Why Not Right Now? (aka: you have a why, so stop waiting)
I work with words. I edit the words authors painstakingly type, character by character. I polish blog posts, email drips, and newsletters that are waiting to be read by world changers, women who want community, military spouses who need resources, people looking for peace, and real estate agents. I write posts on a variety of platforms for people who want to know about writing, business, photography, real estate, personal and professional development, and entrepreneurship. What do these all have in common? Every business or individual who asks me to work with their vulnerable, authentic, and precious words has a why.
What is a why?
A why is the reason you do what you do. Here’s the tricky part: you probably have more than one why. You probably want to fix a problem for a specific group of people (your business idea) and you probably have a secondary motivation, like paying bills, saving for retirement, paying school tuition, freedom to travel, etc. The important part is know your why(s). The why is what keeps you going when you’re tired, scared, or stuck in a rut. My why of helping people share stories in a clear and compelling way is why I’m using a precious nap time to write this. My other why—creating future options for my family—is why I keep using nap times to work, even when all I want to do is pull out a book or turn on Netflix.
How does your why fit into your story?
Your why is your story. I’ve always loved reading and books. I read for compelling plots, memorable characters, and the glimpses of truths about life woven into writing. As a conscious consumer, I am more likely to choose a brand who gives me a glimpse into their business or personal why (especially if they’re talking sustainability and supply chain for physical goods) than a flashy, fancy flat-lay brand. If you’re a business owner or author, and you’re working on media content, go back to the moment where your why came into being. I guarantee if you think carefully, there is before and after. There is the moment you realized dieting and overexercise to look like an actress who works out and eats(literally, not metaphorically) for her job doesn’t work for most women. That was your why So, you decided to fill an information gap on eating or movement. The why is where a brand starts.
Why(s) and digital content
Since your why is where your brand started, you’ll feature the why in your content. You may not share the exact before/after moment, but you’ll talk about how being an underemployed military spouse compelled you to create the entrepreneurship resources for other spouses. You’ll talk about the emotional weight of the why—the heartbreak of family health issues compounded with huge hospital bills—and how it translated into action (changing jobs to pay those bills and be with family).
Why(s) should make you uncomfortable
Your why should make you uncomfortable because it requires action.
Your why will be uncomfortable because to honor and fulfill it, you will have to prioritize your end goal over easy safety and acceptance. I’m a military spouse, mother, business owner, and dreamer. If I wanted to play life safe and stay in step with my community’s popular opinion, I’d be at home, full-time with my son. I’d keep my business small till my spouse was done serving because someone has to be available for all the inevitable emergencies he’s not around to help handle. But, my desire to achieve, grow, help others communicate their stories—my why meant finding a trusted babysitter for my son. My why meant choosing night classes in grad school over my spouses’s work social events. My why means giving up some of my recreational reading to build a business that will give us more options the day we leave military service behind.
Why not right now?
Inspiration often comes in unlikely places. In five years of starting, changing, niching, and growing a business the one book and quote I always come back to is The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. It’s a fun and easy read, not a traditional business book. And in it (several times), Chip responds to Joanna by saying, “Why not right now?”
That’s the secret to writing, business, relationships, and life. You just have to do it. It won’t be perfect. You might have to redo pieces. You might even have to offer up the occasional (deserved) apology. But when you know your why, the hard moments are worth pushing through.
So, what’s your why?
Take a minute and tell me in the comments. I really want to know!
Your story matters,