Updated: Sep 17, 2020
By James A. Goins CEO SignalHarmony LLC
If you can't define the "why" you are in business or "why" you must do your 'work' then it is seriously imperative you settle this before you put in another hour.
Everyone has heard how you must seek to define who you are and what you do. Less seldom do you seriously settle in on the 'why'. Why this business? Why am I interested in this service niche? Why did I create this product? On and on it goes. I hope none of the responses to the immediate questions was money. The money will come when you can answer the 'why' clearly and concisely. Best of all, you don't need an MBA to answer this question.
The buzz word of the decade in business seems to be the word: passion. I get it. But you're not allowed to answer your 'why position' with the 'passion' word. Those are the rules moving forward. It is used too much these days in an effort to either sound smart or hip or be beyond reproach by those too weak to challenge someone on what they 'really mean' when they use it. If you can't define what your 'passion' is beyond the word. You're fooling yourself...badly. Clear?
So once you narrow in and focus on the reason behind it all you'll have your answer. Let me just tell you a few things to expect as you embark on this simple, mind, and life-altering task.
1. You're going to get emotional. You'll find that at the core of all you do is a driving force that is determined to accomplish something for the greater good; not just yours but everyone you thought about when you designed your service or product or change idea. Sure, okay, you'll reap financial rewards but not until you realize what's behind all of it. Think in terms of the long game. Think 100 years out with great-great grandkids reaping the benefits of your 'why' position. (And you thought you were just making a widget. Ha!)
2. You're going to get scared. Not in a bad way but in the, "Oh my God, this is bigger than me!" kinda way. That's good. That means you have visualized the 'why' and it requires massive courage and help from others to see it succeed. The best part is once you identify it, you will be successful.
3. You'll be forced to be authentic by the very nature of your revelation. Once you obtain clarity, you become a believer. This to me is the most powerful result of all. Once you understand the true ramifications and nature of your business, product, or service based on its 'why' position you have converted your best client for life...you! Everything that comes from your mouth in relation to your company, product, or service will now come from the heart. You'll be insightful, truthful, and authentic!
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." You, say? I honestly hope you're not saying that. Because if you are, chances are good you haven't clarified the true reason behind what you're doing in your work or business life. You haven't tackled the 'why' position yet. Unless and until you do the job you're working won't be as dynamic and rewarding as it could be. The business you think you're running, will in actuality, still be running you and the long-term goals you've set (or not set) in motion will not be any closer, clearer, or concise than they are at this very moment.
Old wine in new bottles? Damn right! I think King Soloman said it best: “The thing that has been, it is that which will be; and that which is done is that which will be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." Sometimes we don't need new truths we just need to rediscover the old ones and put them to work.
I've just told you something you've either heard before or passed over and failed to implement. I've also written something that a man 3000 years ago new plainly. No more excuses. Let's go!