Your Why is the one thing that will help motivate you when things get tough. It’s your reason for keeping going. In short, it’s your anchor that enables you to effectively continue your journey whether that’s as a business owner or in a career
The reason it’s important that you identify yours at the start of your journey is because you will keep coming back to it, time and again. In other words, it has an emotional pull on you like nothing else. Trust me, when things get difficult in your business or at work, knowing what your Why is will help when you’re faced with any struggles, and it will allow you to face them head on and still be able to power through.
For me, ever since my son J was born, I just wanted to be there for him. But alongside this, I also didn’t want to compromise who I am as a person. It’s why I worked so hard to set up my own Communications Agency, to make it the success that it is today.
Once I’d made the decision to swim and not sink, my overall goal became being the mum I’d always wanted to be, so he knows I’m there for him, setting the best possible example that I can. My journey to reach this point has taken six years. But I began it by becoming intentional about getting to where I wanted to be and within what timeframe. At the beginning though, I had to dig deep and think about what my Why was. In fairness, as a new mum navigating a new normal, it was the obvious choice. But for you, it might take longer to figure yours out.
Having an anchor though, can make a huge difference. When I first started working for myself, I had a strategy session with a client, and I asked her about her Why. She came up with lots of different answers, but somehow none of them really felt as big and as impactful as I knew they could be. Finally, after talking some more, the lightbulb moment came as she revealed more about the positive influence her grandma had been on her life. In short, she had left her nine to five to start her own business, not only because of the belief her grandma had in her, but the fact that she was working towards a bigger plan on her own terms in her grandma’s memory.
You may well be entertaining working for yourself right now, so you have more flexibility to be there for your family. You might have made a promise to someone that you would do something and now you want to honour it. Whatever it is, there will be a reason why you get out of bed in the morning and work in and on your business.
At the end of the day though, your Why is just that. It’s yours. It needs to be something that you simply must work towards, or it has such a pull on you, no matter what happens, you won’t give up.
A great way to identify your Why is to write down all the things you think could have as strong an emotional pull on you as mine has had, and continues to have, on me.
Being there for J isn’t an option for me – it’s part and parcel of who I am, and I want him to grow up knowing that I’ve been around, and he can come to me whenever he needs me. But I also haven’t wanted to compromise who I am – so it’s been equally important that he sees me follow my dreams and live out my purpose in helping small business owners be able to tell their stories through strategic PR storytelling. It’s important that J knows one day he too can follow his dreams and do something that will help impact the lives of others.
If you’re being honest with yourself, and throughout this process it’s important that you are, you have already known what your Why is for some time.
For some of you though, it might be there but require a bit more work for you to realise what motivates, inspires, or drives you forward no matter what.
This is the beauty of writing everything down. And your notes are just that – they’re yours, so it’s just like you’re talking to yourself but working out exactly what you want in your life.
Now think about how you feel when you think about your Why. Does it make you sad or does it create an emotional response from you every time you think about it? If it does, great – this sounds like it really is your Why. If not, be careful and look back at your list again. Remember, it must pull at the heart strings even just a little bit to work effectively.
Initially when I worked mine out, it used to literally make me cry. But in fairness, that was because I was only seeing J for half an hour a day, Monday to Friday, and it was breaking me. Now my response to my Why is more of a dogged determination to make everything work no matter what – because it must. And absolutely nothing, not money, fear, procrastination, can hold me back from being there for him. Everything else follows from this.
The emotional response that you have to your Why is important because it will remind you how important this one thing is to you. It will ensure no matter how many wobbles you have, there is no choice but to keep going.
Now that you know what it is, write out your Why on a post it note or print it out on a piece of paper in big letters and have it somewhere you will see it every day. That way there is no escape from it. It should be one of the first things you see when you wake up in the morning and whilst your initial reaction might be, ‘Urgh, I can’t think about that right now,’ without realising it, you’re successfully programming your unconscious mind into taking it on board. And that in turn, will all help with your motivation going forward.
Nicola J Rowley has worked in the media for over 25 years both as a journalist and award-winning PR. She is the Founder of Communications Agency NJRPR and the best-selling author of The Power of PR – Effectively Grow and Scale Your Business Through Strategic Storytelling, available on Amazon now: www.njrpr.com/the-power-of-pr
Do you want to effectively grow and scale your business?
The most effective way is through harnessing the power of PR and strategic storytelling. Through it you can:
*Attract more new clients
*Enhance your reputation
*Cement your expert status
*Increase your reach
But more importantly, you can impact the lives of those you want to connect with as they discover how you can help them.
In this book, Nicola J Rowley unpacks the important stages to follow when it comes to PR and why storytelling should be at the heart of all of your communications.