How to Find Your Why in Business
Have you ever considered the reasons for doing something or the purpose that drives you? This is your “why,” the reason you are driven to do the things you do to achieve goals or create value.
The use of the word “why” is defined as purpose or reason. “Why” is the cause, reason, or purpose for understanding and creating meaning. It can help to explain and understand why you did or did not do something. It is especially important in business to understand your “why,” to communicate personal values, find vision and passion, and create a story.
Importance of Knowing Your Why in Business?
When creating a mission statement for your business, you will have to ask yourself a number of questions. One of the most important questions for success is to define purpose with your why. In life, people tend to be compelled by their reasons for doing something and discovering their intrinsic motivations. This is especially true for leadership and business.
Having a clear “why” will create a clear purpose. This defined purpose will communicate to customers and employees that your organization has a strong vision and values and will create confidence in your services.
What is a Vision Statement?
So how do you start figuring out your why in business? Creating a vision statement is the process of communicating your why.
A vision statement is a written declaration that clarifies the meaning and purpose of the business. This is especially important for stakeholders, employees, and customers to understand the long-term goals of the business and what the business plans to achieve.
An effective vision statement communicates the business purpose and aspirations while motivating employees and clients. The main elements that should be incorporated into a good vision statement are:
- Focusing on the future and being forward-thinking
- Reflecting the personal beliefs and values of the company
- Focusing on innovation and motivation
- Focus on future improvements of the company
- Helps to define the company’s reasons for existence and plans for the future
Questions for an Effective Vision Statement
To write an effective vision statement, there are some key questions to ask yourself. These questions are used to help identify the values and aspirations that are the core of the business purpose. Some ideas for questions to create an effective vision statement include:
- What are your core values?
- What are the hopes and dreams of the company?
- What problem is the company addressing?
- What goods or services does the company provide, and how do these address the problem?
- How will the company benefit the industry?
- How will the company connect with customers and clients?
- What kind of culture will the company have for employees?
- What are the organization’s one-year, five-year, and 10-year plans?
Creating a strong vision statement will engage the imagination and connect with those crucial to the business.
What is a Mission Statement?
While the focus of the vision statement is on the future, a mission statement is focused on the present. Both a vision statement and a mission statement are crucial to the success of a company. A mission statement is used to define the line of work that a business is in, why it exists, and its purpose.
The first step in creating a good mission statement is to focus on the objectives of educating and inspiring. This statement educates on the what, how, and why of the business and uses this information to inspire people to become early adopters of the brand.
What Are Some Questions That Mission Statements Answer?
These mission statements should be short and simple while still conveying the story and dream of the company. Most people have a difficult time boiling this into one or two sentences.
To write an effective mission statement, companies should ask themselves several questions in the process. Examples of four questions to address are:
- Why are you in business?
- Who are the customers?
- What is the nature of the service or product being provided?
- How are you different from competitors?
An example of a company’s mission statement is LinkedIn’s: “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” This conveys what the company does, who the company is targeting, and its key focus and purpose.
What Does The Why Statement Mean?
A why statement is a simple statement that provides the purpose of the organization to the team. This statement helps team members stay motivated, grounded, and focused on their contributions to the business purpose. It is the key to staying driven and focused.
To write this statement, you should focus on writing a clear and concise statement about who your clients are, your main core values, and what your priorities are for business and marketing. An example of how to produce this statement uses Simon Sinek’s format of “To ____ So that _____.”
The first part of the sentence represents your contribution and innovation to the world through your why. The second part of the sentence represents how your contribution will impact the world.
For example, Sinek’s statement is: “To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change our world.” This shows that his contribution is to inspire people, and that contribution will inspire others so that together, they may change the world.
What is the Golden Circle?
In his 2006 TED Talk, Simon Sinek spoke about his theory of the Golden Circle. This theory is how business leadership inspires people towards cooperation, trust, and change in an organization by identifying and answering questions that eventually lead to the “why.”
Picture three circles within each other. The outer ring is the “what.” What the companies and businesses do, what services they provide, or what items they sell.
The second ring is the “how.” This is how the companies provide services, make money, and the things that set them apart from the competition.
The innermost ring is the “why.” As Simon Sinek explains, very few companies truly understand their why. The why is not about making money; that is only the result. For business purposes, knowing the why is the reason, cause, and belief. It is the reason that the company exists.
Why is it Important to Find Your Why in Business?
As previously mentioned, it is important to have a why in business in order to stay driven and focused. Many people start businesses related to something he or she is passionate about. But creating a business is more than just having an idea based on a passion. In life, finding your why:
- Keeps You Motivated. When times get tough, the one thing that will keep you going is your reason and purpose – or your “why.”
- Provides Direction. It can be challenging to know where to go if you don’t have a purpose; this is why finding your “why” is important. It can provide direction in both life and business. Your reason and purpose help to guide decisions that are made and move you closer to your goals.
- Defines Your Target Market. Finding your business purpose can help you determine your target market, produce market research, and to design marketing efforts to bring in more clients.
- Sets You Apart From the Competition. Your why is what can set you apart from your competition. As mentioned in the Golden Circle theory, most businesses fail to determine their why, so knowing your why will make you stand out and connect with consumers.
How Do You Find Your Why in Business?
Finding your why can help you generate the story you want to influence your business and inspire the lives of employees. To do so, make time for honest reflection, write down your values, and look for patterns of past failures and successes. To do so, ask yourself:
- What Can I Offer?
Asking yourself what kind of value you bring and how this can shift market research and consumer opinion
- Why Does My Company Exist?
Generating the story of why you started your company in the first place, what purpose you get from it, and how others will benefit.
Will Finding My Why Help My Business?
Finding your “why” is a guiding light. A “why” that is driven by your values and beliefs produces positive results and achievement.
If you are unsure of your reason and purpose in business, you are more likely to fail as you become unmotivated and stay within the status quo. Finding your why will help your business thrive and grow while continuing to inspire employees and provide value to clients and consumers.
Thus, explore your company’s morals and beliefs, write a meaningful why statement, produce effective mission and vision statements, and address the “what,” “how,” and “why” of the Golden Circle theory.