So many entrepreneurs complicate their "why" with their "what," which slows their growth and makes it easy to feel undeserving of their success.
You can ask entrepreneurs about why they do the work they do and they usually say this carefully curated phrase “I help” sentence that sounds something like this: “So that I can help [insert audience] create [insert results].”
It stops there and even though this sounds good at first, you’re still left waiting for the answer to the question you asked.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the “I want to empower women to build purpose-filled businesses” because it is a noble vision! But this is not their "why." At best, it’s their “who,” and, at worst, it’s their “what.”
Combining your sense of purpose to situations creates an endless cycle of disappointment
Like I said earlier, too many entrepreneurs confuse their “why” with their “what.” This is a problem because you’re creating an endless cycle in which you’re only worthy if you’ve successfully helped a certain group of people get certain results.
While helping a set amount of people and exceeding your KPIs are wonderful things but don’t let this be the primary way that you’re measuring why you do what you do.
What happens if you launch a product, and it doesn’t do well? If you didn’t grow your business as expected this year? Or you try to help someone with the best of intentions, but you don’t succeed? Does that mean that you’ve failed? Your ego might tell you that you did, and if you don’t have a clear enough "why" and are confusing it with the external “what” and “who,” you might just believe it.
It’s important to regularly address your “why” and ask yourself whether you’re helping the people from your “I help” statement because you can and want to or because you have a sense of obligation that you “have” to.
So, the question remains: Why are you so motivated to help these people that you call your audience? Why do you wake up every morning to do this work?
Your "why" is deeper than you think
Most people don’t know that your “why” is a deep feeling that lives inside you. Your "why" doesn’t need to be measured, it’s all about how you want to feel each day. You will only truly be successful when you recognize what drives you or else you’ll stay stuck in a cycle of looking for more things, money, and recognition to fill in the gaps.
So, how do you create a serious “why” that will take your brand to the next level?
Separate your “what” from your “why.” If you haven’t already, get very clear on what you do, who you serve, and how you help your audience. Your “what” is your vision and contribution to the world. It shows up as your offers, services, and products and in the transformation, you deliver to your ideal audience.
Now, what’s your real “why.” Ask the deeper question: Why do I do this separate from how much money it makes, the validation I get, or the people I help? Imagine you’re deserted. If there were no Instagram, no email marketing, no one to prove yourself too — why would you do what you do? Your “why” is how you want to feel daily.
What does living your “why” look like. Now that you’ve identified your “why,” separate from anyone or anything else, imagine living it every day in your business. What does this look like, how do you feel, and what do you do differently? You’ll notice that given this new perspective, you may need to make some changes to change up your brand and feel aligned with your next steps.
In short, your “why” is your commitment to the emotional state you want to be in as you execute on your “what” for no other reason than that it brings you joy, fulfillment, contribution, or whatever else it is that you want to invite more of into your life.
When you learn to live into your “why” daily, independent of your “what," you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to move into that “what," and as a result, you will inevitably help others and hit your goals anyway.
The best part? When you approach your work from this mindset, no one but you will get to determine the analytics of your success.
“What” you do is only a fraction of why you do it. When you stay connected to your deeper "why" no matter what’s going on around you, there are no limits to the influence and impact you can create in people’s lives.