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Know Your Why

Thinking of going into business for yourself? Or maybe you already have, and you’re working through that nagging “why” question. Knowing the why answer is absolutely essential as you continue down the road of entrepreneurship. I’ve broken them down into three categories: 

1. Why circumstances 

This category deals with the why behind what you’re leaving behind. Do you have a crappy boss? Do you perceive you’re underpaid? Maybe your schedule is rough, or you’ve determined your job-tasks in general are not a sustainable option. Hey, I’m with you – you have to enjoy your work. After all, you spend too much time there to loathe it. But the main consideration in the realm of your why circumstances is, are they reasonable? In other words, does what your struggling with require a career change that may ultimately land you in the world of business ownership, or do you just need a healthy look in the mirror and resulting attitude adjustment? After all, if it’s the latter, those same pesky issues will follow you into self-employment if left unidentified and unaddressed. 

2. Why goals 

Your why goals are less about where you’re coming from and what you’re leaving, and way more about why you want to go where you’re heading. It’s that thing in your gut that is calling you to do what you’re considering doing. What is driving you? What is motivating you?   

Questions to consider are: is it realistic? Is it grounded? Is it sustainable? Doing your homework in the area of endeavor-reality is critical, and involves considerations such as perceived need, adequate funding, and well…are you the guy or gal to get it done? Lean on those close to you, as well as those in the industry, for the strongest input in this regard.

3. Why this? 

Additionally, and most crucially when it comes to our why goals, is the more core question of why this? Are you doing this for yourself? Are you doing it for others?  Is it for the greater good, or for personal gain? The only wrong answer here is a dishonest one. And we are wise to consider the sustainability of pursuing entrepreneurship for the why. 

Ultimately, a budding entrepreneur is best served by developing a personal mission statement. When we’ve identified what our why circumstances and our why goals are, we are now positioned to put pen to paper in crafting our mission; that one-liner that captures what it is we are setting out to do. And know that while it starts there, it doesn’t end there. From mission is birthed vision.  Whereas mission is the “what” of our endeavor, vision is the “how” of our endeavor. For example, at How You Brewin, our mission is “to be our community’s go-to meeting place.” But it can’t stop there. How are we going to do that?  The answer to that is vision, and encompasses a whole host of elements, such as systems, staff and secret sauce. 

Considering a move into entrepreneurship? Know your why. Seeking out those who have “been there and done that” can be a fruitful endeavor in your journey towards a decision whether to pull the trigger.