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The Real WHY

My wife and I are expecting twins in late December, our first babies. As we prepare for the many changes we’ll soon be going through, I had an experience that helped me discover the true meaning of “why.”

At entreQuest, “why” is a concept we talk about with our clients daily. A big part of our process is helping companies discover the “why” behind what they do. That might mean providing a service that contributes to the rebuilding of American manufacturing, or achieving a culture that truly conveys to customers how much they matter.

We are firm believers that knowing this why–and making sure everyone on the team knows it–top to bottom–is one of the single biggest differentiators between companies that are so-so and companies that soar.

Growth is hard. It takes vision, sustained effort, and keeping everyone on the same page to provide their very best to clients, every day. It’s almost impossible to grow, and to overcome the inevitable bumps along the road, without a commitment not just to “what” you are doing, but “why” you are doing it.

At my house, we’re busy with what the new-parent books call “nesting.” My wife asked me to paint the twins’ nursery, and to be honest, I wasn’t jazzed about the idea. I wanted to hire a painter and be done with it.

My wife, however, convinced me to do the painting myself. Encouraging me that one day it would be important that I had done this task myself. I might even tell my babies one day, “I painted this all for you!” I wasn’t completely bought into that, but I support my wife, so I started painting.

As I began transforming our nursery, I began to realize my wife was right–this actually is important to me. It wasn’t just so I could later tell my kids about it; it was just because they are my kids. They are my kids, I would do anything for them and I wanted their nursery to be perfect!

I have never worked so hard on a home improvement project in my life. I’ve been meticulous to ensure I didn’t miss an inch. I brought in florescent lights to make sure the color was even. My wife was eager to post pictures on Facebook, but I haven’t let her yet because I don’t want anyone to see the nursery before it is finished and flawless.

Now I understand how important it is to find that “why” — it gives you the drive not just to support someone else’s task or even to accomplish it, but to accomplish it fully, with heart, to the best of your ability.

In business, that drive can make all the difference. Ask yourself today: What’s your why?

 

Frank Belen is a Senior Business Consultant at entreQuest who works with clients to create, implement, and lead effective management strategies at the executive, managerial, and frontline levels.

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More Stories By Joe Mechlinski

Joe Mechlinski is the co-founder and president of entreQuest, a business development firm that helps increase revenue for small-to-midsized businesses.