- December 1, 2011
- Posted by: Paul Foster
- Category: Business vision, Grow a Business, Small business leadership
If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s video on ‘How great leaders inspire action’, it is worth the 18 minutes.
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
A few years back, I attended a graduation for a University Business School class with a seasoned and successful business owner. I took the opportunity to ask him this question, “If you could give these graduates one piece of advice, what would it be?”
His answer was
Consider a vision or goal you and your team can be passionate about and assess whether you are aligning your business goals with your ‘why’.
This concept is often very challenging and it rarely happens quickly. Here are some ideas to help you explore your ‘why’:
- At your funeral, when people are talking about you and your business, what good things would you hope they say?
- What is your purpose? More specifically, what is your ‘larger than yourself’ purpose?
- If your business could make a difference for anyone or anything, what would it be?
Before I was able to align with my ‘Why’, I spent a lot of time in a business I wasn’t really passionate about (running an accounting firm). Discovering my passion enabled me to follow my dream and build my advisory firm.
Here is my ‘why’:
I believe each person on this earth should make a contribution during their time here. I also believe that bringing a child into this world is worthy of full credit. Since I don’t have any children myself, the best I can do is make sure the children of my clients have the best chance of success. I believe if I can assist a business owner to achieve “cash, freedom and happiness’” they will be in the best position to raise their own children well and contribute to their communities.
For years I really didn’t see any reason for telling anyone else about my ‘why’, but I now realize it is important to communicate. When I do, it makes it easier for me to succeed in my goal and for that reason, I find the courage to share it with others.
I encourage you to invest the time and courage in affirming your passion, your purpose and your ‘why’. It is time well spent.