Talk to any entrepreneur about the books that have inspired them and in all likelihood they’ll mention the classic “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.
(It really is a good read!)
What I loved about this book is that it did help me to get to my “Why,” which is, according to Simon, the key thing upon which to focus when the going gets tough (or just on any ordinary Wednesday, actually.) You see, the theory is that when we focus on Why We Are Doing What We Are Doing, it motivates us to think beyond the WHAT that we are doing, and in turn creates a magical foundation (my words) upon which we can build and grow. Your WHY is your purpose, the very reason you are on the planet. It’s pretty profound stuff, really, and if you’ve not read the book, I recommend it!
Now here’s where it starts to get even more interesting to me.
When we begin to understand Who We Really Are and Why We Do What We Do, we can begin to take those gold nuggets and apply them to HOW We Do What We Do. And that, my friend, is magical!
This week I had the extreme pleasure of beginning my work with a new client. As is my way, I begin my work with a new client in the way that works best for them, so it’s always a bit different.
This time, we began with talking big vision for a bit: “Just what are we looking to build here, anyways?!?”
And then we talked about HOW that might come into being.
One of the specific things we discussed was her key drivers or key motivating factors.
Long ago I learned that the HOW of how we self-motivate is critical! I was lead to believe that I “had” to put a chart on my wall with revenue goals written on it and each time I had a sales call I needed to mark it down and place next to it the revenue that was generated as a result.
Turns out that’s not very motivating for me. Not because I don’t want to make money, but because it is not my chief driver, and in fact, in focusing on it, I was distracted and anxious. Not good things to feel when you’re trying to gain new business!
It is, however, very motivating for others, and the important thing is to discover your own HOW in terms of motivation so that you can stay on top of your game!
So I mentioned this to my new client this week, and through some careful consideration we discovered that the thing that is key to her, that keeps her motivated, is thinking about the positive Impact that she will have on her clients who will then, in turn, be able to create positive impact on all those with whom they relate, and the world at large.
Now that we had identified that, we knew that instead of having her put a revenue-tracking chart on the wall, she should create an image or vision board that communicated that ideal and hang it somewhere close by.
Next came time to consider HOW she would like to serve her clients. What was important to her in this realm?
This was easy! She knew immediately that the key factor for her here was the depth of relationship she wanted to create with her clients. So now we can use this to help us create her programs — the HOW of How She Serves. We know, for example, that her calls with her clients won’t be 15 minutes every other month. That would work brilliantly for someone who likes to get down and dirty, fast and furiously, and talks a mile a minute. But that’s not her. So we won’t for a minute ponder creating a program like that!
For another client, it was really important for him that his clients know that they can contact him for support in emergency situations. This, then, forms a integral piece to the HOW of How He Serves: We built a system that allows his clients to reach out anytime (except in the dead of the night) for the support that they may need, and we included that opportunity in his pricing so that he’ll be compensated and his clients won’t stop to wonder “if they should” before they call. They just will call, because they can, and he’ll be glad they did and so will they. Win-win!
So now, dear reader, what about you?
Do you have a sense of what your key motivator(s) is /are?
What drives you?
Time? Money? Impact? Social issues? Freedom? Your children? Relationships?
Do you have anything that represents that in your office? A vision board? A sign? Maybe even just a piece of paper with a word or two written on it?
(I have a rock with the word “Inspire” painted on it…I am motivated by many things, one of them is the idea that I can inspire people around me just as I am inspired daily from my interactions with them!)
And how does this manifest in the way in which you serve your clients?
Are you driven to create deep and lasting change? Then the HOW of How You Serve will likely include longer and more in-depth sessions.
Do you find yourself “lit up” by the idea of helping your clients move through things quickly with ease and efficiency? Do you prefer a more “light” touch? Then perhaps you’ll have more frequent, shorter conversations with your clients.
When I did this for myself some time ago, I discovered that one of my key motivators was Alignment. It was imperative to me to align every aspect of my business with Who I Am.
That said, in order to be fully dedicated to that end, it meant that I had to be willing to serve in ways that aligned with Who I Am…
With Who My Clients Are.
Because if I really believe that it is critical to align my own business in this way, then shouldn’t I want the same thing for my clients, too?
And if every decision in a business is best if aligned as closely as possible to Who You Really Are and How You Want To Show Up In The World, then even the choice of business coach and how you work with that coach has to also be aligned.
It was kind of complicated at first, not going to lie, but soon I found my HOW.
I would simply listen to the prospective client in front of me, ask good questions, and figure out what they really needed.
And provided what they really needed was something that I could offer and stay in alignment with my self, then that’s what I did.
Which means I have clients with whom I work quarterly. Some monthly. Some just randomly from time to time. Some of my clients are with me for years. Some just one. Some of them I just do a short project with, and off they go. And some I have done so many projects with that I feel kind of like the “Godmother” of their business!
Turns out that I like a variety of HOW in How I Serve because it is critical to me to serve each client in the way in which they need to be served. It serves me well in return! However, had I not really pondered my key motivators, had I not taken time to discover what was really of utmost importance to me, I would still be working with people in the way that I was taught, and while that was okay, and sometimes even great, it wasn’t as spectacular as it is for me now.
And so, dear reader, I encourage you to play with this a bit for your own business. Take some time to discover your own motivations and desires and apply them to the HOW of How You Serve.
I can’t wait to hear how it all unfolds for you!
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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.