Malala Yousafzai has been in the news recently as the youngest person nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was just an 11-year girl in Pakistan when she began her crusade for girls’ education. At 15 she was shot in the head by the Taliban, but she survived and is thriving. She’s written a book and speaks out about education for girls. She put her life in danger by expressing her feelings. So why did she do it? Because she wants girls to get an equal education to boys. Simple.
So have you thought about your ‘why’ recently — or ever? Why did you start your business? Why are you still in business today? What was the problem you’re trying to solve? Your why can change … mine certainly has over the years. Of course, we all want to make money in our businesses, but that’s not our why — we could make money doing other things.
When I started my business in 1996, my son was eight, my daughter was three. My son had an illness called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. When I interviewed for the Executive Assistant job two years prior, I was upfront about my son’s illness and the fact that he would be violently sick for five days at a time about every two or three months which would cause me to miss work. They were fine with that, we’d work around it…until two years later when I got “lectured” about my absences. I wasn’t getting paid sick days, but my time away was now a problem.
I had a choice to make — stay where I was and keep “getting in trouble” or leave… Shortly after that meeting, I gave my notice and started my entrepreneurial journey. In 1996, my why was my kids.
Today, my why includes several things. I enjoy having some freedom and flexibility in my schedule. I have the non-profit that does equine assisted mentoring, and the flexibility I have allows me to schedule riding lessons in the middle of the day.
My other why is my clients. I absolutely love being a part of their lives and helping them grow their businesses. I love the variety of work we do and the types of businesses we work with. While we do work with mostly business coaches, there are a few other types of clients in there, too. I actually got contacted from a fishing tackle company in New Zealand this week that needs help with their online marketing.
So, think about it. What was your why when you started? What is your why now? Knowing your why helps guide you through the strategies for your business growth. It keeps you focused so you take notice when things that are in alignment with your why come your way, you can say yes to them. If you haven’t evaluated your why recently, do it now, and be sure to share with me below.