Why Do You Do What You Do?

If someone were to ask you “What do you do?” The answer is quite simple, I presume. But, how will you answer when asked “Why do you do what you do”?

If we are not careful our strategic plans, visions, and strategies may become too clouded by the what of our enterprise. If we focus on the what, then the objectives of the business begin to surface. A consultant might answer: “Providing leadership and guidance to help others develop success strategies, conduct market research and analysis, review technology or system deployment and offer strategic guidance, and so on. Rather dull, isn’t it? Not boring, but simply a set of commoditized activities. Each of these items are critically important to businesses – but, available in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Some are even available via SaaS.

Reframed, when we focus on the “why”, we reveal the personal satisfaction one gets when they know a client can better serve their customer, an agency is more effective in meeting the needs of their community, or how a physician might change lives. Asking “why” begins to reveal our purpose, or the reasons we do what we do. This drives passion, which increases the ability to add real value to the business engagement.

Asking the question “why”, outfits you with a very powerful tool. A tool that helps you jettison non-value added activities in your operation and improve your bottom line. It may even offer new way for you to validate your vision and reveal a deeper sense of how important your mission is to you and your customers.

Not long ago, I participated as a sponsor in a Kickstarter™ venture, which is now in the production stage. Part of the process includes a series of ongoing updates by the entrepreneurs. One of which was quite revealing.

Their marketing consultant queried how they were going to change their industry? Very relevant food for thought for this group, as they are in the early production stages of delivering a technology at 20% the price of the current entry-level model. In other words, how will they be relevant and thrive once the competition figures out how to make a product at the same price point.

The underlying question reminds us that our value today may become nothing more than a commodity, an expected delivery, or simply run-of-the-mill tomorrow.

So, how will this team of inventors change their industry? Only time will tell. Maybe they’ll just make a quick buck delivering their product before the competition builds a cheaper model. Or, maybe they will change consumer behavior in their space, thus becoming a market leader today and tomorrow.

So, one more time: Why do you do what you do?



About Ron Woodbury

Owner and Founder of Ron Woodbury Consulting.