Knowing Your “Why” in Business

On January 7th, I launched our first 5-Day Course: Design the Life You Love with Virtual Assistance and the topic we covered was knowing your why in your business. Today I’m talking about why knowing your “why” is so vital to your business success.

When I started my business in 2017, I had a “WHY” before I even had an idea for the business. It is actually my “why” as to the reason I began my business as a virtual assistant.

I had a strong desire to be a stay at home mom and I knew that I had to bring in a full-time income. Did I mention that I also became a single mom? So the pressure was ON!

I had been a child educator for over 8 years and so naturally when I searched for work from home opportunities I came across MLM’s. I decided to hop on board with a child literacy company that sold quality children’s books and although I loved what the company had to offer, the company was struggling with keeping up with demand which in turn affected my profits as a consultant.

I soon realized, my income cannot rely on a business’s well standing. What if goodness forbid the business I had spent so long working hard to build up one day declared bankrupt and left all my hard work to amount to nothing!

This is the turning point where I realized I need to start my OWN business because only then can I reassure that everything I worked for, I own, and on top of that, I’m not working for a commission. I’m taking home 100% of that hard earned money.

I soon realized MLMs were not for me. I had little success with them. It was time to find something new. I put together a list of my most powerful skills, talents, things I wanted to learn and what I love doing. I also wrote down my “WHY”. I took all this information and thought, there has to be a way I can do what I love and make a profit at the same time! When I tied it all together I came to a very surprising conclusion, which was my “why”. My “why” is the core foundation of my business and the driving force that propels me forward each day and it is the reason I persevere through adversity in my business.

KNOWING YOUR WHY

My WHY: I knew for certain that I want to be a stay at home mom so that I can be my daughter’s primary teacher, and not miss out on her milestones. I knew that my season as a child educator and mentor was not the season I was in now because my motivation and purpose (be home with my daughter) had made me realize that I also wanted to be a leader for women globally. I wanted to not only service women globally and take their businesses to the next level of success so that they too can enjoy a life they love, but I also wanted to show women who are looking for the freedom to do what they love, that it IS possible to live a life you love and run a purposeful business that you love that makes a positive impact in the world. I knew that my years of teaching and mentorship were now to be utilized to show other women how to create a successful business from the ground up!

Here’s the thing. Being an entrepreneur is TOUGH. Let me tell you it’s not for the faint of heart, and so if you don’t have a strong enough reason “WHY” you desire to have your own business then you won’t withstand what it takes to be a successful business owner. Unlike employment where you get to clock in, clock out, and enjoy your benefits, paid time off, etc. In entrepreneurship, you pave your own road, and you set your own direction— it’s not set for you. It’s difficult and you will be tested. So you NEED a strong “WHY” to get you through the next level of success in your business.

Knowing your why in business will put all things into perspective for you in living a wholesome purposeful life. It is rewarding and worth it. Starting my own business was the best decision ever because I get to live the life I love while utilizing my talents, skills, passions, expertise, and I get to add value onto others as well as learn and grow and leave a legacy for my children while treasuring every moment with my loved ones.

So as you think about your why, I want you to consider these 5 questions:
1. Why do you want to start your own business?
2. What are you passionate about and love doing?
3. What are your innate strengths?
4. Where do you add the greatest value?
5. Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

Share with us your answers at the Business Savvy Virtual Assistants Facebook Group! We would love to know your “why”

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24 Comments

  1. Grace

    Reply

    I am also a stay at home mom! 

    My motivation is similar to yours, to be at home taking care of the kids, be there at their every milestones and at the same time able to generate an income from home. 

    Being stay at home mom is really not easy these days. It is like we have to take on everything on our shoulder. But I do find that sometimes we are too focused on our business and forgot why we started it at the first place. 

    So thank you for reminding me again, the ‘why’ in business. 

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Grace, 

      I totally agree that being a working stay at home mom is TOUGH. We have a lot on our shoulders to not only be excellent moms but also find the balance between work and family since we work from home. Importance is balance and establishing boundaries so that you don’t burn out or get to the point where you are questioning why you started in the first place. I create boundaries within my business to ensure that it does not cost me my family time. This means, I make my clients know that I don’t work after 2pm, weekends, nor major holidays, and I also take off time during my daughter’s vacation time. So this ensures that I spend quality family time and don’t have to stress about work. The wonderful thing is I have wonderful clients that respect these boundaries and NOT working during that time off is not a worry of mine because you need to position yourself where your prices allow you breathing room, and also it’s important to create multiple streams of income that generate passive income! But through and through, knowing your WHY is what will keep you going, and will help you thrive in your endeavors. 

  2. swangirl

    Reply

    I totally agree with you. If you don’t have a clear “why” that you are passionate about, you will not succeed in online business. I have been working online for almost 3 years now. I run two websites and this year they are just finally making a profit. I could have made a profit sooner if had more time but I still have a regular job and my husband and I run rental properties as well. My websites are my third job so I don’t have nearly as much time for them as I would like. 

    I live in a very expensive area and also have health problems that cost money as well. I am lucky to have a very good job with a flexible schedule and wonderful bosses and co-workers that are understanding of my limitations. Therefore, I have to make my job my top priority until I can make enough from real estate and my websites to replace my income. Since my job is in State government it has great benefits like cheap health insurance and a lot of paid leave and great retirement. With my health problems this is invaluable so I have made the choice to keep the job. 

    It is discouraging to spend years working on something and not have a profit to show for it. It is getting to the point now that it can keep running, getting traffic and sales even when I don’t have time to work on my websites. I stuck it out long enough that there is momentum built up now that carries my sites through my busy times. This is the reward for years of patience and hard work! It is so gratifying to see this work and know that I can continue to make this bigger and better over time. It was not always easy though. There were many times I wondered if I was crazy and just wasting time.

    If I did not have a strong “why” I would not have made it to this point where I could reap the benefits however. My why is that I want to be free someday. I want to be able to leave my job and be able to live wherever I want. I want to make sure I can support myself regardless of my health conditions. I grew up in a gorgeous mountain setting in a National Park in Alaska. I miss it and would love to be able to live like that again. In order to do that I need to be free from a normal job since these are very remote areas with no work available. Someday I will be free to live where I want because I won’t need to be tied down to a job. 

    I love your site! Thanks for sharing your encouraging story and helping other women start their online business dreams. 

    Jessica

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Jessica, 

      Generating an income from home, and entrepreneurship, in general, is tough, because you don’t have that safety net of getting great benefits as you would with employment. So I totally get working full time for the great benefits and steady income while trying to pick up your business. It’s the smart thing to do. I’m so happy that you have finally been able to generate passive income. I mean that’s the dream right? Get paid even when you’re not lifting a finger! But you’re right, you need a really strong “WHY” to push through and not give up. In a year you can be 10X more profitable than you are today if you just push through. But you won’t get there if you give up now! I love even the smallest wins in business because it really brings on confirmation that your dreams are attainable, and it is possible to quit your job and live wherever you want and do whatever you want without having to worry about how your benefits will be covered. Multiple streams of passive income are key! Wishing you the best in your endeavors and looking forward to one day seeing you in Alaska living your best life! 

      Also if you ever need help with keeping up with your website or online marketing, I may be able to help. Feel free to reach out any time. 

  3. Strahinja

    Reply

    Hello Madelyn and thank you for your informative article. Let me just say that I also searched about what would be the best thing I could do or help people. When I wanted to create my first website I was in a dillemma. What should I write about and how to make a career out of it was just some questions that was going through my mind.

    I finally realized that since I want to make money online, this is where I should make effort and help others. This is how my website came to be and now I am helping others by providing reviews about making money online products.

    I completely agree that you must find your passion and you must build it from there. Without truly being passionate about something it is going to be really hard to push it till the end.

    Thank you.

    Strahinja

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Absolutely! You must be passionate about what you do in order to persevere and reach new levels of success. This is especially true when you are just starting your business from the ground up because you may not see the financial rewards right away, it may come much later down the road. With every level of success, you will encounter new obstacles. Even bigger obstacles but the opportunities will be even greater and you’ll be even better at what you do because of it. I think that’s a wonderful perspective to look at starting your business. It’s not just about how can this work for me but how can I best provide value and help other people. Helping others is a true reward and people in turn invest their hard earned money to receive value, which in your case is providing reviews about making money with online products. Wishing you much success in your future endeavors! 

  4. charles39

    Reply

    Madelyn this a very  powerful message in this article although directed to woman it’s  should be taken by everyone who have desire to succeed in life and that is why it’s important for Each and everyone to Have a strong Why .and that will be our driving force like  you my Why is to be Home working dad so I can Spend time with. My family and that is  my Paramount objective.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Charles, 

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love that your objective is to spend time with family, that truly is one of the biggest whys! A why that is driven by your love for your family is a “why” that is not easily broken. Which means, you have a very strong motivator to get you through the rough times in business, and you will succeed in your endeavors because obstacles will not  be able to hold you down since your “why” is stronger than any obstacle that may come your way! Continue to thrive, and never lose sight of that “why” as it will take you to greater heights in your success for your family. Wishing you all the best in your endeavors! 

  5. Seun Afotanju

    Reply

    Wow! This article is so powerful i started knowing my “WHY” while reading this article at the same time, knowing why you are where you are at a particular time and what you are doing at the same time is what i figured out i need to do on my present job. Thanks for this article, it has indeed inspired me.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Seun, 

      Thank you for taking your time to comment. I am soo thrilled to hear that you have discovered your “WHY” through this article and also happy it inspired you! 

  6. Riaz Shah

    Reply

    Couldn’t have agreed more with you Madelyn,

    At first, I didn’t bother finding out my whys as I already knew my hows. 3 years down that path, I began to lose momentum in my business and I wasn’t as active and spirited especially after being faced with depressing problems most of the time. They weight me down and only then did I remember that I needed to find a way to get through that so, I ended up spending a day to find my whys so that I can push further in my business. Find out your whys early and hold on to them, that’s the only thing that is going to be our strength when all falls down.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Riaz!

      Thank you SO much for sharing your personal experience and you make such a great point as to  why knowing your “why” is absolutely imperative early on in your business and the wonderful thing is that if you didn’t know your why from the start, it’s never too late to discover your why now, which you have. I completely agree that once you know your why, you hold on to it, because it will certainly be your driving force and strength that will help you persevere during the down times in your business. And as business goes, there will be ups and downs. Wishing you much success, joy, and prosperity and best of luck in your future endeavors! 

  7. Clement

    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your thought on why you are engaged in online business. Like you also I have my own reasons but the primary reason is that I want my own freedom, I can’t afford to spend appreciable numbers of my whole years working for someone else.i want to build an empire that I can control and be responsible for hence my reason for venturing into the online world maintaining a website. 

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Clement, 

      You are so right. I definitely also wanted the freedom and I love building something that I am in control of. As an employee, you are essentially building someone else’s empire. As a business owner, you build your own. It’s so rewarding as an entrepreneur to have your freedom and build something that is your own at the same time. There is no limit to the opportunities except those limitations that you put on yourself. Maintaining sites is a good online business to venture into 🙂 

  8. Nancy

    Reply

    What a great straightforward article. It’s such a simple concept, but one that people really don’t give a second thought. People usually think of how can I make the most money? Then it’s 20 years later and you’re doing a job that you don’t love.

    I think it’s great you took the time and found your why and are doing what you love. I’m going to write down the 5 questions and really think about them over the next few days.

    Thank you again for the great thought-provoking article.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Nancy, 

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I am glad that you found this article valuable and thought-provoking. 

  9. zuchii

    Reply

    Having reasons for Any of our actions in life is as important as taking any action at all. this statement is More applicable to business now than ever before. it is the driving force that propels to move forward in the direction of our set goal. When things get difficult and we feel discouraged sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is the memory of why we started in the first place; that desire that dream.without this, we would easily give up and quit.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Yes Zuchii, you’re so on point with everything you said. That’s exactly right 🙂 Thanks for taking your time to comment. 

  10. Alice A.

    Reply

    Hi Madelyn, this post is really an eye-opener for me, thanks for sharing.

    I’ve been in the corporate world for more than half of my life and although I’m quite happy with how much I’m making, I always wonder what it’s like to have my own business that I can run from home. I really feel guilty for not spending enough time with my kids but I always tell myself that they are my “why” for working this hard.

    But with the growing popularity of online businesses, I thought why not? Why not start my own business so I do not have to work away from home? Yes, I just found my “why” — my family. I do not know anything about starting a traditional or physical business, moreso a business that operates online. But I am willing to learn and work even even harder in order to succeed.

    By the way, if you don’t mind me asking, what was the biggest challenge you had to face when you transitioned from being an employee to managing your own business? And how did you overcome it?

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Alice, 

      I just heard a podcast from Nicole Walters and she gave her story of leaving the corporate world, and becoming a successful millionaire, taking what she knew in corporate and providing that knowledge in her own business. If you have knowledge in corporate that can translate to the every day civilian or add value to a specific market, Amy Porterfield is a good person to research because she shows you how to sell profitable digital courses, and webinars. Check out her podcast too, it’s filled with value. 

      There’s a major difference in employment and managing my own business. Biggest challenge was taking on more responsibilities that came with the freedom. There’s just SO much that you don’t have to worry about as an employee that you DO have to take care of as a business owner. Employment was easy in the sense that I clocked in and fulfilled my duties as I was told and trained to do and I was able to clock out and not have to worry about work after work. In owning my own business it’s a whole different ballpark because you need to be self-motivated and essentially I’m really working 24/7 even when it seems that I’m not working.. I mean, otherwise I don’t get results. 

      In entrepreneurship the road is not paved, you need to pave your own road to success and you need to hold yourself accountable to meeting your goals. In employment, I was able to call off work and get paid sick leave, vacation time, etc. Self Employment you dont get the benefits. Accepting these differences can be challenging… because the work that goes into entrepreneurship is not easier than employment. The work for me was 10X harder especially because there was a HUGE learning curve for me in all aspects of my business. I overcame it by getting organized in ALL areas. Really being intentional and setting SMART goals. I found myself a mentor, and accountability partner and I optimized every second I had to constantly be learning and growing. I did all this while making sure I was not compromising family time. As this can easily be so, but setting the boundary straight from the start is key. 

  11. Christine

    Reply

    Hi Madelyn,

    Thank you for telling us the importance of “WHY” in business.

    It is so true that we need to know why we want to have a successful business. If we know our “why”, we will push ourselves to work hard on business in order to have what we want in life.

    Many successful entrepreneur know their “why” to lead then to where there are today.

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Christine, 

      Our why definitely pushes us to work harder 🙂 and of course work smarter! Why is the core foundation, essential for any successful thriving business 🙂 

      Do you know your why in your business?

  12. Kim

    Reply

    Hi Madelyn! 

    Love this post, it’s not location, location, location, but Why, Why, Why? 

    Why you want to start your own business has to be compelling enough for you put in the work to make it happen. I have attempted working for myself more than once, and I didn’t persevere the first time because my why wasn’t strong enough. I was just hating on my job, and wanted to get away from it. That might have been enough for some people, but it wasn’t a big enough Why for me, at that time. Owning your own business isn’t always sunshine and roses, and it’s hard work. So your Why has to be bigger than any obstacles that come up. 

    Thank you for this post, it was a great reminder for me! 

    Blessings, 

    Kim

    • Madelyn Galvez

      Reply

      Hi Kim, 

      You’re absolutely right. Your WHY has to be greater than your obstacles, and it needs to be strong enough to push you through to the next level of success. Glad this post was a useful reminder to you 🙂 

      Best Wishes, 

      Madelyn

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