Why Your Business Needs a Retooled “Why” – Especially Now

“He who has a why can endure any how.” – Frederick Nietzsche

Knowing your “why” in business isn’t a new concept. Most of us have been challenged to identify the reasons we became entrepreneurs: personal satisfaction, creative independence, or financial autonomy — the list goes on. 

A mission statement on your website is not enough. Actions always speak louder than words. Companies with a strong defined purpose drive employee engagement, connect deeper with customers, and fuel their bottom line.

But do you know your “why” now? Do you know, on that deeper level, what authentically drives you? 

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
– Maya Angelou

Several questions to ask yourself to find your “why” are:

  • What inspired your business idea?
  • What is interesting about your founding story?
  • What is unique about your business?
  • What problem is your company trying to solve?
  • How has your business evolved?
  • What’s your purpose? Why does your company exist?
  • Is there a specific cause your business is supporting?
  • What do you believe in—personally and professionally?

The question I’m most curious about right now:
What would it take to fall in love with your business unconditionally?

This on-going pandemic continues to keep business leaders in scarcity mode where the only “why” many businesses can identify is “survival.” Others have redefined their meaning and purpose by leveraging the challenges and difficulties.

Never before have brands been asked to show their true purpose and leadership as they are today. People are no longer identifying with messages created by 5th Avenue. People want REAL connection. They want authenticity. Quite simply, they need to feel love and belonging.  “It’s inspiring to see companies across industries and throughout the world come together to address some of the most pressing needs brought about by this crisis,” said John Travis, VP of brand marketing at Adobe.  Even more inspiring are those leaders who are willing to show up on camera with their hair not quite perfect, talking about what is weighing heavy on their heart, with the dog annoyingly barking in the background. 

Leadership today is about telling the truth, being transparent, being as human as everyone else, and getting in each other’s worlds so we can be there for each other as we carry on.  

Your “why” will definitely begin to set your business apart.  Your humanity, however, will invite love…love inside of your team, love between you and your stakeholders and between you and the purpose of your products.

As humans, when our existential security is threatened, we are hardwired to seek cover, clarity and calm. Leaders sharing their struggle and collaborating with teams and clients alike will see portals of opportunity open and likely be surprised by the unexpected miracles that come from a place beyond the ego. Companies illustrating solidarity and understanding will be remembered for caring and fueling us in what is for some, the hardest times they’ve ever faced.

This blog is a giant THANK YOU.  Thank you, corporate leaders and companies, for revisiting your deeper why, for your willingness to go out on the limb of transparency and vulnerability in that exploration. Thank you for infusing your values into your everyday choices as well as the extraordinary choices.  In taking that step, you have planted new roots and seeds for what’s to come that will sustain a new future the likes of which we’ve never seen. And, that’s a GOOD thing.  

As a leader, there’s a good chance you’ve felt the weight of the world on your shoulders.  If you want to get off survival mode and back into growth mode, book a coaching session with me to see how your “why” can help get you back on track.

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