What it Means to #OwnYourWhy
In March of 2016 I took a scary leap by starting my own business, and it's been one wild ride ever since. I know you get it: it's terrifying and exhilarating, challenging yet so rewarding. And when you are starting your own business, there are A TON of questions to answer:
- What will I call my business?
- Who will be interested in my product/service?
- How much should I charge?
- When should I launch?
- And the list goes on...
But I argue that the most important question, and the one you should continually ask yourself is: Why?
Why is important because it cuts deep to reveal your core purpose. It acts as a wonderful devil’s advocate so that you are double checking your work before hitting send. It also ensures that the story you are telling your audience about your brand is consistent.
Here are two examples from my own business to demonstrate my point:
- Why did I name my business MaggieGentry? I went back and forth for weeks trying to settle on another name that was more SEO-friendly, or a little more descriptive, but in the end, I chose MaggieGentry (my first & middle names). I was named after my great, great grandmother whose legacy in our family is that she was as tough as nails with the hardest hands but a loving matriarch with the the softest heart. My goal with MaggieGentry is to bring her spirit into my business by working hard for each of my clients, pushing them towards their full potential and being their #1 cheerleader along the way.
- Why do I call what I do “thought partnership”? The definition of a thought partner is someone who challenges your thinking in such a way that creates value for your business. And in the most basic sense, that is exactly what I do. My work with each client is unique, and it blends certain aspects of business coaching & marketing consulting. So then WHY thought partnership - this rarely used and often unknown phrase? Because it piques interest! And those that are most interested, will follow up to learn more. And those are the people I want to work with.
All of this leads me to the main point… It is crucial that you discover your WHY for your business. Once you have done so, go back and ensure that all social media posts, your website copy, your title on your business cards, etc. all come from this place of truth and intention. Because when it comes down to it, people buy from people, and people like a good story.
How can you tell your story better by asking yourself why?
As an exercise to help me better define my why, I have been writing in a journal every morning. At least once a week I aim to include a different version of how to explain my why. Here is one example from a couple of weeks ago:
I want to be a go-to resource for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs so that they know how to best present themselves and their work. I want to be a powerful tool in their arsenal and a constant cheerleader on the sidelines.
My challenge to you is to follow a similar exercise. Get into a routine of regularly writing your why in an effort to better define it. This will one day be your mission statement/core purpose/core values by which your business will live & breathe. In doing so, you will fully embrace what it means to #OwnYourWhy.
To help you discover & own your why, download the Marketing Crash Course worksheet.
Please know - I am here for you along this journey of discovery! Let's stay in touch so that I can support you - here’s how:
- Show me how you’re doing by tagging your photos on Instagram with #OwnYourWhy.
- Join me for Virtual Office Hours every Tuesday 5-6:30pm CST and Wednesday 10-11:30am CST. On Gchat: firstname.lastname@example.org. On Skype chat: @maggie.gentry.miller.
- Shoot me an email or comment below.
Whichever way you choose to connect, know that I am here, and eager to hear from you!