Why do you get up every morning?
Why do you do the job that you do? Have the friends that you have? Wear the clothes that you wear, drive the car you drive?
Why do we do anything? What motivates us? A lot of times people will ask, in a way of facilitating deeper thought, “what is your why?”
Your why is what motivates and drives your every decision throughout the day, week, month or year.
One of my fellow boss babes and long time friend started TWO home businesses (while her husband owns his own company too….) on top of taking care of a newborn & a 4 year old. Her “why” is so that she can stay home with her young daughters while still bringing in an income and allowing herself to do what she loves so she and her husband can support their growing family together… and be present at the same time.
Figuring out your why, may not be as clear or definitive at first though, my why has taken me some time to identify and figure out.
Fresh out of school, 7 years ago *gulp*, I knew I wanted to work with my father to and build a family business… But I truly didn’t know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.
Initially my role in our company, was low-key event coordinator and basic customer service. Much of my duties my father had to hold my hand through since I had no confidence to even type an email. In the past seven years, I’ve grown into someone he trusts to run much of his company, alongside the rest of the management team he has assembled.
Working with your family can be one of the most challenging and frustrating, yet rewarding jobs there is, because while you don’t have the traditional “9-5”, (which lets be honest, doesn’t exist anymore) you get a whole lot of freedom, experience and roles to play that may not have initially been within your skillset. It becomes less of a J-O-B and more of a lifestyle when you LOVE what you do, and it fuels your why.
After a lot of stress, confusion and overwhelming sense of failure, my why has finally been identified based on what gives me joy every day and makes me want to get up, get dressed and drive to work every morning.
Why do I check my calendar right before bed, add “appointments” for things I need to remember to do, and then check it first thing in the morning?
My why is our customers: Our customers and their desire to increase their social exposure and learn ways to improve and grow their business.
Which is ALSO why I get up in the middle of the night to make notes… because sometimes I do some of my best creative thinking in the middle of the night while I sleep and wake up to jot down notes before I forget.
This J-O-B isn’t just a job… Its my entire life. Part of figuring out my why is realizing I live to work, not work to live. I truly love my job and doing what I do… Every single bit of it… Even the tough stuff.
My why is my employees: We currently employ young men and women as interns who are incredibly hard working, creative 19 – 21 year olds, these “young college students” give me hope for the second half of the millennial generation, which doesn’t have the greatest rep. I absolutely adore all of our interns both past and present and feel an incredible sense of accomplishment when they succeed.
Currently, my longest running intern, B, has grown so seamlessly into her role as Customer Service Representative and now can handle customer calls and questions on her own. I get such joy from that, because I know I’ve taught her well.
Showing my interns, especially my girls, that you can have MORE than your typical “9-5”, have fun with your job and like what you do, gives me hope that they too will find their why someday and end up with a job that not only pays the bills but makes them happy.
My why is my passion to improve and grow: Taking on new projects and learning new skills fuels my why. I LOVE to learn, but need to learn by doing. New customer needs arise, or have a situation that needs to be handled? I will learn how to handle it. Need a new website? I’ll figure out a way to make it. We need to improve our website? I’ll enhance my skills to make it better. A customer needs some cool ideas to grow their exposure / run a promotion? I’ll put on my creative hat and work something up!
My why is building: Building a business, not only with my father, but with my soon-to-be husband is something truly remarkable. My why comes from the fact that we’re in this together, and each of us have skills that we bring to the table and are important to succeeding.
My why is our future: I want to be that KICK ASS Boss Babe Mama. I want to be the mom running from a conference call to ballet, and then to soccer, and then home to do bath and bed time. While I don’t cook, I want to be able to sit down to dinner with my family every night, put the littles to bed and finish work after they’re asleep.
I want to be present as much as possible and being able to work from home or bring my children with me to my office when I choose is something I won’t take for granted. I want to be able to have an office where my kids will grow up playing and “pretend working” like I did growing up in my dads office.
I want to be able to be with my kids while they’re small (possibly having some help) but being able to run my section of the business with a team that I know and can trust to help run my department that I’ve worked so hard to build.
My why is working my butt off now, in all my various jobs, so I have the income and freedom in the future.
Tips on how to figure out your why!
- Identify what motivates you… You may need to try different fields or roles until you figure that out.
- Identify what parts of your day bring you the most joy? Even if it’s the smallest part.
- Incorporate those identified aspects into your daily life… Even if it’s stopping for that morning coffee and croissant… (just hit the gym after :))
- Remember the core reasons behind your why. Is it your family? Personal or professional goals? Financial? Awards?
- Act. Take action to pursue your why… whether that means a career change, a position change, or an all together life change. Everyone deserves to be happy and pursuing your why will help with that!