Why Do We Do What We Do?

Warning – I’m going to go a little off topic with this post.

I had a client meeting recently that got me thinking about why we do what we do. Assuming you are in a for-profit business, one of the reasons is already clear. But why did you choose to do what you’re doing as opposed to something else to achieve the same financial goals?

In my case, my skill set would allow me to hold a variety of sales leadership roles – many of which would be an easier path than the one I’ve chosen. So why did I leave my corporate job and launch my own company, Chicago Sales Strategies? The Chicago portion can be easily explained – this is where I was born, grew up, and where most of my family is – but what about the rest?

The answer lies in the years I lived in China. I personally believe we are in a war (of sorts) without most Americans even realizing it. The ‘war’ is for global economic dominance between the US and China – and right now China is winning! Given that the US economy is driven by SMB’s and innovation (and most innovation starts with small businesses), I’m putting my strengths to use in helping those small businesses be as successful as possible.

I’d like to suggest that all entrepreneurs and small business owners need to know why they are doing what they are. We are all following a far more difficult path than we could otherwise – so there’s got to be something more there. Knowing the ‘why’ will do two things for you – help you through those difficult times, and (here’s where I connect the dots) help define what exactly it is that you’re selling.

You are more than likely selling a product or service that is similar to something that is already out there, and perhaps from companies with greater resources than you. This is where differentiation is absolutely critical – there’s got to be something special about your offering. How do you define the passion you are putting into your business? By understanding why you’re doing it, you can now use that as selling point to potential customers that your larger competitors can’t. Simon Sinek has a great Ted Talk in which he introduces a similar idea, through his concept of the “Golden Circle.”

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