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Courier MBA Day 3: Why Are You? Your Mission Statement

In my opinion, this may well be the most important day of this course.

It's been very tempting to dive in first with a lot of the practical stuff. What can I offer to help save money or help earn more money? Things like that. Here's my thinking on that though: In my opinion, all the practical stuff is useless if there's not a good foundation.

And this particular part of the foundation, in my opinion, is the most important one.

Note how often I'm saying “in my opinion.” This is not gospel. But I do find that it works for me, so I offer it hoping it works for you.

There's a reason that “core value” is a buzzword in the business community. It's a centerpiece. It's about what the organization is all about.

The value of understanding your why.

To really do well with a business, it has to be something that fits with who you are and with what's important to you.

I think that's true of anything we do, whether it's a side hustle, or a career or a hobby.

Have you ever been one of those people who just dreaded your job? I've been there, where I hated Monday with a passion. I've talked to doctors and lawyers and all sorts of well paid people who are miserable.

And I know a lot of business owners who are just as miserable. Yeah, the business is making money, but they're a fish out of water.

What am I getting at? It's all about the bigger picture. If what you're doing doesn't fit in the big picture of who you are, I don't think you'll ever be able to get a real feel for it.

Knowing your why gives you a point of reference for your business

The most important question when making a decision for me is, how does this fit in with my why? How much will it impact what I'm all about in the first place?

If my why comes down to family, then how do my decisions impact my family? If my why is about supporting myself while I do the work for the next stage in my life, then it makes sense to measure any decision against whether it helps or hinders that next stage.

Knowing your why keeps you motivated.

I listened to a guy who had a long term dream of owning a certain vintage car. He finally decided he was going to make a commitment, that he was going to move from dreaming to working towards getting that car. Once he made that decision his first step was to buy a scale model of the car, which he keeps on his desk right in front of his computer. That model is a reminder of that goal.

There are times you hit a wall. Sometimes things happen where it's hard to be motivated by much of anything. The thing I love about gig work is the freedom and the flexibility – but that can have a huge drawback. I don't HAVE to go deliver today.

When your why is strong and it's a part of your core, that's the kind of thing that can drive you. It can get you going. It can motivate you to grow and improve.

Here's the thing: You're taking time to read this. You signed up for this class. There's SOOOOOO much much better things you could do with your time. But here you are. That tells me there's a strong why.

What we do can be part of our why, or it can enable our why.

I'm going to tell you straight up: Delivering food to people is NOT my why. I don't know that there's anything in this whole delivery thing that really is part of my “this is what I want to do with my life.”

Except that it enables me to do what I want to do with my life.

But it gives me the flexibility to start some projects personally that I want to start. It gives me income that lets me get my online projects like this one off the ground. Delivery in and of itself doesn't fit my why, but it enables my why without working against it.

Maybe I could have just saved you a ton of time by playing this clip from someone who says it maybe a bit better?

Simon Sinek's Start With Why is presented from more of a leadership approach but what he says here applies to everything we do – both in our delivery business and in life.

Understanding your why.

How many times have I talked about my past in telecom already? Here we go again!

You know, I got to a point where I realized, telecom wasn't exactly where I wanted to be in life. I didn't hate it. There were things I liked – in a lot of ways it was the perfect mix of the social interactions with customers and the nerd in me who just loved the tech part of it. I was good at it, I made decent money.

But somewhere along the line, I just started thinking, there has to be more to life than just putting phones on peoples' desks or convincing them that bundling their phone and internet service would save them a ton of money. Those things aren't bad, but I felt like I was meant to do more than that.

(You could probably say the same thing about being more to life than just driving food from restaurants to people – but I'll get to that).

So I started asking the question ‘what do I want to do when I grow up?' Being in your 40's might not be the most convenient time to ask that question. But time and time again it came back to me, do what you're passionate about.

I realized I had no idea what I'm passionate about. I think I realized I was just existing. In fact I used to joke that my passion was figuring out my passion.

It was a joke, but… I think it worked. It opened me up to a lot of soul searching. It made me question why I liked the things about what I did, it made me examine the things in life that gave me the most meaning.

You may not know your why. That's okay. Maybe this is the time to start really looking into what makes you tick?

Try this exercise:

The idea here is, go deep.

Why did you sign up for one or more of these gig companies?

Think about your answer. Why is that important to you? If it's to make money, why is money important to you? What is it you want to do with that money?

When you answer that question, look at your answer. Why is THAT important?

Keep repeating that process. The idea is, drill down. Keep asking that question until you get deep into what really matters to you.

Once you get to where you know what it is that really matters to you, now you have something to guage everything you do in your delivery business against.

And maybe it can help you evolve into what is next.

Could this help someone else? Please share it.