Can you remember why you started your business?

Last week I had a meeting with a great couple. They started their business less than 2 years ago. They are brilliant, love what they do, are very successful and the business is growing.

Are you doing the right things?

They had just completed their plan for the next financial year and kicked off our meeting with: “we’re still new at running a business, so we just want to make sure we’re doing it right.”

Their plan is 2 sides of A4, sets out step-by-step the journey to delivering customer value and pinpoints the areas for improvement. Their niche and their pipeline for generating leads are clear. Return on investment for marketing spend is evaluated, their pricing strategy is transparent and compares favourably with their competitors. They hire on potential and train for skills.

All fantastic stuff.

Why are you doing this?

Then I asked: “how does this plan help you achieve your why?”

Their aim is retirement at 50 and the business is the vehicle for giving them freedom to do this and spend quality time together. However, they haven’t had a family holiday for a long time, despite talking about it frequently and last week one of them had to work despite being ill.

The light bulb went on. The one thing missing from their plan is the most important – it is their why.

When you have a clear why and keep it at the forefront of your decision making, you’re much more likely to achieve it.

What’s your light bulb moment?

Maybe reading this reminds you that having a thriving business and healthy bank balance are not the only indicators of success?

Perhaps, you want to make sure that your hard work doesn’t comes at the expense of your family, relationships or health?

Possibly you’re asking yourself “why am I doing this – does it get me closer to my dream?”

The truth is that the people I work with have a sound, values-based ‘why’ for starting their business but they also have a compelling personal ‘why’ too.

When did you last check to make sure that your business is helping you to achieve your why?  If it isn’t what are you going to change?

How can you shape your business plan around your ‘why’ rather than solely the ‘what’ and the ‘how?’

Is it time to refocus?

At the end of our meeting they were full of smiles as I left them saying “we’re booking that family holiday tonight” and you can bet that I’m going to check that they follow through!

So for all you busy, over-stretched business owners and leaders, what you need to take from this experience is – remember why you are in business and stay focused on how the business is helping you to achieve your ‘why.’

In the words of Simon Sinek:

“Happiness comes from what you do. Fulfilment comes from why you do it.”


Barbara’s next business development event is a half day workshop – “On Your Marks, Get Set, Grow! on 20th March, Leicester. Find out more and book your place now.

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