Recently I have been thinking about why we do what we do for work. What drives us? What makes us devote so much of ourselves, our time and energy to a career? How do you re-energize yourself when things start to feel mundane as the years pass?
I came across a great article that told the tale of a man who owned a steel company for 23 years. The article was about him finding his Why. Why is he doing this and for so long?
The interesting basis of the article was that anyone who stays in a career for a long period must have a Why. We might not even know it. Connecting with Why will reignite you and allow you to align everything you do with it, keeping the thrill alive.
I wanted to know my Why. When I dug down to the very root of my Why I related it to my work. This made me ask the question, why did I get into this work and form this company?
If you have nailed down your Why, it will relate exactly to the reason you formed your business to begin with AND why you stay in it.
This can be the same for those of you that work for a company and dedicate your life to that particular career. As I followed this path I found I was writing the story of our company. Why we do what we do, who we believe in, how this shapes us and the type of team you need that shares the mission. This forms your company culture. All of this stemming from a root, Why.
To get you rolling I will share my Why? I love to lift people. That's it. Simple and to the point. Your why doesn't need to be a lengthy narrative. Keep drilling down to the very core. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Once you have it you'll know its’ right because you'll feel zero need to keep perfecting it.
Once you have your why you can start looking at what you do and see if it’s in alignment. Simon Sinek is the founder of this Why concept and writer of the article about the steel worker. If you need help with your Why check him out, he's very endearing.
The Why was the first step for me to re-energize myself. Then we used it to define and guide our company services, beliefs, mode of conduct and who joins our team. This might sound like way too much work, but this is vision. It's creative fun. It's how you felt when you started your business or a new job. The excitement of something new and the clarity of knowing your direction and hitting the gas pedal. Yes its work but it's exhilarating!
If you are feeling stale in your career or business try this exercise and let it return you to the youthful zest you had when you first plunged in. It’s also a good test to see if you are staying true to your Why or have veered off. If you have veered off that’s likely a real cause for your feeling stagnant.
If you are moved to craft your business story to wrap in your Why, remember that people want to connect with others they can relate with. Craft your story so people can know you. Marcus Lemonis has a great line "People buy from businesses they can relate with. If a founder has a heartfelt story and reason why, don't be afraid to share it." Happy searching, I can promise you it’s worth the effort.