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Written by Ellie Keft

March 6, 2021

When someone tells you that you need to ‘find your why’, it can be really tricky to know where to start!! You know your why, right? Getting out of bed, making the bacon and putting food on the table for your family? Well in most cases, there’s much more to it than that, and understanding and articulating your ‘why’ will benefit your business in HUGE ways. Check out this article to start the process of ‘finding your why.’

Sometimes what you think is your ‘why’, isn’t really your ‘why’. Do you know your real ‘why’?

At first, you might assume that your ‘why’ is something like ‘making money’ or ‘achieving work-life balance’. Or, perhaps it’s a little more noble, at ‘serving great quality products to my customers’ or ‘providing a great accommodation experience’.

Having a bit of an idea of why you do what you do is nice, but unearthing, examining and articulating it fully is powerful. It’ll help you attract your ideal clients and customers, and it’ll help you to stay focussed and driven in align with where you’re going.

Now to ‘find your why’, Simon Sinek’s course is probably the pinnacle of resources. But if you don’t have a spare couple of hundred bucks lying around, or you’re only just starting to get a feel for this ‘why’ stuff, I’ve prepared some ‘starter’ questions and a little workbook for you to get started on the work (found at the end of the article).

Before you get started though, I’ve added a bit of context and background knowledge you’re going to want to know.

Have fun and don’t forget to reach out if you start feeling overwhelmed and need some guidance.

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What does it mean, to ‘find your why’?

The KING of ‘why’ is Simon Sinek, a business and leadership author and speaker. He popularised the idea that in business, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it’. Check out Sinek’s incredible Ted Talk.

People need to connect with your WHY, they need to feel aligned to your mission in order to buy from you or work with you.

The process of unearthing your ‘why’ can be a little bit scary, and it can bring up some truths that you might not be ready to hear. Self-examination might even enlighten you to the fact that what you’re spending your days on isn’t in fact lighting you up.

The WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us — Simon Sinek

Why is finding your ‘why’ so important?

What you do with that knowledge will obviously depend on your situation, but going through the process of getting to know your ‘why’ will help in a few ways:

BRAND MESSAGING

First and foremost, it’s essential in your marketing and brand messaging. Find your ‘why’ will help you to communicate with your current and potential audience because, as mentioned, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it’.

For example, instead of saying, ‘I make beautiful hand creams, they’re non-toxic, that are safe for your family, please buy one’, you might say ‘I’m on a mission to ensure every family has access to non-toxic, environmentally friendly hand creams, to creater a safer, healthier and more just world’.

People will identify that why, they’ll FEEL your mission, and they will connect with your brand.

DECISION-MAKING

It’ll help you make decisions as you go through life and business, that are aligned with your ‘why’, your mission and vision, and your purpose, cause or belief.

Decisions like; who to serve (what audience to target), what community to cultivate, what offerings to develop, what offerings to retire, what other professionals to work with and what to outsource, where to allocate your budget, and so on.

TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION

And this is just something that I believe, but I reckon that articulating your ‘why’ will also help you to trust your gut, your intuition, your inner knowing.

When you know WHY, it’s easier to make decisions with context and conviction, and it’s also easier to justify them to your interested parties (business partner, life partner, etc.).

20 Questions to ask yourself to find your ‘why’ or your ‘purpose’

Here are a few questions to get you started with finding your ‘why’ or your ‘purpose’. They start off fairly vanilla, and get a little bit more *existential* towards the end, for those who’re game!

  1. Why did you start your business?
  2. What drew you to your sector/industry/niche initially?
  3. What have you most loved about this work, both before and after starting your business?
  4. What do you love about your business?
  5. What do you love most about your customers/clients/guests?
  6. What does your business enable?
  7. What sacrifices have you made to make this business happen?
  8. What have you said ‘no’ to, to make your business work?
  9. What difference do you make in people’s lives?
  10. How do others describe your work ethic?
  11. How do you feel when you think about your business/product/service?
  12. Choose three activities to comprise your perfect day.
  13. What’s your driving force?
  14. What’s your core motivation?
  15. What makes you feel energised, passionate and driven?
  16. What journey are you on?
  17. What are you working towards?
  18. What problem are you trying to solve?
  19. What would the world look like *without* your business/product/service?
  20. What does the world look like with a fully-realised version of your business/product/service?

That’s enough for today 😂

Next steps in identifying your ‘why’ or ‘purpose’

So I always find the best way to do these activities is to put aside a couple of hours (or as much time as you’ve got), and actually write it down with pen and paper… I know, ancient mentality!!

To make it easier for you, I’ve developed a workbook for you (FOR FREE!) that you can use to gather your thoughts and find your WHY.

So here’s what you’ve gotta do next:

  1. Grab yourself your sparkliest, most delightful pen.
  2. Download this FREE workbook
  3. Grab yourself a cuppa of tea/coffee/gallon of chardonnay
  4. Get stuck into the questions—dig around in your brain for a little while and hopefully, you’ll get closer to finding your true WHY!
  5. Now that you’ve answered all of these questions, it’s time to zoom out and identify the larger themes in your ‘why’, and then to expand them into 3 to 4 clear and concise statements.
  6. Get in touch with any questions at all—I’m happy to help, particularly with step 5, it can be difficult! Contact me either at ellie@hiatusstudios.co or message me on Insta @hiatus.studios

Happy ‘why’ing!

Photo credit: Ian Schneider

BRAND MESSAGING QUESTIONNAIRE & BOOKLET

In order to stand for something and win the trust of the audience you’d like to serve, you need to intimately understand what you believe, what your values and ethics are, what you’re actually offering, and the tangible value that you’ll bring to your audience if they choose to buy from you, or work with you.

My Brand Messaging Booklet brings together the juicy core of your business into one tasty booklet. It includes your core values, articulates your ‘why’, your value proposition and elevator pitch, your vision and mission, as well as three audience personas.

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GET A HEAD START ON YOUR WEBSITE COPY, SOCIAL MEDIA BIOS & SERVICE DESCRIPTIONS

I’m both a copywriter and a content strategist by trade, so this Brand Messaging Booklet provides beautifully articulated phrases that you can cut and paste onto your website, social media profiles and product offerings.

As a bonus, if you operate within the local tourism, adventure, health, wellness, or luxury homewares space, I have a bunch of experience in these industries. It can be hard to view your business objectively to do this important work, but getting some help from someone like me, who also understands your context, will make the process more effectively and quicker.

The Brand Messaging Questionnaire & Booklet is an investment of $1,200. I have a cheeky discount for those who download the workbook though! 😉

 

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© Copyright Ellie Keft 2021