Challenge: Why Do You Do What You Do

by Jennifer Good | February 26th, 2014 1:20 PM | 1 Comment

why do you work

When you meet people for the first time, inevitably the question about “what you do” comes up. Honestly, I used to dread that question. It always seemed like my answer was so shallow compared to the depth of my skills. I create websites. I help people market their business. I build online places for people to visit. While all true, they all sound boring and typical. Not something that leaves a great first impression.

What I’ve found is that if you are having trouble in an area, you usually haven’t found the way to frame the question properly to come up with the right answer. This was definitely true of my “elevator pitch.” It wasn’t until I started looking at things differently that things changed. When I took the time to think about why I do what I do, I realized I couldn’t stop coming up with reasons – and, surprisingly they were all fascinating (at least to me).

For instance, I help people by giving them the tools to operate their own business. I help people by giving them the knowledge to thrive in their business. I help people by providing motivation, inspiration and insight into problems they may be facing at the moment. Now, imagine telling someone you do that for a living. That’s where the best conversations start. Certainly not from “I create websites.”

Why should this matter to you? Well, the thing is, we are all living our own story. The problem is we aren’t all skilled in the craft of storytelling. This can make us feel a lack of excitement about what we do. However, what you feel about what you do affects to some degree the level of work you are creating. If you aren’t proud of it, you aren’t living your fullest life. When you work for yourself, this can be self-defeating.

Plus, there’s a business upside. If you know why you are doing what you do, you can better explain to customers and sales prospects how you can most benefit them. I don’t just help by giving online marketing advice. I empower people with the tools to make a success out of their business.

In marketing terms, this is also called your most valuable product. You are answering the question, “What are your customers buying from you?” They aren’t just buying a product, they are buying a service or a need that they expect to be fulfilled. If you are a personal trainer, your product isn’t a workout session – it’s weight loss, increased strength or a healthy body. If you are a personal chef, your product isn’t your meals – it’s the peace of mind of knowing they are getting good food even though they may not have time to make it. You are being hired for the experience or the end result you create. That’s your true value to your customers. And, when you zero in on your true value, everything suddenly seems to fall in place.

So, this week I challenge you to look at what you do and really answer WHY you are doing it. What value are you creating for the people using your services or products?

I’d love to talk about what you come up with – just leave a comment in the section below!

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  • Howard Jordan

    I’m surprised not one comment on such a nicely written article. We just have to end that. I ended up here from a self-employment site where you contributed.