So be honest – which of the two images above best represents how you feel most mornings when you wake up? If you are like the vast majority of professionals, entrepreneurs, and managers, you likely wake up feeling more like the boy on the right than the woman on the left. If that is you, then I want to challenge you to focus on where your mind is in those waking moments…do you wake up thinking about WHAT, or WHY?
Most entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years wake up in the morning completely focused on WHAT it is that they do. They rush to get themselves ready. They rush to get the kids ready and off to school. They fight traffic. They get to the office and deal with the multitude of frustrations that come with the territory: The people problems; The lack of control; The lack of sufficient profit for all the time, energy, and risk invested in running a business (or should I say, being run by a business). You get the picture.
Then what is it that separates those folks from the small percentage of entrepreneurs who wake up energized, happy, and excited to conquer the day?
In his book START WITH WHY, Simon Sinek, states the following: “WHY: Very few people or companies can articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money – that is a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
For the first twenty years of my career, like most business owners, I often woke up feeling like the boy in the photo above. I was stressed, worried, and uncertain. I lacked clarity and purpose. I was focused on all of my WHATs and WHAT IFs. It was only after I lead my company’s Leadership Team through the implementation of EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) and we discovered our Core Focus that I began to view everything I did, and we did, through the lens of our WHY.
Of course the WHAT, and also the HOW, are critical components of the success of any organization and of any person. But if you start with WHY, and remain focused on your WHY, then you will naturally find more clarity around your WHAT and HOW, more peace in your life, and you will likely start waking up happy and inspired…ready to take on the world. More importantly, when you look in the mirror, you will be able to answer the questions “WHY do I get out of bed in the morning?”, and “WHY should anyone care?”
Think of companies like Apple…they don’t exist to make iPhones, MacBooks, and iPods, those are the WHAT and HOW…they exist to challenge the status quo and to empower the individual. All of their WHATs and HOWs – the iPhone, the iPod, the iPad, iTunes – start with their WHY…to challenge the status quo and empower the individual.
If you are tired of being frustrated and feeling like your business is running you rather than you running your business, there are only three choices: Quit, Accept It, or Change It. If you are ready to change it, you can learn more about EOS and the Simplified Methods for Achieving Results and Traction that I teach entrepreneurs and their leadership teams here.
Written by Michael Erath, Master Facilitator, Certified EOS Implementer™, Best-Selling Author and Founder of The Traction Hub
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