by Steve Phipps
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Entrepreneurs and Startups Need More Than a Plan

January 8, 2016 | Marketing

I recently had the honor of being a guest on the Memphis Success podcast. It was a great experience that got me thinking about what motivates me as an entrepreneur. It all comes down to understanding the ‘Why’: The purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do.

There was a moment when I was putting together the business plan for Wayfind Marketing when I stopped to ask myself, ‘What is it I really want to do?’ I wanted to help business owners make smarter marketing decisions to get better results through strategy and coaching. I love to help people get to the Ah Ha moment. That’s my ‘Why’.

Even from a young age, we know intuitively that the motive behind an action is the most important piece of any story. When it comes to your business — whether you’ve already launched or if you’re still in the whiteboard phase — knowing your ‘why’ will help you stay committed to your dream and help others get on board, too.

What is it that drives you? The reason probably isn’t money — at least it shouldn’t be. Money is an outcome, not a strategy. Customers have a knack for sniffing out people who are only interested in the bottom line and going elsewhere. As the owner of your company, you can set your own targets and standards. While the freedom of not having anyone standing in your way can be invigorating, the stress of knowing there is no one to blame for any failures can be too much to bear. This is when your ‘why’ becomes imperative.

If you aren’t 100 percent committed to making your vision a reality, you won’t be impassioned enough to nurture your business through its inevitable growing pains. Businesses rarely make money right off the bat, so the dream of money alone will not be reason enough to see it through. Don’t trade in the shackles of your corporate day job for a gilded cubicle of your own making.

When your enthusiasm is palpable, people are more likely to follow along. The key to harnessing that passion is understanding your ‘why.’ Why are you passionate about windsurfing? Is it because it helped you lose 30 lbs, get off all your medications and have a new lease on life?
That’s your ‘why,’ and that’s the story you need to share with your customers.

by Steve Phipps
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