Sometimes work is just work, a way to pay the bills and create opportunities. But for many, especially business owners, work is a way to find purpose and fulfillment in your life. It’s not just something that you roll out of bed to do, but one of the ways that you create meaning and connect with your big picture ideals.
This message is mainly for people with an established business. Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, business owners and the like, I’m here with one of the key tools you can use to get more out of what you’re doing, and to truly transform your business.
Know Your “Why”
I was always a bit of a young hustler with an entrepreneurial spirit. In the almost two decades I’ve spent creating businesses, I’ve learned that the fulfillment tied to achievement is more of a momentary pleasure than sustained satisfaction. Achievement is great, and important, but for true satisfaction, there has to be something deeper driving you.
If you have taken the initiative to build and grow a business, chances are you have something big that is driving you intrinsically or extrinsically. It’s crucial to know what drives you. Owning a business, or multiple businesses, isn’t easy. It takes resourcefulness, grit, creativity, resilience, and so much more. But there’s a reason that you’re doing it. What is your why for creating this life for yourself?
Take a moment to reflect on this for yourself. There’s no wrong answer. Getting anchored into your “why” allows you to stay focused and gives you the kind of innate energy that you can’t just get from money and accolades. Knowing your why allows you to serve a deeper purpose, and let that drive you.
Reconnect With Your Why
Even people with a deep sense of purpose around their work tend to lose sight of it from time to time. People are losing their joy and fulfillment in what they do. They might be feeling stuck, but know that there’s more and are wanting to get to the deeper fruits of why they’re doing what they’re doing.
That’s why it’s so important to get clear on what your why is, and anchor yourself into it.
I’ve realized that people are motivated by two things, the pursuit of pleasure or avoidance of pain. Neither is better than the other, but if you break down your why’s for your business, they will fall into one of those categories.
It’s time to reflect again. What is your motive? Is your purpose to help people avoid plain or to create pleasure? The book Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia gives you some ideas of what your why might be.
- Do you want deep connection?
- Do you want complete independence?
- Do you want adventure?
- Do you want to create positive change?
Once you get clear on what your why is, you can start to align your business around it. Everything from your daily routine to the messaging of your brand will be amplified when you align these things around your why.
Say that adventure is your why. You might have a business that centers around adventure, or you create a lifestyle that allows for optimal adventure in your daily life or as often as possible. If connection is your why, you might create many opportunities to host gatherings, in-person events, or work with private clients. You may create a community around your work.
Your “why” or your purpose is the difference that you’re trying to make in the world. This feeds your big picture vision. Your vision is your view of how the world will look once your purpose has largely been realized. Vision and purpose go hand and hand and feed each other to help you make change and give you deep fulfillment.
So how do you stay focused on your why’s and your vision? People often get so focused on milestones that they start to lose track of their purpose. This naturally happens from time to time, especially if you’re in a rut or are really trying to reach certain goals. But breaking out of these kinds of ruts by reconnecting with your purpose can give you the energy to reach those goals, and feel even better about the outcomes.
Consider this your reminder or your push to go to the deep places, to question everything, are you reaching some sort of purpose beyond the transaction part of your business? What is your higher purpose as a business owner? Whenever you’re feeling a bit out of touch with your purpose, go back to these questions and reconnect with your why.