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If Your WHY Doesn’t Make You Cry, It’s Not Big Enough

I’m not sure who coined this phrase, but I’ve heard it multiple times over the years, across multiple different industries, and it holds significant truth. WHY did you start your business? WHY do you want to be an entrepreneur? WHY do you get up every single day and work?

Everyone should have a WHY, and there are no right or wrong answers here. But if you find yourself unmotivated to work or want to procrastinate on projects, then it’s time to re-examine the main reason for your business.

Name Your Reason – or Your WHY – for Starting a Business

Focusing on your WHY can help motivate you, so write down your reason for starting a business. Did you want to fill your free time? Did you want to earn some play money or contribute to the family finances? Did you want to pay the medical bills of an aging parent or a sick child? Did you want to pay for your child’s higher education or private school tuition?

Writing these reasons down – no matter what they are because every person’s WHY will be different – should help motivate you to work hard. You should feel driven to make your business a success. You should be willing to tackle things outside your comfort zone because the result will help your business.

If you’re not feeling motivated, then you need to dig deeper.

Don’t be Afraid to Examine Your Inner Feelings

Life is fluid and ever-changing, so it stands to reason that your WHY would also change over time. Even if you started your business because you didn’t know what to do once your kids were in full day school, you can change that WHY to something more meaningful now.

A mentor once shared that she started a service business because she was a single mom and needed to earn money to survive. She was responsible for her and her child's lodging, food, and clothing. She didn’t have anyone to rely on except herself. This is enough to make you cry and hustle for work, knowing that if she wasn’t working, she wasn’t eating.

What are you passionate about that will get you hustling? Are you passionate about a cause or charity that can benefit from your financial assistance? Do you need to pull yourself up out of financial despair? Don’t be afraid to own that reason and fight for your business.

Don’t be Afraid to Switch Business Gears

One of my clients told me that even though she has been in a service business for ten years, she hasn’t been motivated to create any classes or products as a source of passive income. She blames her indecision for that, but I questioned if it was because she didn’t feel attached to that particular industry. After more discussion, she agreed and has since modified her services to align better with what she enjoys. I still suggested that she explore a deeper WHY, but this is a step in the right direction. Many businesses add or subtract products or services or modify their mission statement. If something about your business feels wrong, don’t be afraid to make changes.

Explore How Your Story Can Grow Your Business

If you’re unsure how to use stories in your marketing campaigns, check out my latest class, Storytelling Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs. This 4-module, home study course will help you identify your unique story and your ideal clients and how to blend the two into a seamless relationship-building practice. No deadlines, no schedules, just step-by-step information to help you perfect your storytelling.


Meet Tracey Lee Davis, the brains behind ZingPop Social Media, a company that helps small business owners become online marketing rockstars! As a social media expert and Certified Partner for Constant Contact, Tracey Lee coaches entrepreneurs on utilizing social media and provides comprehensive management for their email marketing campaigns. Tracey Lee is a popular speaker at associations and business groups, and she's been awarded some pretty cool titles, like one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 2022 Silicon Valley Woman of Influence, Alignable's Local Business Person of the Year for San Jose (2018-2023), and a Top 25 U.S. Business Mentor of 2021. Plus, she's a Certified Content Marketing Strategist and the Co-Owner and Vice President of the Women's Networking Alliance. And let's not forget, she has a serious love affair with cheese, popcorn, and comic book

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