Your business needs a purpose that’s beyond what it does for people. It needs to identify the purpose (the Why) it’s doing what it’s doing. Such as in the case of my no-nonsense client (let’s call her Lucy), who was a partner in a boutique accounting firm. She had about a hundred letters next to her name and had worked hard to get them there. Extremely resistant to doing any type of marketing that would be frowned on by her industry regulations and rigid partners, she was struggling to differentiate herself amongst every other accountant and business advisor in the market. Her sales were flat and she had huge growth dreams.
Finding the Pain
When we started our work together, we discovered that her most profitable niche would be to position herself as a Profitability expert for small construction manufacturing firms. These firms often lost money on misquoting and guessing at jobs and at the end of the year, they couldn’t figure out why they working like dogs and making no profits. Through our research, Lucy discovered that Profitability was a great pain point she could own and market.
Everybody Has A Purpose
When it came time to tell the story of how she had come to be an expert in helping small businesses with profitability, I asked Lucy to look into her past and her childhood. I asked her ‘can you think of a phoenix rising story where you were in this same kind of pain yourself?’. It turned out that Lucy’s parents were both entrepreneurs. She recalled with great emotion how they see-sawed between being flush with cash and being strapped for even the funds to cover the basics. She suffered a great deal from their constant inability to control their cashflow and profitability.
The Eureka Moment
When Lucy put together the niche that emerged, as well as her passion for helping small businesses and her childhood memories, all the dots lined up and drew the picture of her life purpose for her. While presenting her business to a networking group, Lucy actually and inexplicably started to cry while presenting the slide with the story of her parents’ struggle. She herself expressed her surprise about being so emotional about the story, claiming that as an accountant, she had never once cried during a presentation. Her Why was a powerful revelation for her.
Your Audience Connects To Your Purpose
It is certainly moving to witness Lucy and countless other clients connect their What to their Why. However, what business owners don’t realize (more are realizing now thanks to the work of Simon Sinek) is that your audience is hungry to hear why you do what you do. In fact, they want to own a piece of that success. For example, my Why is to help entrepreneurs break out of their childhood conditioning that limits them. Recently, I did a talk about stepping into your true personality as a business owner and using your own marketing to shout it out to the world. I was approached by so many women business owners after that, who told me that it had inspired them to breakthrough their self-imposed childhood conditioning around fear of visibility and authenticity. Not only did it feel good for me but for my audience and you can bet your bottom dollar that some of those conversations turned into prospects and then to clients!
So, step out of your comfort zone and open up your heart about why you’re really doing what you’re doing. Who are you trying to really help and why? Then use that as your marketing platform and differentiate yourself from countless other faceless competitors who are just going through the motions.
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