What are you passionate about? When you are talking with your family and friends, what lights up your eyes, puts a smile on your face and gets you excited to just thinking about it? Is it love? Money? Politics? Success? Health? Happiness? Business? The next question can be pretty telling. Do you get AS excited about your business as you do about the subject that makes you giddy to talk about? I hope so. If the answer is no, I want you to look critically about the thing that you do with your time that doesn’t absolutely light up your life. If the answer is yes, you are probably pretty motivated by “your why”. What I love about working with women entrepreneurs is that most are driven by one of two things (hopefully both!). They are either SUPER passionate about what they do in their business, or they are super passionate about WHAT their business provides for them (lifestyle, food on the table, roof over their heads, etc.). This passion is critical to your every day happiness and success and sometimes even if your passionate about what it’s providing for you, it can still be tiring and hard sometimes.
I just finished reading the New York Times Bestselling book “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine. It was a great book about success. It was a quick read and the concepts were fantastic. One of the things that I like about Darren Hardy is his campaign to free homes of television. Though I’m not THAT extreme in my own home, this book reminded me to be REALLY careful about what I put in my brain. “Garbage in, garbage out,” says Hardy. We fill our minds with all kinds of depression and destruction and then expect to have our minds fueled with success and joy. He doesn’t watch one bit of news media. But, like me, he’s turned his car into a rolling university where he listens to good books while he’s commuting or traveling. He’s filling his mind with good stuff. Since September, I’ve finished 9 books on the subjects of business, success, and work/life priority. I read some, and I listen to some in the car. I highly recommend this success principle of filling your mind with good non-fiction that keeps you motivated but ALSO keeps you at the top of your industry. Some of the concepts in his book I’ve read in other places. That never gets me frustrated, it just reminds me that success really is about universal truths, we just get to pick if we’re going to act on the wisdom of the greats.
I digress. I intended to write a full review on the book, but my heart wants to take me elsewhere. Hardy talks in his book about “Your Why” and I reflected on this A LOT this year.
When I hired my first success coach this summer to really launch my speaking career, one of the most powerful exercises she took me through was, “Your Why”. I was trying to fine tune my topic and area of expertise and she asked me a series of questions that were easy for me to answer. I truly wish the entire world was happier. I truly wish that everyone realized that with some simple choices, they could choose to be happier. I love helping women entrepreneurs find joy in business without sacrificing their personal lives. While we were talking I was so full of passion that I was doing laps around my dining room table. These weren’t new realizations to me, and they were easy to talk about, but then she had me write it down. I was amazed at how easy it was for me to write down a page of things that were really motivating me to share my message with the world.
So my question for you, again, is this? What makes you giddy? What makes you SO excited that you have a hard time sleeping at night because you WANT to work? I want to invite you to create your “My Why” paper. Why do you do what you do every day? What do you want change about your world? Who do you want to influence and how? Then, I want you to summarize that why and put it on a 3 x 5 card, just as my coach told me to do. Put it somewhere you can see it every day. This card is taped to my bathroom mirror. I see it 5 or more times a day. It keeps me constantly grounded in my “movement” and drives my days with passion.
Your why is one piece of your success puzzle and staying grounded in your passion can help you get through the dips that you encounter on this path of entrepreneurship.
Let’s talk more…What is your why? What motivates you to do what you do? Share with us in the comments below!
Michelle McCullough is the Managing Director for Startup Princess. Michelle became a partner in Startup Princess in 2008. She is responsible for event planning, marketing, affiliates, sponsorships and partnerships. Over the past 3 years she has coached women entrepreneurs and helped them grow their businesses from “dream in development” to established thriving businesses. Michelle is a speaker, strategist, success coach and a serial entrepreneur. She started Doodads Promotional Products when she was 19. And has also spent the last 12 years working in marketing and advertising. She’s worked in all aspects of the industry from production to creative and sales to management. On top of her full-time jobs, Michelle has cultivated her love for entrepreneurship by running Doodads as a successful side business. In 2008 when Michelle quit her full-time job to be home more with her newborn son, she moved Doodads to the front burner and doubled the income in 2008 and doubled it again in 2009. Today it continues to thrive. This year Michelle launched a coaching program called “The Life Balance Myth” to help busy entrepreneurs build thriving businesses AND meaningful personal lives. She believes that life balance is a myth, but she provides practical tools to achieve personal and professional success. You can learn more about Michelle at SpeakMichelle.com Michelle has 2 children under 4 and lives in Utah.