The spark needed for success in your business and personal life: Ask WHY!
Is your business stopping short of your desired goals? Or perhaps your business is going gangbusters but you are not getting enjoyment from it. Are your personal relationships struggling? Do you feel lost, stressed or depressed? If you answered yes to any of these queries then perhaps you have not considered this very important question.
WHY are you in business? This short question will ultimately determine the success of your business and your personal life.
Most of us will have heard of the importance of knowing the WHY or purpose of our company, yet it amazes me that when we speak to founders very few can clearly articulate this. The WHY is vitally critical in recruiting team members, investors and customers. If you don’t have a WHY that is articulate, inspiring and genuinely needed in the world, then you need to make this a high priority.
Unfortunately, this is not enough. To be truly successful you need to work on something else that is of great importance, even before you work out the WHY of your business. You need to work out the WHY of your life. How do you want to live your life and what you would like to achieve? Determine this and the role that the business will play in helping you achieve this personal goal.
There are so many different reasons that businesses fail. One of the biggest reasons that we see is that there is a conflict between a founder’s desire to achieve in their business and with their personal WHY.
This is why one of the first questions in our financial framework session is: What do you want from your business? Ultimately one of the most important reasons to be in business is to enhance your personal life. We ask a series of probing questions to get the real answer. It is important to consider what role you will be playing in the business, how much income you need from the business, how much time you want to spend working on the business and how much flexibility you want.
Our success is measured by how quickly you reach your personal WHY
There are many entrepreneurs who will say that they enjoyed life a lot more when they had a smaller business and the flexibility to do what they wanted to do. It is important to consider that as our businesses grow, our personal WHY should grow to match.
This personal WHY can change over time as well. Mine has become a lot clearer over the last year. I’m now more in touch with a great desire to have an impact philanthropically. I have realised that a great avenue to achieve this is to build a large company and design an exit that will net me the financial resources and time to make an ideal and significant impact. I am always thinking about leverage. Rather than just financial resources, I want to build a company that provides me with influence. I truly believe that entrepreneurs have the greatest ability to make the world a better place. By building a company that helps entrepreneurs build their business and achieve their vision, we are creating an army of amazing, talented, financially capable people who we can call upon to help in different philanthropic activities. So be warned if you become a member of WE LOVE NUMBERS, I may be reaching out to you for help at some point in the future!
This “greater purpose” helps me get through the many downs associated with being an entrepreneur but more importantly it keeps me focused on achieving our goals.
I would encourage you to go through this checklist of questions, to help you work out your WHY:
- What do you enjoy spending your time doing?
- What are your biggest strengths?
- Where do you add the greatest value?
- When do you feel most successful?
- What do you believe in or stand for? What are your core values?
- How do you want to be remembered? How will you measure your life?
- How much income do you need to meet your living needs?
- How large an asset base do you need to feel financially secure?
- How many hours would you like to spend a week working?
- Do you have philanthropic interests?
Please take the time to do this and start making the necessary changes required to make your personal and business interests align. Don’t let your business own you, remember you own it.
Article written by Finn Kelly