Is it to build a website, attract a surge of users, and grow a team of dozens (or hundreds!) of employees?
Is it to get on the cover of Forbes, Fast Company, and Inc Magazine, shake hands, and kiss babies?
Sound sexy? Maybe.
So, why start a business?
A good business is simply a tool to help you lead the life you want to live. And, done right, your business can be a way to leverage the change you want to see in the world.
What’s your “why”?
There’s no question that building a business takes hard work. (Say hello to late nights and goodbye to weekends.) If you’re bootstrapping a startup, you’d better be prepared to put some of your other goals and dreams on hold for the good of your company’s success.
So, if you’re committed to being an entrepreneur, you should be pretty darn sure that you’re building a business for the right reasons.
To define why you’re starting a business is one of the most empowering things you can do. Your why is what inspires you and your team, sparks action, and breathes purpose into everything you do.
As former Hoosier and serial entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, warns his disciples, “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.”
Get to the core of your obsession by asking yourself a few questions:
- How and why do I want to change the world?
- How does starting a business mesh with my personal values and beliefs?
- How will that business help me live a more fulfilled and purposeful life?
- Why do I want to run a business?
Don’t settle for glib answers. Really explore the nuances and ramifications.
This is your life and the whole world you’re exploring here.
Does your business “why” align with your personal “why”?
Build your business in such a way that it empowers and inspires yourself and others. Build it in a way that motivates and sustains the effort needed to overcome all obstacles (there will be more than a few) and to prevail.
So I ask you: Why does your business do what it does? What value do you provide? How do you (or will you) do that thing better than anyone else in the world? And why is that important—to you and to the world?
What’s your why?
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your “why” in the comments below, at least write it out and work it through for yourself. It should be the start of a wonderfully empowering conversation. And you’ll thank yourself for it later—many times over.