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Finding Your “Why?”

At a young age, we constantly question things. Most everyone has experienced or heard the steady spew of “whys” from children as they discover the world and question why things are the way they are. We learn early on that there is a driving force behind every action and it’s important to understand. When it comes to your business, knowing your “why” will help you stay loyal to your dream and help others get on board as well.

A Driving Force

Why you start a business may be for various reasons: Personal satisfaction, independence, creative freedom, financial self-sufficiency, and so on. Yet at the core of all these reasons there is one thing in common: choice.

That liberation can come in many different forms from having the choice to make changes without waiting for approval from higher-ups on the corporate ladder to the choice to offer a service or product in a unique way. Or maybe you simply want to have the choice to work when you want to work to balance your career and life harmoniously.

What really drives you in your career? The true reason probably isn’t money, at least it shouldn’t be. There’s a reason why career counselors across the nation ask the age-old question: “What would you do if money were no object?” Money isn’t enough to be fulfilled with your career. At the end of the day, we all need purpose. There’s a reason why Maslow’s hierarchy has this need near the top of the pyramid. After we achieve the basic necessities of life, we crave the satisfaction of fulfilling our self-esteem needs of accomplishment, purpose, and reaching one’s full potential.

If a paycheck is just a means to an end, how do you know when you’ve reached it? Is it after a certain number of years? Is it after a certain financial milestone such as buying a house? The more material possessions you acquire the more that steady, safe paycheck becomes a crutch. You need to ask yourself, “Why am I really doing this?”

Take Action

Once you find an answer that speaks to your soul, the next question should be “Why am I waiting to do this?” It’s time to take action. “If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission” – Unknown.

So, how do you determine your why? Perhaps you have a hobby or interest that sparks your passion. You can take that passion and turn it into a business opportunity. Think creatively, from different angles. Is there a demand for something that you could supply? However, not every passion is a potential business, and that’s okay. Perhaps you love yoga and your friends are always saying how you’d make a great instructor. That’s great if you really enjoy the idea of teaching others, but if you simply like yoga because it’s your quiet escape, then there’s nothing wrong with keeping it all to yourself as what you intended: a hobby.

What if you don’t know your “why?” Do some research. Ask your close friends and family for honest feedback on your strengths. They may come up with skills that you never realized before and you’ll get a great confidence boost.

Another thing to ask yourself to find your “why” is what sorts of things people come to you for when they need help. Are you the first person a friend calls when they have a tech-savvy question? Do you frequently have family members have you proof their resumes? Maybe you’re the best at finding great deals or consulting on financial decisions for friends. Whatever it is, consider all the things you do for free and take a deep look at what you could turn into a thriving business. You owe it to yourself to get out there and start doing what you love. If it truly is your passion, getting your feet wet will only solidify your resolution to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur. And once your feet get wet, a business coach can help you refine the steps you need to take to dive head first.

Passion is contagious. Once you determine your “why” that’s the story you need to share with your customers. When you’re passionate it’s palpable to people and they’ll want to get a ticket on your happy train and support your dream. You deserve a career and life you love, so go ahead, and start living your why.