Small Business Talk

The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster

What is Your Why?

Show Notes

Most of you will have read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Your Why” book and if you haven’t you will certainly have heard someone paraphrase it.

I was on a group call last week and we were all being asked “Why is your why?” Oh, that’s easy, we all thought. You know, the casual answers

  • Financial freedom
  • Security for my family
  • Availability to choose lifestyle/location
  • Work with who you want to

Now the facilitator let a few people answer before stopping the group.

“Now that’s nice but what is your real why?”

The answers went on.

  • Make an impact
  • Help the community

The facilitator stopped us again and said the same thing.

“No, that’s nice but what is your REAL why?

Now, it became uncomfortable, now it was you couldn’t just say the first thing that popped into your head, the surface level answers.

One brave soul said.

“Because I struggled with eating disorders for most of my life and was overlooked because I didn’t fit into the exact box….  I want to prevent other women for experiencing the same thing”

Now, we are getting somewhere, he said.

He probed a bit more and the lady went a little deeper and was in tears telling her story.

Now that is heart felt we could all connect with this lady on some level and have empathy, compassion and feel what she was going through.

If we were her ideal customer or knew of someone who has this problem we would have been sending them her way immediately. The connection was made and we know that she will understand.

That is far more powerful than just saying “I help women overcome eating disorders”.

Connection

You can see how connection can be made so quickly. The challenge of course is to make that connection without having to relive that story every time.

Have you ever listened to someone’s story and gone “yep, I get it”,  I understand, I connect. But after the 20 or 30th time, you hear it you are now immune and are saying just get on with it and get to the good stuff.

Your Story – Your Why

Your story and why will change over time too. What if you don’t have the earth moving story, the car crash, the almost went broke, the marriage break up etc. What if you are just a regular person helping your customers and making a living?

We all have a story, a why and sometimes, it takes someone from the outside to help you identify what that is.

What is Your Why?

Start by writing down these surface levels answers, then ask why again, then keep asking why until your head hurts and there are no more answers. Put it away for a week and then come back to it.

Ask yourself but why again.

This can be really hard and you might find it easier to enlist a friend or trusted business colleague to help.

Accidental Business Owner

That’s me.

I don’t have that tragic story, that earth shattering moment, that fully planned out business journey.

In fact, I often think I am an accidental business owner.

My first why was because I didn’t want to go back to work when my son was only 12 months old. We have this new little human to look after and I wanted to be the one that was his primary care giver so I started a business.

Then we had a second child and there was no way I was going to leave them, The business was drawing on all my skills from my working life to the point and I was determined to build it so that my family had financial choices.

Your Why Will Change Overtime

My why changed as the children got older and your why will change too. The children got more expensive so to keep these financial choices, I worked more. Now the children have grown and are financial independent (well, almost) so my why along the way has changed too.

On that group call, I spoke about it was my turn to say my why. I felt like that dear in the spotlight.

What is my new why, what makes me exciting, why after 20 years am I still running this ever changing business, upskilling and so on.

I started with
Because I want to make an impact on my community. I am an employer and by giving my staff and contractors a job/work. I am supporting them and their families.

“Yeah, that’s nice but why”

And the conversation went on and I got the yeah, that’s nice several more times.

So, what is my real why?

You have to keep digging and I have thought about this a lot over this last week and it goes back to the last I said in that call.

Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. I do want I do because I am sick and tired of seeing businesses spending too much money on marketing/shiny object and hit and miss marketing and getting no return for their money. I am tired off business struggling because they are not attracting the right customers to help them thrive which means that they are working way too many hours and then at the end of the week/month not having enough money to pay themselves a wage.

And then I got.

Why?

“Because I have been there”

Now you are getting somewhere.

So my why is,
Helping business owners avoid the mistakes I have made by not niching down enough and trying to talk to everyone. So that they can thrive and have the business that provides them with all the things they wanted in the first place – Freedom, finances and time.

Yes, it’s a work in progress but a lot more powerful than I help business owners attract their dream customers.

Connecting or Oversharing

Yes, it definitely works.

Think about Apple Verse IBM

Who was the cult following, what do you know about Steve Jobs, what do you know about the apple experience.

Do you know who founded IBM who was Apple’s biggest competitor in the beginning?

Charles Ranlett Flint in 1911

Can you believe that? No, I didn’t know either I had to look it up.

Samsung was founded in 1938 as a grocery store in Korea.

We don’t know these facts because the stories are not told, the emotion is not created.

Yes, they are household names and super successful businesses but they rely on volume not following.

When it comes to oversharing, that will depend on your product or service, your audience and your personality. Share what you are comfortable with and see the reaction. Tweak, measure, test and change as needed. Less is definitely better than more. Start slowly and then add more as you go along.

Definitely Your Why and Make the Connection

By defining and articulating your why, you will connect with your audience and create that trust you need for long term relationships.

Be aware that you will also repel people too and that is a good thing because they are not your people. You can’t please all the people all the time and that is where a lot of business owners go wrong. They try to please everyone and start with world domination not end up there after all the foundations are made.

Ever few people start at the top and if they do, they often haven’t obtained the skills to stay there.

Talk to your people your way and you will build that tribe and have one of the foundations to building a successful business.

Links

What is Your Why?

Listen to Small Business Talk Episode 115 for the full episode.

Next week, we are talking about another mistake we can make in our businesses so same time, the same place, look forward to you checking out Small Business Talk Podcast again next week.

What is Your Why?

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