Over the last few months I have been trying to focus on the business more, learning how to expand, how to grow, how to reach more people and take my ‘brand’ to the next step of its journey and one of the first things you hear when you start down that path is to work out your ‘why’.
So what is your why?
It’s the driving force behind everything you do in your biz, its what makes you get out of bed and switch the computer on, its what keeps you going when you have a total writers block for new content and its what sits in your heart reminding you that there is a reason you are working so damn hard.
Everyone’s why is different, yes sure there will be some similarities, but when you bulk it out and think about your whole why you will realize that every why is as different as every person and every business.
I’m sure most of us will have money as part of our why, its something we all need and there is absolutely no point in being ashamed of it, but deep down you know that’s not your only why, if it was you would just go get a normal job with a regular guaranteed paycheck. For me I know that every month I need a certain amount of money so that the mortgage can be paid, so that is a tiny part of why I keep going, but it certainly isnt my driving force.
Lots of us will have our kids as part of our why, whether you want to be there for school drop off, or be around in the holidays or you want to be the primary care giver. Myself personally, when I was pregnant with Dexter I knew I didn’t want to go back to a regular job and then pay someone else to look after him. I knew I would resent working to pay for him to be looked after by someone else. I wanted to look after him and be there for him and his brother when he came along, and when it came to school age we decided that Home Education was right for our family so that meant I needed to continue with a job that let me work around them as and when I could, around their education, trips, groups, activities and general family life, so that’s a massive part of my why….but still that’s not everything.
If you search deep down inside and look at what made that initial idea spark, what drove you to take the plunge and get out of your comfort zone and have a go at this crazy small business life, and what pushes you forward when your getting tired and finding it tough…right there is where you will find the guts of your why.
For me, its pretty simple.
I want to spread my love of the natural world far and wide and I think the best way to do that is through education. I want to introduce kids to the amazing animals that we share the earth with to help them to fall in love and want to protect them for the future. I want to inspire them to learn about whats on their doorstep as well as what they may never see on the other side of the world. I want them to work on conservation projects and to learn to say no when offered a straw, and I want the driving force behind all of that to be that they have learnt about some amazing, fun, crazy and cute animals, because of something that I have created.
That’s my why, that’s what makes me keep going, that’s why I push through the creative blocks, the slow months, the crazy busy months, the boring events, the accounts (urgh) because I know that I have to keep going to make my why a reality.
Every time I hear from a customer that they have used my cards to inspire a class, or that their kid has fallen in love with Blob Fish and can now tell you everything there ever was to know about them, or that they have arranged a litter pick with friends or are campaigning their school to make changes to help the environment because of the love they developed from my products I sit here with the biggest smile on my face and in my heart, I feel overwhelmed with happiness that I’m doing it, I am reaching them and I am making it happen.