What’s YOUR Big Why?
I’m currently reading Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why”. In it he looks at how great businesses like Apple inspire action and loyalty in both their employees and customers through first and foremost communicating the reason “Why” they are in business rather than the “What” or the “How”. Because before they ‘buy’ the thing that you do or the way that you do it your customers buy into the Reason Why you do it in the first place.
I certainly find that this is true in my business. When I speak at events people often come up to me and say that they are joining my programme because they share my values and like my message. Now, of course they can also see that their business will benefit from what I have to teach them about how to sell in a way that feels comfortable. But what seems to resonate with people before I even get to that part is who I am and what I stand for.
I talk about authenticity and integrity as my highest values. And I also talk about my “Big Why” which for me is about self-actualisation through the journey of self-employment. Now, I get that self-actualisation is a bit of a high falutin’ term to use. But what I mean by that is that I believe that my purpose in life is to learn and grow. And I believe that the journey of being in business for ourselves is one of the greatest journeys of personal and spiritual growth we can take.
Low self-worth? Lack of confidence? Fear of public speaking? Fear of sales? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Funny about money? A little voice (or maybe quite a loud one!) telling you that you are not good enough, young enough, old enough, attractive enough, educated enough to follow what your heart is calling you to do?
In business if we are to succeed then we also have to be willing to take the journey of overcoming all of these internal obstacles – and I believe it’s impossible to really succeed in business without growing immeasurably as a person. I want this growth for myself of course – but I also want it for all of my clients. Which is why I want their businesses to succeed (whatever success might mean to them).
And because I’m clear about my ‘Big Why’ it gives me a point to return to. Something to motivate me on the days when things get tough or that little voice shouts a bit too loudly.
So knowing your Big Why not only motivates your clients to want to work with you – because they like who you are and what you stand for. But it also helps to motivate you when the going gets tough, in a way that focusing just on financial rewards or short term gain doesn’t.
So what is your Big Why?
If you’re not clear on your Big Why here are some questions to get you started.
What is the difference you want to make in the world?
What would you do if already had millions in the bank?
What is the biggest change you’d like to see on the planet?
What legacy would you like to leave for future generations?
Is there something you’ve experienced that you want to make sure others don’t have to go through?
What do you believe is the purpose of life, or your purpose on the planet?
If you could use just one word to summarise who you are and what you stand for what would it be? This might be freedom, love, peace, security, joy, growth, learning.