It may have appeared that I have been 'quieter than usual' this year, but in addition to helping clients with their marketing and design needs, I have been 'working' on my most precious masterpiece.
Last December, my husband and I welcomed to this world our beautiful daughter.
Some of you are probably thinking, "Congratulations, Naty, that's great, but how does this relate to me or my business?"
It's okay; I take no offense, but please allow me to elaborate. I promise I won't waste your time.
"What is it about your business that makes you smile? What gets you up every morning?"
I always ask this question to new clients during our initial consultation, and I love doing it. Some look at me funny or go silent. But most times, they simply blurt: "Making money." Needless to say, I have found myself rephrasing the question so people don't go to that automatic answer. Recently, though, I had a client who—for the very first time—answered: "No, not money." Wow, was that refreshing to hear! She continued: "I am in business because, first, I like to make things possible; I love solving my clients' problems. And secondly, because I enjoy having cocktails with them." I instantly knew I wanted to work with her (and no, not for the latter!). Yes, we all need to make money in order to survive, pay our bills and stay in business. I get it; I do, too. However, they are missing the point.
So why is "why" so important?
In life and in business, having a clear and defined "why" allows you to know why you do the things you do, and thus, attract those who share your same passion and vision. Everyone describes "what" they do: We sell real estate; I am a doctor; we own a restaurant. Then, they go onto describing "how" they do it: We offer great service; I specialize in pediatrics and we have a great staff; we use only organic ingredients. Blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong; those things are great and important, but imagine if they started the conversation with: Because after being homeless, I believe everyone deserves to be a homeowner; because I am a father myself, and I know how it feels to have someone you can call in the middle of the night when your child is sick; because for every meal we serve, we donate 10 percent of our revenue to a local food bank.
Do you see the difference?
Let's take this same scenario but on a bigger scale.
Your "why" could be a personal drive and conviction, like Malala Yousafzai. It could be philanthropical, like Toms shoes. Or even a statement, like Apple. They were all unknown and small at some point, but they all have that same thing in common: Their "why" was and is their big driving force; a force that created a movement and got people to believe and join in the conversation.
Now imagine doing this for your business. Do you see what I am seeing?
So what is your "why"? Go ahead, comment below. I genuinely would love to know.
If you are unsure, let me help you uncover that dormant force—and together—let's use it to guide your business (and personal life) and get others to truly follow you and become your raving fans.
P.S. In case you're curious, here's my "why"...
Having a daughter made me want to be a better woman-business owner. And no, not to prove a point of some or any sort. On the contrary, I want her to grow up knowing that she can do anything she puts her mind and heart to. I want her to see me, her mom, as one of her role models. When she grows up, I want her to follow her passion and I want her to help others—doing whatever profession she chooses to follow.
Great things always start small, but it takes patience, love and guidance (among others!) for them to grow into perfection and reach their full potential.
Photos courtesy of Terah Lake Photography.