You see all the videos — maybe you even dream about it. Simon Sinek is on the stage, saying brilliantly how the most successful people and companies have a clear why that drives them. But you’re frozen because he asks you to come on stage and you blank.

Because you have no idea what your why is — and you don’t have a clue where to begin to uncover it.

You are in good company, I promise.

How do you take something as ephemeral as your big why — and paint a picture for your business and life you can take action on?

It’s not only possible; there’s a method to the madness that can step you through it. (If you haven’t figured it out yet — I love a good formula).

My Story

I had a happy (unhappy) accident recently. I was lying under the stars at a campground, just a thin screen between me and the night above. It would have been perfect, except it was 40 degrees and I forgot my rain fly.

Before I froze for the night, I got to enjoy the blissful moment of the first firefly of the season and remembering THIS is why I do all this.

Someday, I want to live in the mountains and blend days between creating content, helping the world, and hiking. That is one of my personal whys. It’s an experience that’s important to me.

But my business has a purpose of its own. I want more people to make glorious mistakes, and create the impact they want in the world while fueling their livelihoods. So my burning platform is to change the odds of people going into business, staying in business, and making a sustainable impact.

Of course, I need to do this while paying the bills and having loving and connected experiences with my children (usually camping or in nature — surprise!)

So I need to look at thoughtful ways to expand my business that allow this to happen. First, through more advisors, then through a transformation in sub-contracting for micro-business owners, then by replicating my local to local delivery model in other cities.

Do you see the picture I just painted?

Is it clear to you what I’m after in my business and in my life and how they connect?

Do you know your picture?

You can quickly follow a journey to uncover the elements of your why.

The Method

To build a compelling why that closes the gap to what you actually need to do — you are looking through two lenses and how they intersect:

  • Your business and personal desires (because they are intertwined as a small business owner)

  • Your short and long term horizon

In the intersection of these two areas, you can answer four questions on a journey to uncover your why:

  • Burning Platform: The long term impact you want your business to make on the world and who it will serve.

  • Your Next Chapter: What is life like for you after this business (long term), and how that affects, sale, succession planning, your role in the company, and what you need from it?

  • The Experiences You Want: What are those experiences that are right around the corner that you want? What are the resources it will take to make them happen?

  • Your Next Moves: What you need from your business in terms of money, time, and expansion plans to make your big impact on the world and support the experiences you are looking to create the life you want to lead.

If you want to go on a guided exercise (with templates, videos, examples, and things to consider) — the free preview of our online course will get you there.

Jenny Erickson has a history in corporate america that is more of a mouthful of buzz words! She’s now fulfilling her destiny of helping America’s smallest businesses thrive by giving them access to simplified versions of the best resources she developed in her 2 decades as a Program Manager, Organization Design Consultant, Supply Chain professional, and jane-of-all-trades to make sense for the unique challenges of micro-business owners. Find out what she can do for your micro-business!

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