OK: Why am I running this business again?
So just think about that for a second. Let’s say you’re in the shower. You know that you’re about to head off to do some work – perhaps you already have done some today, you certainly won’t be alone in that.
But why? Why on earth are you shunning what 95% of other human adults do? They knuckle down and do what they’re told. Why are you going it alone?
The answers to this are always really personal. I speak with entrepreneurs all the time and their answers range from the obvious “for the money” through “because I want to be the Branson of bog rolls” to “I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” For most, though, anecdotally as well as according to most surveys over the years, it’s because they want to be their own boss – you just don’t want anyone telling you what to do, do you?!
So this is good, it’s interesting, it’s progress. But it’s not good enough. It needs specificity and it needs something that others can relate to – because those others are your next customer, your next member of staff or your next investor.
They want to personally back something – through their money or their time – because it sounds cool at parties to be using your Product, working for it or investing in it. Picture yourself being asked “What you do?” at a party and being able to frame your business’ output as something pretty extraordinary.
It’s that which will get people sitting up and paying attention.
So while you’re just scrubbing that bit down there, really think about how the “why” comes across in your organisation. 9 times out of 10 it will be functional. More of a “what” than a “why”. But get that out of the way – it is not the thing that is going to get anyone energised about your efforts.
It means that you’re being less effective than you could be. You’re wasting your own and others’ resources when you (and they) could be on the beach.
Have a significant think about this right now. Why on earth ARE you doing this? If you’re honest – and sometimes this can get a little emotional – it’s probably more altruistic that you usually admit. You think that you genuinely can make a little “dent” in the world, as Steve Jobs said, do something noteworthy and improve the world around you.
That’s good. I love it when growers start to acknowledge their real, genuine ambitions for their product or service and their world. Hold onto that thought, that ‘why’, today and see if articulating it makes a difference to any of the myriad of jobs that you’ll get through during the next working day.
Good luck today. Now get growing.