Let me ask you a serious question…Why are you in business?
Is it to have the freedom to work for yourself? To spend more time on your creative art? To not limit your income based on the rules of the corporate world?
Sure, these are all great benefits of being a creative entrepreneur. I love rocking my power yoga pants all day, every day.
But when you dig a bit further, why are you in business? Why are you doing the specific work that you’re doing?
Why did you choose to help others in the way that you do?
Now, if you’re feeling put on the spot, don’t sweat! That’s exactly why we are having this conversation. It took me years to fully understand why knowing your why is vital for your business success.
When you root your business in purpose and make every piece lead back to your why, you and your business will be totally transformed. These are three reasons why you can’t afford to gloss over the why in your business. And a few tips on getting started today!
Thinking back to English class over the years, we were always taught not to start sentences with “I think” or “I believe.” But this is exactly a time where you want to break that rule.
Your why is a statement of believe about the world. It’s the reason you feel fulfilled doing a good job. It’s why you chose to do the specific type of work that you do over another. Your why is the compass for how you conduct yourself and operate in the world.
For me, I believe that women have the power to start a chain reaction of empowered women empowering others and build a community of support throughout all of womankind.
I also believe that as visionary creative entrepreneurs, we have a responsibility to build our businesses as vehicles for change to do exactly that.
The first statement is my personal why and reveals what I believe about the world and womankind. The second statement is my business why and how I use my business specifically to serve my personal why.
Everything I do in my business leads back to my personal why. Every blog post, email, Facebook live, course, or coaching package is created with the intention of showing visionary creative entrepreneurs to use your business to ignite change in the world (and ultimately create more community amongst ourselves).
When I focused everything back to why, I stopped writing blog posts solely for the hopes of gaining traffic. I ditched creating courses based on popular content and praying they would sell. I even put the focus on profitability on the backburner.
Instead, I know the work I’m doing and the content I’m creating is serving a greater purpose and will make an impact. Building a business rooted in why has given me more certainty about myself and my work than any profitability strategy ever has.
Why = Purpose
Knowing your why means having a sense of purpose.
For example, Lily is a health coach who believes that prioritizing your health is the key to building multigenerational families. It makes sense, the longer life you live, the more milestones you get to enjoy with your children, grandchildren, etc.
When it comes to her business, Lily believes that small food swaps is the key to making long-term, impactful change for your health.
Her business why is nested within her personal why. And even more so, she has created a purposeful business. For every client she helps, she is serving her personal why and working towards helping her clients attend their daughter’s wedding, see their grandchildren graduate, and hold their great-grandchildren as part of a multigenerational family.
Sure, Lily might have started her business to say eff-you to The Man and ditch corporate life.
But by structuring her health coaching business in why, she isn’t even working for herself anymore. Even better, she’s working for something greater than herself and serving a greater purpose in life. Far better than any paycheck from a corporate job you hate.
Additionally, she has the unique opportunity to invite her audience to be apart of this mission to see families span generations because of the power of small health swaps. And she will naturally attract the type of people who value family and life in the way that she does.
Purpose makes you a part of something greater.
Why Cultivates Community
When you use your why throughout your branding, you start to attract people with the same belief system (just like Lily in the above example).
In this inspiring presentation by Simon Sinek, he says that “people put Harley Davidson logos on their body to say something about who they are. Ain’t no Procter & Gambles tattooed on anybody’s arm.”
More importantly, “people put that tattoo not to tell you that they own a motorcycle they put that tattoo there to tell you something about themselves.”
Harley Davidson, like Apple, Tesla, Patagonia, Rising Tide and other purpose driven brands represent a value and belief system. Not just a product, service, or even a promised end result.
They are all working towards something greater than themselves. Thus, they inherently attract followers, customers, and clients who believe in their whys and even further the cause themselves.
Community is built on belief, values, and trust. And as Simon mentions, when you surround yourself with a group of people who share the same beliefs, you trust each other.
Purpose cultivates community.
Why Focuses on Fulfillment
Building a purpose driven brand it the key to feeling fulfilled by your work. And I firmly believe that our personal fulfillment is the ultimate currency in life.
When you work towards something greater than yourself and help others, you are truly changing the world.
You can be happy because you reached a new follower goal on Instagram. You can be proud that you reached your income goal for your latest launch.
But fulfillment is different than happiness.
Fulfillment comes from connection. Specifically, when you help someone else.
By rooting your business in your why, you are furthering your cause and changing the lives of your clients and customers. You’re making people live longer with their health changes, preserving their most cherished moments in time, showing people how to put their dreams into words and change the lives of others.
You are helping people live richer, fuller lives. And that feeling is only found when do you something good for someone else. Let’s build our businesses as vehicles for change and live our lives rich in fulfillment.