Yesterday I talked about the reason I do what I do. Not only why I build e-commerce and membership sites for traditional clients, but why I write and coach.

I’d be lying if I told you I’ve understood my why the whole time I’ve run my business. Like I said yesterday, I got into this business because I simply enjoyed the technical challenge of code. Only later did I really dig into why I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve enjoyed, and uncovered the common thread.

[Tweet “I didn’t always know WHY I lived life — here are some questions to help you figure it out.”]

That common thread was the satisfaction of helping others succeed and live the life they want to live.

Today I’d like to help you start on the path towards finding your why.

Questions to help discover your why

You’re going to need to set aside a bit of time for this. You may even need to think about it for a few days and revisit the answers a few times before you’re satisfied you’ve found your answer.

Even then you may need to revisit this in a few months. Figuring out your why isn’t likely to be an overnight process. It takes work and deep thought.

The payoff is, you’ll get up with purpose every day. You know which clients align with your why, and you know that you could change careers and still be entirely fulfilled because any new career will still match your why.

Why isn’t limited to a specific field of work.

Ready to get started?

First, grab a few pieces of paper, or your Moleskine or some other notebook.

Now let’s work through these questions together. In line with the title of this post, I’m giving you 10 main questions, but you’ll see that I’ve included some follow-up questions to get you to really dig deep.

  1. What activities energize you? This can be hobbies, people, or projects. Really, what gets your fire going?
  2. What are the stand-out moments in your past? Not necessarily awards you won, but times that you think back on and can’t help but smile. Make sure you look for times where others were the focus in addition to times you were the focus.
  3. What are you doing on those occasions when you look at the clock and hours have gone by in the blink of an eye? Who does that activity affect?
  4. What do you do that makes you feel awesome about yourself? How do you build your own ‘yay’ file? (We’ll talk more about the ‘yay’ file this week, but in short, it’s a file of the awesome stuff you’ve done.)
  5. What is the opportunity you most regret missing? Why do you regret it? Why can’t it happen again? Why didn’t you take advantage of it at the time?
  6. If you only had 3 words to describe yourself what would they be? Now cut that back to one word — what is it?
  7. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome? Why was this a challenge? How did you overcome it? Who else benefitted from that?
  8. What are you just simply good at? The thing you just understand deep down without really ‘working’ at it?
  9. What is something you believe but almost nobody agrees with you on? Why do you still hold to that belief?
  10. What did you want to be when you were a kid, say 8 years old? Why did you want to do that? Why did that career path change?

Talk with someone else

Now you’ve got your answers, or at least have a start. Next, sit down with your spouse if you have one, or your best friend or partner, and talk through each of the answers.

Figuring out your why will help you figure out who your clients should be and what exactly you should be doing.

photo credit: 66562408@N03 cc