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Start With Why

Last week in the Words 2 Grow By blog, Steve used a great quote from Grace Ventura, who is the founder of Grace's Goodness. Her words were simple: Remember Your Why”. That got me started thinking about the importance of knowing your ‘why’. When I first started thinking about the concepts of ‘vision’ and ‘mission,’ (Don’t worry, I will get back to the Why…) it was back in the 90’s (…wow, doesn’t seem that long ago?) when I was working on a business plan for one of our companies in California. Now, this was not a business that was started out of a desire to change the world or really even to make it a better place. It was a company that we started to fill a need for our other company: TradeMarketing, Inc. Working from a template, one of the questions that they asked was about vision and mission. Well, my answer at the time was we wanted to make money and help the other company out of a fix (…long story). Okay, of course, I didn’t write that but you get the idea where my head was. At the time, the idea of a vision, a mission or both were just a bunch of words that people wrote to sound good. But through the years, while reading, listening, learning and coaching, my thoughts on the subject have really taken a 360-degree turn. While I still think a lot of companies just write BS for a vision and mission, the idea of knowing your ‘Why’ has become one of the main foundations of building a business. Now, I don’t believe the ‘Why’ has to be something as profound as changing the world, but I do believe in understanding why you want to be on this journey is one of the most important factors to keep you going when times are rough, and we all know that there will be rough times somewhere along this journey. In the business planning classes that I used to teach, I once had a guest speaker, who had started, ran, and sold a very successful company. When she talked about having a passion for what your business was, to know WHY you were in your business was important. She said, ‘… on those days when you just want to lie on the floor, cry and wonder what you are doing this crazy thing, you need to have that passion, the WHY, so you would get up and do it again tomorrow.” In addition to having your WHY to keep you going, it also can help lead to your success. Back in 2009, there was a TED Talk – by Simon Sinek entitled “Start With Why”. This video went viral and the while quality of the video (still on YouTube) is poor, the message is one that resonates. His main take away, "People don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it". His point was that leaders, (… you are a leader!) that start with their WHY are more successful. The video is worth the watch, even if you have seen it before. So, what is your WHY? As I’ve admitted, it doesn’t always have to be “changing the world”. For some people, it will be solving a problem, for some, it is sharing the love of flavors, for others it is helping those who have dietary issues to enjoy their food, and yes, for some, it is about saving our planet, one product at a time! What is your WHY?




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