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I am a successful entrepreneur [insert industry]…

I have launched a business…


Unfortunately, many business owners are facing such circumstances. I have recently spoken to a number of entrepreneurs who offer top quality, amazing, and unique products or services, yet they have not reaped the benefits of becoming market leaders or industry visionaries.

What can these entrepreneurs, business owners, and experts do?

If you’re a realtor, photographer, own a restaurant, beauty salon, or any other small business, there are dozens, if not hundreds of local competitors who offer something similar to you.

How do you convince a client to choose you over the competition who may be more established and recognized in the industry?

When I work with students or clients, I always focus on the WHY, and differentiation. What makes you different from your competition—better than your competition? How do you solve their problems(s) better than the well established competitor?

Marketing consultant, and motivational speaker Simon Sinek contends that Everyone Has a WHY:

Why do you get up in the morning? Why does your organization exist? Your why is your purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. When you think, act and communicate starting with Why, you can inspire others.

As shown in the illustration below, regardless of the industry you are in, every company operates on three levels:

  • What we do
  • How we do it
  • Why we do it

The primary challenge with this threefold model is most companies have difficulties articulating WHY they do what they do. It is easy to demonstrate WHAT you do, and HOW you do it, as people can generally gain a quick understanding of your services based on the name of your business. I challenge you to sit down to discover your WHY.

I’m certain that this exercise will start you down the path toward finding your customers.

While reading Sinek’s book Find Your WHY, I knew what was coming when the reader was prompted to articulate their WHY, because it is one of the first things that popped into my mind…

$$ MONEY $$

Other obvious reasons include:

  • To provide for your family,
  • The ability to take vacations
  • Own nice things.

However, if you really take the time to sit down to reflect on WHY you do what you do, you have to consider what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning.

Is it any of the above? Money, things, vacations?

The answer is NO. Although these may be reasons that support your WHY, they do not comprehensively account for WHY you are motivated to do what you do. I am certain that while the aforementioned examples are ancillary benefits that support the actual WHY you do what you do, you are going to find that your inspiration to wake up in the morning and go to work goes well beyond superficial advantages.

When I started VujaDay Creative Digital Agency, I challenged myself to figure out my WHY. WHY did I want to go to graduate school, to get my doctorate, and to start my own company?

Ultimately, I discovered that I wanted to advance my education to become a thought leader that could help others. Vague..yes…but that is okay because this discovery lead to several career opportunities. Before learning that educating and helping others to reach their goals through my expertise in technology and education, I spent a long time in the world of tech support and network management. In these roles I learned a lot, and I value these lessons because they led me to discover that I wanted to be a educator. With VujaDay Creative Digital Agency, I educate and help folks who are leaders in their industry, but do not know how to leverage their expertise in a new, creative, digital economy.

Back to the industries I mentioned at the start of this post: realtors, photographers, restaurant owners, beauty salon owners (any small business owner). Whether you have been in practice for decades or you are just starting your entrepreneurial journey, figure out your WHY. Rather than starting with what you do, and how you do it. Start with the WHY, then concentrate on how the way you do it is different from your competition.

Once you figure out your WHY, your next challenge is to figure out who your WHY resonates with. Whose problem, can you solve?

Stay tuned for next week’s post that will focus on the WHO, and how to target them.

Be sure to check out Sinek’s Ted Talk To learn more about finding your WHY