What, How, Why?
What you want to achieve in your business will be different from why you want to do it and your core values play a huge part in helping you to identify your motivation, your ’What’ and your ’Why’.
When deciding what we want our business to be we will usually consider doing something that brings us joy, this is the ‘What’. The ‘What’ is often something that we believe we are good at, something that we feel confident to do. While we may be concerned with the ‘How’ we are going to do it, we are usually confident with the ‘What’. The ‘What’ will mean utilising skills and behaviours that we are comfortable with and something that meets with our values. For example, my ‘What’ was to become a coach. My ‘How’ was based on personal experience and training, and my ‘Why’ was a passion and joy for the process of coaching, the desire to connect with others and to be both helpful and useful.
Your ‘What’ is about knowing what we want from a business, and this helps us to move forward in the right direction. It encourages us to tap into the right values and behaviours that will help us to get there. Remembering your ‘What’ helps you have strong core behaviours for organisation and t consistency in your business. It helps you to stay on top of administrative tasks and time management.
Choosing to start a business that allows you to embrace your core behaviours, our ‘Why’, is essential as it means we operate effectively and efficiently increasing productivity and reducing stress. A part of your ‘Why’ should be to have a business that offers you satisfaction. The ‘Why’ should be a business that sits well with who you are and where your strength and credibility lie.
Why you want to do what you do is very different to the ‘What’ or the ‘How’. Our ‘Why’ is what truly motivates us. It is our ‘Why’ that drives us forward. So, we want to be sure that our why is solid and sending us in the right direction.
How to tell your ‘What’ from your ‘Why’
So, what is your ‘What’? And what is your ’Why’?
For example, your ‘What could be, “I want to work from home”
And your ‘Why’ could be, “Because the flexibility means I can have the best of both worlds, work in my PJ’s and have time off when I need it.”
At the start of our business, most of us will not have taken the time to sit down and ask ourselves this question, and certainly won’t have considered the repercussions or impact on our motivation of not doing so. It seems obvious that we will each have a ‘Why’ for pursuing our business but it is not until we find ourselves struggling with any one of the Big 7 that we then begin to question “WHY am I doing this?”. I have asked myself that question many times over the years; when I have hit a brick wall of fear or stumbled over a feeling of self-doubt or nosedived into overwhelm and confusion because nothing seemed to be working.
I am much better at handling the Big 7 nowadays. They no longer send me into a spin and for me the starting point was to break the question down.
In order to maintain consistent levels of motivation, true success is measured against our “Why” not against our “What”. What our business becomes can change drastically over time, such as when we work to create new products and income streams, reach new markets and grow our services. Our ‘What’ is based on facts such as market demands, our time and our inspiration. Our ‘Why’ probably won’t change much at all.
Part of our ‘Why’ might be financial success. We can measure financial success of course, however this is part of our ‘How’ and can take time and money. Actual money is far less of a motivator than we might think. Without a ‘Why’ as a driving force, our motivation to earn money is likely to disappear.
What is your definition of success?
When we define success measured by our ‘Why’, our motivation and success is far less open to negotiation. Our ‘Why’ begins the moment we start our business and ‘should’ remain relatively static as we progress and grow.
My ‘Why’ has several layers, each, personal to me and each with its own explanation. I, like many others, began my business before really understanding my ‘Why’ and so when things didn’t turn out as I planned, I immediately felt like a failure. This was emotionally devastating for me and for my business. It is only by reflecting on my journey that I am now able to gain clarity on this. So here goes my many layers of ‘Why’.
I was given a second chance at life when I received solution focused counselling from an amazing lady called Lisa. This helped me to build my Mental Resilience and was the starting point of my journey into self-discovery and what ultimately drove me to become a coach. I have continued my journey of self-actualization and to be able to share what I have learnt with others is reaffirmation of my ‘Why’. To grow and to embrace opportunity and find my place in the world.
I measure my version of success against my values, my behaviours and my beliefs. When I start to feel a wobble, I check in to make sure I am still fulfilling my ‘Why’.
My ‘Why’ is that I am a coach because it meets my needs. It meets with my values for growth, creativity and purpose and it means that I get to turn up every day in the hope that I will help someone else to do the same.
Being a coach means I can manage my time and create a work life balance that fits with me, my family and the things that make me feel useful and give me purpose. I love that I can be flexible. I love that coaching means being helpful and supportive to others, whilst still having time to get dinner on the table and spending time with my husband and kids.
My ‘Why’ is that by having a coaching business and by defining my niche and ideal clients, I get to help and support other women to reduce their struggles and enjoy their business the way I do. I believe that having a business that keeps me happy means I can feel confident that I will bring my ‘A’ game every day.
This is my version of success, my ‘Why’. It has nothing to do with numbers of clients or online courses. It has no connection to how good or effective my posting is on social media. It is simply the connection I have with other women so that I can help them on their business journey. My why is that coaching makes me feel good. I have defined my ‘Why’ and I would encourage you to do the same.
Where our ‘Why’ shows up in business
As I mentioned, I made the mistake of not defining my ‘Why’ right at the start of my business journey. This led to lots of days feeling like a failure. Fear of what to do next and guilt about letting down those around me. Confusion about where my business was going and what I was aiming for and so much time wasted, beating myself up for not being an overnight success.
If you don’t pay attention to your ‘Why’ when fear or doubt kicks in you can quickly be derailed and the struggle will begin. Any time we try to push forward into unknown territory, outside of our comfort zone, we need to have a reason to keep going on, to have a ‘Why’ to know that we are heading in the right direction.
How our ‘Why’ reduces the struggle
I discovered my true ‘Why’ when I joined an 80/20 Business Mentorship Program. The first lesson was The Big Picture Vision. This lesson takes you on a journey through the process to paint the most detailed picture of every aspect of your future business. The very first questions were ‘What Are Your Dreams, Your Business ‘WHY’ and Purpose?’ Taking the time to answer this question has helped to increase my confidence and motivation. It has helped to reduce confusion and self-doubt so decision making is much quicker and more effective. It has also meant that fear and overwhelm rarely show up now. Guilt has gone for good as I am no longer weighed down by unrealistic expectations and a phoney version of success.
If you would like to learn more about the 80/20 Business Program Click Here.
How knowing your ‘Why’ will help you reach your goals
To reach a goal we must first define what that goal is and create a pathway of steps to reach it. Your ‘Why’ forms the foundation for ‘what’ your Big Picture Vision will include.
Having clarity on what is inside your Big Picture Vision is an easy and effective framework to then begin the process of defining your business goals. Both long and short term. The Big Picture Vision has us ask questions such as:
What outcomes are you looking to achieve?
What is your motivation?
What is the timescale for your plans?
What would success in business look like for YOU?
I have found a simple exercise like the one below to be extremely effective in separating your ’What’ from your ’Why’. Follow these quick steps to create a clear definition of your ‘What’ and your ‘Why’. Check back in regularly with your answers if things start to feel icky or any of the Big 7 show up.
Exercise – How to separate your ’What’ from your ‘Why’ PDF Download
I would encourage you to keep affirming your ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Why’ each day. By completing this exercise, you will immediately begin to see where your ‘What’ and ‘Why’ are similar and where they are very different.
Need a little extra help?
The combination of Mindset Coaching together with professional Business mentoring is one that has certainly meant the difference in my business. For more information on working with me check out my VIP Membership Club Page and If you would like to know more about the Big Picture Vision check out the 80/20 Business Mentorship Program . Sign up today through the affiliate link and receive a Bonus FREE Membership to the Mindset Coaching VIP Members Club.