Do You Know Why You Do What You Do?

Have you ever asked yourself why you do what you do for a living, thinking beyond the quick answers that you enjoy your profession or that you are good at what you do?  Here are some pointers to the factors that, perhaps unbeknown to you, will have served to influence your career choices:

What influenced your formative years? Yes, the influence goes that far back!

  • What sort of childhood did you have?
  • What do your parents do for a living?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?

The answer to these questions will have played their part in shaping your career later on in life.  In addition, significant events that have occurred down the years will have consciously or subconsciously played their role in affecting your career choices.  As human beings we are more likely to consider continuing in a particular role if we have had a positive experience.  In this way, we focus on areas in which we have had proven success and achieved positive self-esteem.  Add to this any fluctuations in the economy and job market, along with the impact of your other life-roles, such as being a parent, student, wife or husband and you start to get an idea of the wide-ranging factors that have had impact on why you do what you do for a living.

So what?

Whether it’s on your own behalf as an employee or solopreneur, or as the owner or leader of a company, knowing why you do what you do is a great basis for creating an emotional connection with your clients.  It’s a powerful first step when reaching out to prospective clients, to get their attention with the human face of your brand. An emotionally charged connection ignites feelings of empathy and loyalty, and fosters a great bond with clients.

Knowing why is a great marketing tool

Use your ‘why’ in your business pitch and in your marketing material. In his book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”  Write a blog post that explains what your company believes in. Use your social media platforms to spread your special purpose. When someone believes in your “why,” they are more than a client, they become your ambassador.

Use your own ‘why’ to define your business purpose

Thinking through your own ‘why’ defines your business’s purpose.  Use this purpose to underpin your Vision and Mission.  Clarifying your purpose as a leader is critical, but it is not just enough to write it down.  It is the actions that spring from your purpose, and not just your words, that matter. Your SMART goals should reflect your purpose.  Your purpose is not enough to inspire your employees’ collaboration – help your employees to make it personal and find their ‘why’.

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