Why are you in your business? No I don’t mean just to pay the mortgage, the school fees or for the jam on the bread. I mean why do you do what you do? What is it that drives you? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Why do you keep going when the going is really tough?
20 years ago when I started my business I had a young baby and a husband working for a company which was beginning to shed staff. My why then was twofold, I wanted to keep my CV up to date so if my husband lost his job both of us could hit the job market to provide for our family. My second reason was all about me. As the mother of a young child I understood how easy it would be to lose my identity, to become known as Pippa’s Mum and David’s wife. I was conscious then that as my baby grew up she would have a life of her own and if I didn’t manage my own life there would be a danger of me being left behind when she branched out on her own. 20 years on and Pippa is away at university for much of the year but my life is full and rewarding. My why has changed a bit but I still have one.
In this TED talk Simon Sinek argues that understanding and communicating the why is what differentiates the brilliant from the average. I think it’s worth watching more than once. When you’ve watched it spend some time really analysing your ‘why’.