• Michelle Ireland

The Importance of Why

Running a business is hard.

Sometimes, it is maddeningly hard.

There are days, and even weeks, where it can be a slug to get through it all. I know...

Sometimes it’s a bit like walking in the dark. Slightly fearful, never knowing what is lurking around the next corner, and the occasional painful stubbed toe or rogue LEGO out of place.

And then there’s all the noise and the chaos that we're bombarded with, never mind our own blocks and doubts creeping in. It really can feel like you’re swimming upstream when you're running your own business.

So, what’s going to keep you in the game so that you can achieve your big, crazy, wonderfully fantastic dreams?

We'll dive into the answer to that question below, but let's begin with what it is not so we can get that out of the way at the start and be on the same page together.

When the going gets tough, as the ingenious entrepreneurs that we are, we look for the cause so we can get to the bottom of it and move on. We look for what's at fault so it can be fixed.

Most of the time we think the culprit is motivation, right? We're simply not motivated today, we tell ourselves. So, what do we [all] do? Pop on to YouTube and find a Tony Robbins video and then slide down the YouTube rabbit hole from there. Aside from being a massive time drain, it hasn't actually provided the result we were looking for.

A quick motivational video is great for an immediate and short-term boost (think espresso shots), but motivation is fleeting.

Motivation comes and it goes, almost entirely on its own. One day you’ve got it, the next day you don’t. There’s no rhyme and there’s very little reason for it, and an Oprah video is only going to get you so far.

So if the issue isn't a lack of motivation and the best motivational speech isn't going to get us back on our A-Game, what is the solution?

Fortunately, there is some good news here. Rather than relying on something that is entirely out of our control, i.e., motivation, the solution is something that we have full control over. It doesn't rely on the whims of anything fleeting and is incredibly powerful and sustainable. Bonus!

I can't offer a quick fix here or simple 1, 2, 3 steps as the solution is vastly different and personal for everyone. However, with a bit of reflection and deep work, you can get back to being your amazing self and have a go-to solution for all the times when things are h a r d.

Connecting to your purpose, your why, is the solution.

When motivation has vanished into thin air and running your business is like swimming upstream, it's time to connect to why you're doing all of this in the first place.

But first, let's have a look at why having a strong why is so important, shall we?

Connecting to your why, or re-connecting, is one of the very first things that I do when I work with all my clients. And the reason for that is because of just how important it is to be crystal clear with why you’re doing what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for.

Having a purpose larger than yourself, and larger than the immediate result that you’re seeking, is going to keep you focused, determined, and resilient when things get really hard.

  • The kind of hard when you wake up in the morning and you’re tired and just don’t feel like it that day.

  • The hard where you're battling your own demons and are feeling blocked or are freezing.

  • Hard like when you're questioning your purpose.

That kind of hard.

Connecting to your why is like an IV drip of caffeine and it is exactly what is going to get you through the truly tough times.

Having a purpose larger than yourself is going to give you that sustainable drive to keep working toward your goal.

To help you to do the deep work in connecting to your why, I've created journal pages for you. Give yourself the space and time to spend with the questions and write anything additional that comes up for you.

Remember, doing this work is going to help you keep moving the needle forward even when it's hard, so this needs to be not just for you and anyone that is currently in your sphere, but for everyone that ever will be.

It's just that important.

Some things to keep in mind when going through the questions/prompts on the journal page:

  • Your mission needs to be bigger than you. Start with whatever comes to mind first and then dig deeper and deeper until you feel lit up and bubbly inside, and possibly even a bit scared of how big it is. If you're feeling resistance on this, put it aside for now and allow yourself to dream. (Come back to the resistance next and do the work around that.)

  • Identify the people in your life that are relying on you to be your best. These are family, friends, community members, clients/customers, and anyone else that your business touches or will touch. Then go a bit further out and look at the ripple affect of you doing your work in the world. Then go our further.

The next time you’re struggling to get through a few days or a few weeks, you can go back to this journal page and reconnect with the words and the emotions that those words evoke.

Your Personal Power-Up: Create a routine of checking in with your why on a regular basis. This routine reconnection will be massive for you. I do this every Sunday evening during my planning time. It's wonderful to feel that glow at the start of each week and it's great to see my why evolve and grow over time.

Let me know how the journal pages worked out for you and what came up for you. Leave a comment or connect with me online.

With grace, grit, and gumption,

Michelle


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© 2020 by Michelle Ireland