What do super-successful entrepreneurs and small business owners all have in common?

It’s not experience, knowledge or wisdom.

It’s not extraordinary skills or a certain degree.

It’s not even a powerful drive and constant motivation.

Although all of these things can definitely help your business grow, they’re not a prerequisite for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive.

The one thing that does make a difference and is unique for each of us, though, is your “why.”

  • Why did you decide to become a business owner or entrepreneur?
  • Why do you spend so many hours in front of your laptop & phone each week?
  • Why do you set your alarm for 5 am and stay up until midnight, just so you can work on growing your business?

Our “why” is what ultimately drives us to success, but here’s the thing: it’s different for each of us. Your why is not my why, and my why is not her/his why. It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.

For example, a mother of small children may be distraught at the thought of sending her kids to daycare just so she can go to work to (barely) pay for it. Her big why is a drive to spend as much time with her kids as she can, while still supporting her family.

A young, fresh out of school entrepreneur might resist taking the same path her parents took and encourage her to take, working for a corporation for 40 years, only to retire and find themselves with barely enough to live on. Instead, she dreams of having the income (and the time) to see the world while she’s still young enough to enjoy it.

So what’s your great “why”? It might be the freedom to travel the world, the availability to spend time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for a sick family member or friend, or even to earn enough money to support a charity that’s close to your heart.

Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take. When you are making the decision whether to take on a new client, ask yourself if it’s aligned with your “why.”

When you’re setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why. Thinking of branching out into a new business venture? Always make sure it’s in alignment with your big why, and success is suddenly much more achievable.

To find out your why, grab a pen/pencil and paper and start doing a brain dump of everything that is important to you, why they are important and what your life would be like without them.  Include your passions, your strengths, where you add the greatest value and what you think your purpose is. This will help lead you to your why.

What is your Why?