Why do you do what you do? Of all the millions of different things that you could have done in this world, why did you pick the thing that you currently do? What is your why? Is that why strong enough to keep you pushing forwards, day in and day out? And does that even matter?
In the marketing world there’s a lot of talk about your ‘why’. People pin a lot of importance on your why. To some extent, it is absolutely important. Your why has very little to do with what you actually do. It may motivate you to do that thing. But if you really get into it, your why doesn’t really correlate to what you do.
So why is it considered so important? The reason, I feel at least, your why is important is because it is what you will use to remind yourself to keep going.
What is your why? This is mine
My ‘why’ is to do with my children, specifically, my youngest son. My youngest son has some issues that mean he cannot go to a mainstream school. Where I live there are no places in schools that are set up for children with his needs. As a result, I have to homeschool him. So I have to be at home for him. That’s part of it.
Another part of my ‘why’ is that in the beginning of 2020 I had a stroke. So I now have physical impairments that mean I am not really suited to working in an external environment. I have weakness on my right side and I also have days where I just can’t function. I can’t think. I can’t react, I can’t do anything, my brain just doesn’t work on those days.
That adds an element of unpredictability, so I need to be able to adapt to that. I need to be able to put stuff down and pick it up again a couple of days later. Working for somebody else would prohibit me from being able to do that and I would end up making myself extremely ill. I would also be a liability to that employer. In my eyes, at least.
Understanding the question, what is your why, creates necessity
My ‘why’ creates a hell of a lot of necessity. It creates a need, a need to be able to do something for myself. A need to be able to do something that I can fit around homeschooling my son and a need to be able to do something that won’t fall apart if I have to suddenly take a day or two off.
Before I had my stroke, I ran a web development company and that was quite successful. But the success of that company relied heavily on my ability to work every day, to work hard day in and day out, without breaks, and without fail.
That took its toll on me and it is something that I would be unable to keep up with, so I don’t do that anymore.
My web development company specialised in building bespoke systems, both internal and external, for medium to large businesses. As I previously mentioned, it was quite successful. But, it was also very intense. There were endless meetings because I had to coordinate with corporate teams. There were late nights and early mornings, and there were lots of days of working without a break, and so on.
Your answer to, what is your why, will change and evolve over time
In that world, the IT world in general, the better you perform, the harder the world around you pushes you. I performed pretty damn well, so I was pushed pretty damn hard. Everything is measured by the millisecond in that world and it is exhausting.
When I ran that company, my ‘why’ was because I needed to do something that enabled me to earn enough money to ensure that my partner did not have to work and we could live comfortably, financially speaking, and not have to worry about the day-to-day emergencies and so on.
My ‘why’ then was very different to my ‘why’ now but, it was no less important It was no less necessary, and It was no less motivating.
What is your why?
Think about it, really think about it. I don’t want to hear, because I really want to help people, man. Because nobody believes that shit. Not really that is surface level crap. Why do you do what you do?
You could have done a million other things so far easier, you could have done a million of the things that pay better, and you could have done a million other things that are, quite frankly, nicer to do. But, you chose this. So why? Every single day you get up and you do your thing. Why?
Answer those questions. It is something that is, from my perspective at least, quite important.
When you are flagging, when you are struggling, or when you are considering throwing in the towel, you can then remind yourself of those questions and refind your why.
That should, in theory, help you to recognise that you need to keep going. There’s lots of talk in the business world about how It’s okay if you fuck up, it’s okay if things go wrong and so on, and to a point that’s absolutely true. However, you cannot let yourself off the hook.
When things aren’t going well, and you wanting to give up is ‘things’ not going well, you need to figure out why they’re not going well and what you can do better.
Identifying your ‘why’ will really help with that process. It will really help you to keep going, it will really help you to make a difference to your life. So figure out your ‘why’.
Do it now while you’re comfortable enough to think straight so that when you need to do it in a panic, when you need to do it because you’re stressed and overwhelmed, you have a head start.
As with most things in life, figuring out your why requires an element of self awareness
Luckily for you, increasing your level of self awareness is something I have already written about. You can find that piece here https://mybizacademy.co.uk/be-more-self-aware-its-not-hard
If you are struggling to identify your why and are looking to get some help with then shoot me a message over on my company website https://mikethebizguy.co.uk/Contact