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The most important question before launching your business

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What's your WHY for going into business?



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.


Business Mindset Assessment


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.

Search for your business WHY


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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24 Responses to “The most important question before launching your business”

  1. My why started as a hobby but soon I saw a deeper purpose. Many people were surprised that I started a business late in life, in my retirement and one that required new skills and physical demands. It soon became clear to me that indirectly I was letting others know it is never too late to start again. That became my first why. Second was the pleasure I receive expressing a creativity I did not know I had. Third was giving my artistic daughter an outlet for her talents. And lastly and now perhaps most importantly is, it keeps me young.

    Our why can change from inception and evolve over time. Mine has.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Having a strong WHY is the compass that keeps us going in a business, Roslyn, especially in the earlier stages and when we face the downs. You are so lucky to have 3 solid WHYs and each one of them is so vital to making your business unique!

  2. Latrelle says:

    Yes! So true ~ If you don’t have your “Why” sorted out, then the crazy “Why did I think this was a good idea?” times will be more purpose driven.

    Loved this – Thanks!

  3. Reba Linker says:

    Yes! The WHY is all-important, in business and in life. Believe it or not, I was writing on this topic yesterday – it’ll be in my new book. I love your take on the topic! xo

  4. Vatsala, I agree, my “why” is a really good thing to know. But it doesn’t hold up if it stands alone. I also need to know “who” I’m here to serve, and “what” her problem is that I can help solve.

    Knowing all three — now there’s a strong foundation!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You are right, Sue, but Karmic Ally Coaching works with professionals who are considering venturing into business as well as more experienced business professionals. All 3 are covered in detail both in my ebook as well as in my coaching program Business Success Roadmap for the more advanced business person. This post focused on 1 important area where I see a lot of professionals have a problem articulating their WHY. Look out for the other posts in the series! 🙂

  5. Natasha Botkin says:

    I have been divinely guided to begin this journey. Some, I understand and some is still unfolding. Heaven knows it’s a one incredible lesson. Xoxo

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That it is, Natasha. When the Divine encourages us to start the journey, then the Divine also guides us to create a unique business.

  6. Tamuria says:

    I really agree about the importance of knowing your ‘why’ when starting a business, Vatsala. It was the one thing that kept me going when things didn’t go as planned with my arts and crafts school for kids. When things became tough I was able to remind myself of why I started the business and what I wanted to achieve, and that kept me on track, helped the business grow and led to the amazing job I have now as art theapist to a wonderful group of students. I think it’s a question you have to continually ask yourself as new opportunities arise and your ambitions can change.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      So true, Tamuria. You are a living example of how staying focused on the WHY gets us through the choppy waters of a business that we love until we get back into the stream and flow of manifesting our goals and dreams for our business. Thanks for sharing your experience with the readers.

  7. My WHY has always been the same, although it has been tweaked and honed as I have gained experience though my life. I know I am a “messenger of possibility” and I see that that plays out in all I do. Taking my personal life experiences and then sharing ideas and information with others, seems to have been a consistent theme in my life. Whether it is through writing or through supporting others to live healthy and vital lives, I see a golden thread that ties everything together in my WHY. I do know as we move through our biography cycles, our focus will change, as it is meant to. This idea of finding our WHY has become more popular since the work of Simon Sinek became known, as years ago many of us would start with our WHAT and HOW. It makes so much sense to start with WHY and the How seems to flow from there. Thanks for your thoughts and tips, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Our WHY in business or profession is always also tied to our WHY for our personal life and when we understand the connection, its easier to work out the best WHY which will ensure motivation to achieve our business and career goals while maintaining that much cherished work life balance. I love the way you’ve shown how the WHY changes at different stages of life, Beverley. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!

  8. Julia says:

    I love your take on this. Like you say the why is so important in keeping us focused and motivated. I left my regular teaching job to teach my own classes many years ago because I wanted more time to be able to focus on things outside work, too. As you mention it takes a while to build up to a stable income, but I have never looked back, and this is what gives me the time to write as well as to pot:)

    • Karmic Ally says:

      A strong WHY that keeps us motivated and focused on the end goal is important, Julia. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  9. Oh my, this is such an important exercise and one that is relevant to life in general, don’t you think? So many people just go with whatever fate happens to through their way, happy to sit in the passenger seat rather than shift over and become the driver in their own life journey. Ultimately, it’s about accountability and that can be scary, but it’s also empowering. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Marquita! Knowing our true WHY makes us accountable for our success or failure, as the case may be. I’d hate to be in the passenger seat when it comes to my Life. Better to make mistakes than never learn at all. 😉

  10. Teresa Salhi says:

    The first time a mentor asked me many years ago about my WHY – I surely looked like a deer in headlights. But from that point on I have made a point to be soul searching and soul connected. My WHY is also my compelling life and business vision. It ripples in my heart, brings a tear to my eye an lights me on fire with delight. Good stuff here!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love the deer in headlights analogy, Teresa. So apt! Answering this 1 question opens us up to our real goals and agenda and makes it easier to create a holistic vision for our lives and businesses and even careers!

  11. Jayashree says:

    Nice post Vatsala, I think I know my why, but keep to be motivated despite all odds.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Jayashree. Motivation comes from knowing your true WHY and that is what gets us through all the challenges we face when setting up a business. Thanks for visiting The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog!

  12. Joyce Hansen says:

    As kids, we probably drove adults crazy by continually asking why questions. Now, when we have to ask them of ourselves, some of us have to dig deeper, than others. For me, it’s about still being able to be an educator. I love sharing information. However, with each new vehicle for getting information out there, it’s a learning process for me. So I get to share and learn at the same time.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I do remember driving my parents crazy with my Why questions, Joyce, and the reward was an entire collection of Brittanica Encyclopedia! May your WHY to educate always guide you!

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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