So for my very first blog post I thought I’d discuss how important it is to know WHY you’re in business. Why you started the business you’re in.
Thinking about this topic always brings to mind a quote from Dr Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
Of course the story goes on to describe the ups and downs of life and how you have to push through challenges along the way in order to ultimately succeed. (Perhaps resilience in the face of difficulties can be another blog post…)
So, having started, grown and sold one business, a product-based business that I loved, I’ve decided to use my brains to steer myself in another direction – coaching other product creators and entrepreneurs to success. But why? I find myself asking.
I think all entrepreneurs and business owners have our own personal reasons for why we do what we do. And many times I don’t think we really take the time to work out what it is, deep down.
But, I really believe that if we can understand our deepest desires and hold our true purpose clearly in our mind, it helps us stay strong through the tough times and pushes us to go that extra mile to succeed.
My Grandma always used to say to her daughters & granddaughters, ‘A woman should always have her own tooth brush and bank account’.
(Did husbands and wives used to share toothbrushes in the “olden days”? Was that some kind of demonstration of pure love or togetherness, the sharing of oral germs? EWW!)
Anyhow, I digress! The essence of her statement was that women should be able to take care of themselves and not rely on a man as a financial plan. Not bad going for a woman of her generation (she was born pre WW1)!
I never really paid much thought to the significance of this idea. I mean, I was born at a time and place where girls were afforded the same education opportunities as boys, the same rights to vote and own property, (not quite the same opportunities in the paid workforce though), and so I fully expected to “grow up” to be financially independent and in charge of my own destiny.
Since becoming a Mum 10 years ago, things changed for me. As I discovered, workplaces today still don’t (in practice!) offer flexibility to parents.
But I was lucky. I had a truly inspiring example to follow in my own Mum, an amazingly intelligent and creative mother of 5. She has always been passionate about her own career and worked out a way to fit that in with being a mother. We kids grew up knowing that her work was important to her and it was just natural to us that both Mum and Dad were intelligent people who worked and made money from their skills and abilities.
Now, as a Mum of two boys and a girl, I am distinctly aware of the importance not just of financial security, to provide for them, but also of role models.
At not-quite-5 years old, my daughter watches absolutely everything I do with an eagle eye. She already says things about how she’ll be a Mummy one day and what work she will do. The idea that she will do both is so natural to her.
This is SUCH a potent reason WHY do I do what I do. And being able to articulate it is an incredibly powerful motivator!
So, deep down, what’s your own WHY? Do you know what it is? It’s not, “I want to earn $5,000 a month”, or “I want to travel the world”. Yes they are great perks that should be enjoyed along the way, but I doubt they’re your purpose that drives all that you do.