You’re ready to start a new business. Or maybe a new career, or any new project. Wonderful, you can do it! Get ready to hit the ground running, BUT first, stop. Before you do anything, you must define your “WHY.”

WHY are you doing this? WHY is this needed? WHY should this exist?

Defining your WHY is not a rainbows and butterflies PR stunt for the outside world; the outside world doesn’t even need to know your WHY. Your WHY is for YOU. It’s your root, and it will be your Marked Point when you experience chaos and change.

“But we won’t experience chaos, because we have a plan.” you say. To be blunt, your plan is irrelevant. Your professional future is unpredictable. Of course, you can plot a career and write a business plan. You can have an idea about what should happen, and you can sure as hell fight to make sure that it does. But at the end of the day, you can never truly know what WILL. If anything is certain, it’s that things will change – and when they do, when disorder and confusion strike, you’ll need something to hold on to, tightly. That something is your WHY.

When your company grows too quickly (a great problem to have) and you need to refocus, you’ll have your WHY. When your mid/quarter life crisis hits and you don’t know where to turn next, you’ll have your WHY. When your project seems to fall apart and you don’t know how to begin again, you’ll have your WHY.  When work is overwhelming and you begin to lose interest, you’ll have your WHY. When things change, when life is crazy, when you fail, and when you succeed, you’ll have your WHY.

Your WHY is stationary and unwavering; it will always be there to guide you. It is so important, in fact, that they very first workshop we do with our clients at Marked Point is always “Defining Your Why.” We can’t do any of our other work without it, and whether or not you realize it, neither can you.

So go out there, do and build wonderful things. But before you stray too far, take time to build your base, to define your WHY. When the storm hits, you’ll have a place to take shelter. And when you emerge you’ll be unscathed, ready to press onward toward your goal.

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