Why do you do the work you do?
Yes, it pays the mortgage and feeds the children. I get that. But why did you choose to do what you do from among a multitude of choices? And even if ‘paying the bills’ was an accurate reflection of your initial motivation, how has that changed? Now that it’s clear that you won’t default on your mortgage and your children aren’t going to go hungry, why do you continue to do what you do?
If you can articulate your ‘why’, two things happen.
- You create a clear sense of purpose.
- You can translate that clarity into one of the most effective marketing pieces you have ever created.
Earlier, I challenged you to get clear on your target market and to go further to articulate why you want to work with those clients. I made the case (or tried) that when you are clear about why you have chosen to work with a particular target or ideal client group, you’ll become a magnet for the right clients.
Now, I want to extend that logic to your business as a whole and take it one step further. Here’s the challenge. Write an article, blog post or other suitable missive that answers this question.
Why do you do what you do?
And if you can share your response with prospects, it will make all other marketing material look half-baked.
Start With Why
Simon Sinek has written and spoken extensively and eloquently on this topic. His book ‘Start With Why’ is a must-read and his Ted Talk is a great first step. In his book he has this say about your why.
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money – that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
He goes on to connect your ability to articulate your why with a range of positive outcomes, including spectacular growth. Today, however, is less about articulating your why (that could fill a book) but what you do with that information.
I’m suggesting you not only need to understand your why but document it and share it.
Three Simple Steps
There are three parts to the exercise.
1. Articulate your why.
You may need to dig a little to get to the real and most compelling reason. Consider a modified version of the ‘5 Whys’, an exercise originally created by Toyota as a form of root cause analysis, to get there. Answer the question ‘why do you do what you do’. Then ask ‘why is that answer important’. When you have answered the next why, ask why again until you get to the core of what really matters.
2. Write it down.
Write an article, create a blog post, record a video – anything that clearly articulates why you do what you do.
3. Share it.
Share that article with prospects to set you apart and help them understand what working with you is all about.
- Write a blog post
- Put a letter on your website
- Send an email to your clients
- Send the letter to prospects before you meet
- Share the letter with your centers of influence
Or, all of the above
The challenge is to make the exercise authentic. Most of us aren’t on the hunt for a cure for cancer (although if you are, this exercise is probably fairly easy) so you don’t need to make it sound like you are. Just be real about your ‘why’ and you’ll set yourself apart from the pack.
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