What's Your Why?
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
It's the crucial first step to figuring out the path to achieving your goals, of designing a life you love, and of finding the grit and courage to do the hard things to create it.
For me, giving women the ability to be seen and heard, to give them belief in the value of who they are, their message, and their ability to impact others. To not have to ask for permission to be successful.
To be massively visible in order to create even greater impact, and then to collaborate with other women to create more abundance for females in their space.
For me, it is because I was told I was too much... too loud, fast, passionate, idealistic, generous, excited, trusting (and yes, bossy).
Hiding my passion and my brilliance was painful, and it served no one.
There are few things more rewarding to me than vision casting with a female entrepreneur what is possible and giving her the permission to be loud with her message! Or showing her how to be seen as an expert in her space and to see her light up when I help her find the path to create that reality (and even better, seeing her step into the confident, empowering, abundant woman she is meant to be once she believes it herself).
It's what I looked for in my role models! It's what helps me show up, even when I don't feel like it!
It's what I want for my daughter. To show her, not tell her, what is possible and what she's capable of.
Finding Your "Why" Using Ikigai
The Japanese term “ikigai” translates to, “a reason for being”. This reason is what serves a deep sense of purpose in your life and makes you feel abundant when aligned with it.
There are key differences between your purpose, which is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists, and your "why", which is a cause, explanation, or justification for your actions and intentions. Your "why" is what fuels your actions to fulfill your purpose!
To uncover your "why", I recommend identifying your purpose first. According to Ikigai, to figure out your purpose, you should make five lists:
What you love (your passions)
What the world needs (your mission)
What you can be paid for (your profession)
What you're good at (your vocation)
What you have experience in (your wisdom + talent)
Ikigai is the union of these five concepts, represented visually below:
Once you pinpoint your purpose, you can discover your "why" by journaling out your answers to the questions below:
Recall what you liked to do when you were a kid. What activities did you do that made you forget about the passage of time? Go deep to reconnect with your inner child.
If money wasn't a concern, who would you help? How would you help them? Why?
Imagine that you don’t need to spare a thought about your finances and there was no need for you to work. How would you spend your time?
What are the things you enjoy doing that always increase your energy versus depleting it?
What are you determined to change in the world?
What do you want to be remembered for after you're gone?
How to Integrate Your "Why" Into Your Business Strategy
Research shows that a compelling and meaningful "why" clarifies brand values and provides an impetus for aligned action. You can weave its magic into your business strategy with a few simple steps.
Define your "why" so comprehensively that anybody could translate it into action.
This isn't just a nice, fluffy quote to copy + paste on a graphic — your "why" should carry a truth so momentous that it catapults you out of bed each morning and transforms the way you show up in the world!
Place your "why" at the starting point, not at the finish line.
It should be the glue of your brand's vision. Whenever team communication fails or a process gets disrupted, your "why" will always be there to pack the reinforcement power necessary to make swift adjustments to reset the standards.
Use your "why" as a secure decision-making filter.
Not every decision you make will fare the perfect outcome but establishing an organizational system centered around the driver of every action performed in the business makes decision-making a much simpler process!
The "why" behind a company can establish an effective and authentic way to sell value rather than selling volume.
No more stressing about hitting specific numbers by the end of the month! If you've been in business for a while, you'll know that sales volume doesn't always equate to a positive impact. Instead, business progression can be measured by metrics that allow you to maintain focus on the big picture, rather than losing sight of it due to smaller detail distractions. An example value-oriented metric is quality data with stories, images, and testimonials from customers or clients. Outcome metrics can serve as a solid indicator of change and advancement by presenting the full story in all its glory!
Your "why" stimulates your action as a purpose-driven entrepreneur who's committed to turning their talents and passion into something meaningful and beneficial for others. When you’re following the calling that's been laid on your heart, obstacles like poor focus, procrastination, and lack of direction disappear and every day feels more and more exceptional!