Ever heard of the quote “Do what you love and you never have to work another day in your life”?
It’s such a feel-good, warm fuzzies-giving feeling that motivates you to get started with working on your passion, right? How perfect.
Here’s why it’s wrong. If it were incredibly easy to be an entrepreneur, everyone would be doing it.
I don’t believe in advice like “enjoy the journey” and “find your passion and it won’t feel like work anymore” because for the past 12 years of being an entrepreneur, I’ve never enjoyed the mistakes, the failures and the struggles.
The one thing that kept me going was knowing why I was in business in the first place. And in today’s video, I’ll help you look deeper inside of you and find out your greatest motivation too:
The start of the year signals two things: looking back at the past and preparing for this year. And for entrepreneurs such as you and me, it’s reflection and planning for our business while taking note of its “roller-coaster-like” nature.
Because let’s face it, building your own business is like riding a roller coaster.
One moment you’ve done really well for yourself, you feel like nothing could go wrong and you savor the moments that you’re on top of your game.
And then the next thing you know, you’ve failed at achieving your goals for your business. You’re struggling. You’ve done everything you could but nothing seems to go right for your brand. You’re experiencing the dreaded “downs” in the ride.
Sometimes, you can’t help but experience the challenges. After all, macro-economic outlook looks a little unclear. Many public markets around the world had a rough 2018.
And if I told you to “buckle up and enjoy the ride!”, you just can’t relate to it, right? I mean, no one really enjoys the pain, the obstacles, the difficulties and the rough times.
So forget that advice. Let’s talk about why you are in business instead. After all, figuring out my personal “why” encouraged me to persevere and motivated me to stick with my entrepreneurial journey.
Hey, it worked for 12 years and counting, so I must be doing something right, don’t you think?
Honestly, due to the success of WooThemes, a company that I previously co-founded, I had this idea in my head that I was a “one-hit wonder” so I wanted to prove to the world – and to myself – that I was not.
After working on CM Commerce for 2 years and realizing that even though it wasn’t as big as WooThemes, it was still a “safe” business that was growing nicely. Finally, I thought, I created a business from scratch and it was doing well.
This realization made me consider two things: one, I’ve lost the desire to work on CM Commerce because I finally see it being developed into a nice business; and two, perhaps it’s time for me to move on to the next new thing.
Why was it so?
Because my “why” for CM Commerce was just a short-term thing. Why did I build CM Commerce? I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t a one-hit wonder. And so when I finally proved this, I lost the drive – the desire to continue.
It was a superficial reason. And I lost focus on the real reasons – the true “why’s” – the things that I ultimately value which encouraged me to be in business…
My family, having financial independence, freedom to work on what I want, when I want, and in the way I want, and fulfillment.
These things grounded me in reality. They made me look deeper within myself and find a deeper reason – “why” did I want to continue my path as an entrepreneur? “Why” should I push through even though the entrepreneurial journey has challenges? “Why” do I need to continue working on CM Commerce even though my short-term goal was already achieved?
I look at my deeper “why’s” and I find the answer to my questions easily.
Because you see, in today’s modern world, it’s pretty easy to start a business. You have the Internet to thank for that.
But in the same world where about 50% of small businesses fail within the first 4 years, starting a business for sort-of-okay-but-not-really-meaningful reasons just wouldn’t help you make the cut.
What inspired you to get into business?
Why are you promoting that specific product?
Or what urged you to offer your specific services?
Figure out the reason why. If it’s too short-term or superficial, you’re better off doing something different. Look for a journey that’ll align with your personal values, whatever these may be.
It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling, if you’re feeling down in the dumps, or if you’re having difficulty getting things done…
As long as your why is strong enough, as long as your reason for being in this business is to help you take charge of the things that are the most important to you, then you’re all set.
Buckle up, figure out your greatest “why”, stick with it and make the ride worth your while.
Bonus points for you if you include your “why” in your company’s About page! This way, you can connect on a deeper level with your audience, too. People buy feelings, not things, remember?
What’s your personal “why”? What drives you to pursue your business? Let me know in the comments below. Talk to you next week! Cheers.