PP 047: Your Why vs. Your Motive
Often when I ask “What is your Why?” I receive responses related to income goals or providing security or family and loved ones. This is, in fact, our motive, and in this episode, I discuss how our “Why” is different.
I have a simple question for you. Why do you do what you do?
Another way I could ask you is, What is your “Why”?
Here’s why I’m asking this question. In the years since I became an entrepreneur, I’ve done a lot of chasing of other people’s successes, and passions, and dreams. And to be quite honest with you, I’ve followed their strategies to the point where I’ve even tried to build similar products to other people – just because I wanted the “income-outcome” that they were achieving.
Oftentimes, however, I failed to finish the project because the passion was not there. I was not intrigued by what the other people were doing, and I ended up just feeling empty. Although my motive was right – I wanted to make an income and help support my family – my “Why” was not attached to the projects I was working on.
Lately, I’ve been asking in a lot of Facebook and LinkedIn groups, “What is your ‘Why’?” I’ve really wanted to get a feel for what people in my community are doing and how I can support them, and I’ve been surprised by the responses I’ve been receiving. Often, the responses have been, “I want to support my family,” or, “I want to raise my children in a loving environment,” or, “I want my mother or father to be proud of me.”
Well, these are all great causes and great motives, there’s so many different things that we can do in our life to achieve these results.
I know, for example, that I could earn an income in very many different ways – not just working in my business and supporting my clients in the way that I love to do. For example, I could have gone to school to be a doctor. However, I cannot stand blood. And while I would have made a great income (hopefully), I would have been in a job that I really didn’t enjoy and probably wasn’t making the impact that I should have been – because my heart would not have been in my work.
Often, we’re asked, “What do you do?” And that’s when we answer our job description. But how often do people ask, “What is your motive?” Yes, I do believe this is different from my “Why”. It’s important to me that my family be secure – that we have a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our body. But there are so many ways that that can be achieved, and I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to be doing a job I love to achieve the results I desire.
So what is your “Why”? What impact are you trying to make on the world, and why are you passionate about doing it?
While you’re trying to figure out this answer, I want you to take out any thought about income. Only think about impact. If money isn’t an issue, what would you want to be working on in this life that would make an impact on others? Chances are, there’s plenty of ways that you could be pulling your “Why” into your self-employment – and find additional passion in your work, while still achieving all of your income goals and desires.
Lately, I’ve been pulling out of some Facebook groups because all of that I see are boasting posts about vacations, and homes, and clothes, and all of this is nuts that people are purchasing as a result of their hard work.
Yes, this is great. It’s wonderful that they are able to buy the things that they dreamed of buying before. However, what impact are they really trying to have on the audience around them by sharing these details of their life?
Often, these posts are accompanied by a message like, “I made $10,000 last month, and here’s how you can do it, too. Sign up for your discovery session here.” This saddens me, because it’s really taking away all of the impact that they’re trying to make. Yes, I realize they could be trying to help people make money, but if that’s his only focus, then I feel bad for both sides of the party.
When I engage on social media, I look for the impactful posts. I look for the posts where people are being transparent, and authentic, and sharing the struggles that they’ve been through, and the achievements that they’ve made since then. These are the posts where people are opening up and baring their souls – and for that, I applaud them. It takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to people that you don’t even know like that. And when you’re doing it out of good and you’re trying to make an impact on the community around you, I have to applaud you.
If you’re struggling right now thinking about what your “Why” really is – aside from feeding your kids and putting gas in your car – here’s a few questions that you can ask: What do your friends and family say that you’re really good at? What do your friends and family say are your very best qualities? What do you enjoy doing for other people that, even if he didn’t make a dime doing it, you would still do it day-in and day-out?
These are all tricky questions, I know – and often, they take a little bit of self-reflection. So it might be beneficial if you do a little bit of journaling right now to think about it.
But as you’re moving forward for the rest of this week, for the rest of this month, and for the rest of the year, I want you to think about every new opportunity that comes into your business. Does that opportunity sync with your “Why”?
I’m sure the opportunities will work well for your motive – hey, I won’t deny that I have said “yes” to a few opportunities just because I knew that they would put food in the fridge. But moving forward, that’s not enough for me. I want to make sure that I’m passionate about the projects that I’m working on. I want to make sure that the projects that I’m working on are in-line with my “Why”, and that I will love working on those projects from the very beginning all the way through the end.
Often, if we’re not passionate about the work that we’re doing, it’s easy to start and then fade off. And unfortunately, often we will just drop the project by the time it’s even finished.
So look at all these opportunities. Are you going to be as excited or working on it today as you will be in another year or two? Or, do you need to re-evaluate, and possibly say “no” – and wait for an opportunity that is more in-sync with your passions to come along?
Stop worrying about your income and worry about the impact that you are making. This is where you’re going to find the difference between your “Why” and your motives.
If you’d like any help figuring out what your “Why” is, I invite you to visit the coaching page at TheKimSutton.com/Coaching to find out more about how I help clients determine their “Why” and build the framework to support it in their personal and professional lives. With your “Why” in mind, go forth and have a positive and productive day.