Friday, February 14, 2020

Understanding your Why

Have you ever wondered why you do what you do? 

Running a business can be overwhelming. There will be times when you will wish you could take a break or even give it all up. It is in these testing times you will need to go back to the basic reason why you started your business in the first place.
Some people start a business to earn money while some start because they are passionate about something. Women who are creative entrepreneurs usually fall in the latter category. More often than not, it begins with someone saying “This ____________ that you made is so good. Can you make some for me?” One thing leads to another and passion starts making profit.
Launching your business is pretty exciting. There is so much adrenalin rush during those baby steps! Your first order, your first set of business cards, your first payment coming through, the first time you were featured by the press, the first time you were recognized in public! There are so many firsts. They all feel like the first steps or the first words of a baby.
But as the business grows, so do the troubles. First you need to go through the hassles of actually starting and registering a business. That usually includes a lot of paper work. It is followed by book keeping. Soon, the business aspects grow larger than the creative aspects of the venture. Competition grows, your own expectations rise and every day becomes harder than the previous one. The fun is sometimes lost and you start wishing you could just close it all down, especially when it was your passion that made you start it when you launched.
Or sometimes the project before you might be so daunting that it feels like it is taking forever and you are almost just ready to throw in the towel.
I have felt all of these! When I decided to grow my business, I started with a lot of enthusiasm. My new website was up and running and blog posts scheduled for a month in advance. But then, I decided to start blogging every day. And that is when everything started to spiral out of control. It was just too much work. Researching topics, writing blog posts, scheduling social media, all of it became too overwhelming. And I just stopped writing. I thought, I won’t be able to write every day, so I should just stop. It took me close to 9 months to realize done is better than perfect and I started writing again. So you will see me usually blogging 3 times a week, but I won’t beat myself up if my post is late or I miss a whole week!
Another example when I need to remind myself of my why is while I work on my daunting project of Shivarajyabhishek Quilt. It is the largest quilt I have ever attempted AND it is filled with detailed portraits. As much adventurous it is, it is also overwhelming. And every few days, I need to ground myself and remind myself about why I started the project in the first place.
But not everyone has articulated their why in words. Who has the time to dwell on it when they are starting a new business? There are a thousand things that need your attention. And sometimes “Because my brother/husband said so” is a reason that we actually start a business. How do you justify your reason to yourself in that case?
It is not very difficult. All you have to do is say what you are doing and complete the sentence with a “so-that” addition to it.
I started Passion to Profit so that I could share the knowledge I gained by starting my own entrepreneurial venture with other home-based creative womenpreneurs from India.
I started my Shivarajyabhishek quilt so that I could use quilting as a medium to pay my respect to one of the greatest warrior kings of India by showing off the quilt and its story at international quilt shows.
Just stating the reason behind the action reminds you of your purpose and motivates you to gear up to complete what you started!

Do you have an overwhelming task or not-so-fun work to do? Try this way of articulating your why, and do let me know if it worked for you.

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