Michael E. Gerber’s works called the E-Myth seek to define entrepreneurship and business leadership. As I study those volumes, I find some key essentials that apply to every business executive, owner or aspiring manager. For many, the E-Myth has become a bible of business success and growth.
You have to start with WHY. Gerber’s work even pre-dates Simon Sinek‘s epic book “Find Your Why”. When a business leader, whether owner or employee, finds their ‘why’, it is like putting a match to a huge bonfire swirling with passion, excitement, commitment, and drive. Without why we collect paychecks and produce less than exciting outcomes. Without the why we merely survive.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a leader of a team or division or you want to tackle the WHY of your entire organization, discovering the WHY injects passion into your work. And it’s those who start with WHY that have the ability to inspire those around them.
If you’ve ever started a business or taken on a new career challenge or even a major life change, you realize YOU must be something more. Your perception of the new role carries a weight that demands more. Getting to “more” requires a form of change. Whether you like it or not, this essential change is what causes the greatest hurdles to successfully making the move.
Consciously or subconsciously, you know a change is needed, but how and where do you start with that change? I like what both writers mentioned above have to say about WHY. Finding your why is the center of the answer for the change.
If you pursue a change without knowing your why, you are just shooting in the dark. Yes, you might be able to make some logical decisions about the change that has to happen, yet even if you adopt those changes, your results may be less than rewarding.
Finding your why is vital to growing a business or rising to the next level in life. Take my FREE Career Satisfaction Survey.
Here’s a story
Two years ago I wanted to do more about my physical condition. I was getting older, less flexible and packing on a few too many pounds. I definitely sensed the need for change. I chose to join a program that helped me accomplish my goals. I didn’t just hire a coach, but I essentially hired a whole culture of change. The fitness program and the gym itself was off the chart (I loved it). What they taught about eating and food content also made sense to me; not just some radically weird diet like eating cardboard wrappers off cereal boxes.
With my own commitment to the program, I did exactly what I had hoped to do. I lost almost 25 pounds, changed pant sizes twice, and generally felt better. Plus it was a program that stuck. But do you want to know the real reason it worked? They insisted I find my why before I ever started. They didn’t want my membership fees unless I could explain my own why.
Where have you ever seen that in a gym program? It made all the difference. Oh, and my why was about connecting with the legacy I want to have with my 7 grandkids. I knew I needed to fix some health issues before I could expect to be around for their graduations and weddings.
What is YOUR Why?
You may have read some of the books or heard Simon Sinek’s great TED talk, but have you done the work? Have you figured out your why? Finding your why is not as difficult as you might think.
The process to find your why often requires taking a look back at some signposts in your life. Seeing the history of where you have been and what you have done can go a long way to helping you discover your why. What experiences did the most to inspire and energize you?
Ask yourself some questions
We should take a step back and ask ourselves some questions. You can start by asking yourself a few of these:
- Why is it that you do what you do?
- What thrills you about your current job role or career?
- What does a great day look like?
- What does success look like beyond the paycheck?
- What does real success feel like for you?
- How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?
You could also ask yourself these follow-up questions:
- What do you hate about your current job role or career?
- Why don’t you do something else?
- What does a bad day look like?
- What is it you don’t enjoy about your job and why?
- What does failure look like beyond the paycheck?
- What does real failure feel like for you?
Once again, it’s essential that you know your professional purpose before you tackle your personal brand. If you don’t take control of your brand image and who you are, someone else will.
Often, the simple process of taking a step back and taking stock of where you are at and where you want to go can answer a raft of questions that can point your professional career in a more meaningful and satisfying direction.
[reminder]Have you found your why?[/reminder]
If the effort to find your why has left you searching, perhaps a coach can help. Not just any coach, but someone who has the training, experience, and passion (their own why) to come alongside and help.