You need to get this 1 thing sorted out first
Making the leap from employee to business owner, whether you call yourself an entrepreneur, solopreneur, coach or consultant is a big life change.
In How to follow your bliss with business success, I wrote about 3 elements for a successful business road map. I suggested trying out my Business Readiness Self- Assessment that looks at 50 attributes you need to have in place to be a successful business person, a must take for any professional who is planning a shift to check if their mindset is ready for it.
Let’s explore an important starting point which involves your WHY with a question that even professionals who’ve made the leap often find hard to answer. It’s a question for which I don’t get a clear answer when I ask consults about their planned business or when they ask me to tell them why they failed.
Do you know your True WHY for being in business?
We all have our own unique WHY and yes, making lots of money is always there but if you dig deeper, there is a more precious WHY, the one that is aligned with your core values.
This 1 thing is important because it’s going to determine how you handle all the other things that go into building a successful business. It’s that motivator that will keep you going when you realize that running a business requires work and commitment and not as easy as it felt from the outside. It is what will drive you when you feel like quitting.
So, dear reader, whether you are planning to go into business, or are already in business, what’s your WHY?
- You may have been a star employee, an acknowledged subject matter expertise in your domain and the clients loved you. You may have felt it was more profitable to fly solo and do all the creative things you wanted to but couldn’t because of the job constraints.
- You may have decided that the corporate world was suffocating you and wanted to switch tracks before ‘it was too late’.
- You may have been made redundant and knowing that in the state of the economy, job prospects were bleak and decided to try to make good of a secret dream you’d been nurturing because you had ‘nothing to lose and everything to gain’.
- You got tired of the corporate rat race and frog in the wells and ventured out looking for something better.
- Maybe you retired but weren’t ready for it and wanted to keep yourself busy or needed to continue working because your pension wasn’t enough or you needed more money.
- Maybe you took maternity leave to raise your children but when it was time to return to work, your age, skills or experience wasn’t in your favor or maybe you felt that you didn’t like the environment or wanted more family time.
You need to get clear on your Why because this is the basic raison d’etre for your quitting a cushy job with a guaranteed paycheck and lifestyle for something that will take time to germinate into a full-fledged source of income. You’ll most probably make losses in the first year or so and your income will vary from month to month. Would you be able to hold onto your dream?
Knowing your Why will help you make all the decisions that you need to make as a business owner
It’s the cornerstone when you are planning your vision and mission statement and formulating the core message of your business to use for your marketing.
It will help you to make all of the decisions you will be making as a business owner which you would document in your business plan – the road map in which you decide on how you’ll be spending your energy, time and money in your business.
Your WHY is what will help you stand out above the noise and determine your USP (which is another area that I will touch upon in a later post).
So take the time in the beginning to decide what that one, true thing is for you.
What if you can’t find your WHY?
Then I suggest you take time out and reflect. Here are a few prompts to help you figure it out. If you are already in business, these prompts will act as a good refresher to determine if you’ve outgrown your original WHY or if its time to rebrand to reflect the new You.
It doesn’t have to be a full notebook or thousands of words. It could be 1 word or 2-3 sentences. What is more important is that you are able to define it.
Do you already know your WHY? What’s challenging you in figuring out the answer to this question?
Do share in the comments box below.
PS: If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, you can check out my story here and see if you can pick up on my WHY.
PPS: Need more help in working out your Business Success RoadMap? Please click the preceding link and find out more.
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