“Why am I in business?” This is a great question that every business owner needs to ask from time to time.
I hear all sorts of answers to that question when I ask advisory firm owners in our consulting relationships. But if the primary answer is “to make money,” then I know they’re approaching their work with an attitude that will lead to eventual growth problems.
Of course, they might be successful if they’re only in business to make money, but they won’t ever own a truly great company that could positively impact others’ lives in both good and bad market cycles.
Other advisors respond that they like planning, picking stocks, serving client and/or they’re carrying on a family legacy.
The question of “why” is one every advisory firm owner needs to understand. And if you want your firm and your culture to be great, you have to make sure your actions reflect that passion.
Discovering Your “Why”
It’s a red flag if you can’t give an answer to “why” you started your business and continue to work on it each day. This isn’t an easy question. It’s difficult, and requires deep reflection.
If you find yourself struggling to identify your “why,” it may be you haven’t taken time to reflect on your purpose and passion. At its core, your “why” requires you to be true to yourself, because what you do needs to match your answer.
Here is a three-part process to discover your “why.”
1. Ask if you’re being honest with yourself.
Yes, it’s a little like counseling, but you have to be honest about your motivations with yourself before you can be honest with your team and craft a purposeful company.
2. Reflect on what you want from your firm.