That’s exactly the right thing to do. The challenge is to get you back to doing what you do best if there is a gap between your ‘Why?’ and your current reality. How big is your gap between what you are doing now and what you dreamed of doing when you started? If the things you dislike doing are taking more and more of your time, they may also be taking more and more of your energy and this can be unproductive as well as dissatisfying. If you are spending less and less time on what you love doing, it may be time to pause and think about your ‘Why?’.

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