Why are you at work today? If the sole reason is because you need to pay rent and buy food, you are probably not completely satisfied with your work. In fact, you might be the office gossiper or the negative Nancy of the office.
Why do people leave a job that they are making 80K per year at with great benefits, only to branch out on their own, risking their families, income and sanity? Perhaps, they can’t stand working for someone else, they can’t stand not living in line with their values and/or they want to change the world.
Most people think those who venture outside of societies norms are crazy or are setting themselves up for failure. But whether you are making a leap in your business or personal life, you have to realize that doing things the same way day in and day out is not only boring, but that is the real risk.
I am not saying to quit your job today, or to up and move to your dream tropical island in the Caribbean, but after a calculated risk and research about what you are doing, it might be worth it.
But why is there such a risk in leaving a job or up and moving to that Island?
People don’t always know why they are doing what they are doing. You might know what you are doing and how you are going to do it, but you don’t know why you are doing it. Once you can identify the why, then you can determine if the leap is the right thing to do.
Creating a plan to make a leap isn’t the most important aspect to changing something, it is actually determining the why. Why isn’t the plan. The plan is in the what and how of what you are about to do, the why will stem from your values and beliefs.
In business, the theory is that if you want to be successful, you have to know why you are doing something, and it can’t be, “because I need money.” Money is a result, it is not a why. A why for a business might be “My dream is to reduce the stress in the American household, so that families can have more opportunities to enjoy each other.” This doesn’t say much about what I do or how I do it, but it is why I do what I do. Then, people who believe in my belief systems and values will support what it is I sell, because they too, personally, believe in the why. This leads to success. If all I have is a what and a how for my business, I am setting myself up for failure. Everyone has a plan, not everyone has a why. This is the reason that those with a why are often successful.
When it comes to your personal life, you have to know why you are doing something, too. If you are chasing an end result like money, fame or pleasure, you might be acting outside of your beliefs and find that you are never really feeling that “success” feeling. Besides, an end result, like money, is an outcome, not a why.
If you are doing something to be spiteful, hurtful, or vengeful, it might not be a good idea to make that leap in your personal life. Stop working to create only a plan, and first define why you are doing something, then work your way out from there. If you want to make a major life change so that you can regain a positive and healthy mindset, you are on the right track. Beginning something with a negative why can result in a personal failure, whereas beginning something with a positive why that follows your belief systems generates more of a chance of success.
This week’s challenge is to identify why you are doing what you are doing in business and your personal life.
Reflection and Tip: Are there any challenges, risks or leaps you want to take in the near future? Before you take the leap make sure that you have a strong why behind what you are about to do.