The thing you need to understand before you start a your venture.
So you've quit your job, and you're about to embark on your new venture. Good.
You've saved up enough money to support yourself for a few months, so you don't have to worry. Great Idea.
You've got a name, a product, and a target audience for your new company. You’re ahead of most people!
But you've still not done the most important thing.
You've not said why?
You might be thinking that you have answered the question of why - you might be thinking, "I hated my last job, I hated my boss, and I want the freedom to do what I want." But once you've got your business going and you've finally managed to stick your finger up at your old life, what then? What's going to be the positive driving force for the rest of your life? You can't fuel your life off of resentment at your old way of life. You're going to need a new driving force that pushes you to get the most out of your life - something that you believe in!
Answering this question could be the most challenging question you will ever have to answer in your whole life: What am I going to dedicate my entire life focus to? Having a "fuck you" attitude is helpful, and almost all successful people possess some of it, but it will only get you so far. You need to have a positive driving force that pushes you to the very edge of your limits.
Having something that completely consumes you and drives you beyond anything else is not only necessary for yourself, but it is something other people pick up on. If people see that you believe in something so strongly they will begin to ask why - "why does this person believe in their product more than their competitor believes in theirs?"
It's enough for people to ask "how" or "what" you do, but once you've gotten past explaining the physical aspect of your idea or business, people will soon lose interest if you don't have a reason "why" you are doing what you are doing. People gravitate to towards passion, and it's not something you can easily fake.
Take, for example, Bob Dylan. He made his name playing folk songs on his guitar with no particular showmanship or fancy performances. He wrote songs about what he was passionate about, and for that reason, people have always gravitated towards him and his music. So much so, that he has become a musical icon, and his fame has spanned across multiple generations.
Now take 2010 X-factor winner, Matt Cardle, who received a huge record deal from Columbia records after his success on the show, only to be dropped by the label three years later. The reason being, his music didn't pack the same punch as as Dylan's does - his songs didn't say really "why" he was doing what he was doing.
How to start answering the question of "why?"
Understandably, you might not be able to make your passion project you're living. I'm sure Bernard Looney doesn't lay awake at night dreaming about oil, and I'm pretty sure Bob Chapek didn't become the head of Disney because he has a deep love for Mickey Mouse. However, what they both have in common, is a burning desire to put their stamp on their respective businesses and leave a mark that will last long after their gone.
So if you're a keen mountain climber, but you also have an in-depth knowledge of investment banking. You might want to consider making your fortune out of the latter. But that doesn't mean you can't apply your passion for mountain climbing to investment banking.
Ask yourself: why do you keep climbing mountains year after year? Because it's not just about reaching the summit - it's about challenging yourself time and time again to be better than you were before. If you take this mindset into investment banking of always striving to reach the next summit, you will undoubtedly be in a better place from where you started.
And that's what this journey is all about; pulling yourself out of the rut you were in before and moving onto a new summit.
The Hardships that come with "why?"
The most challenging aspect of explaining why you are doing something is that it requires you to bare your "self" to the whole world, which leaves you open and vulnerable to criticism.
No doubt your old job working for a big company left you pretty sheltered from criticism and to a large degree, faceless. There was no real risk perhaps, and your superiors could remedy any mistake you made as long as it wasn't too catastrophic.
However, once you have decided what your new venture will be and you've got to grips with why you are doing it, you will have to bear the brunt of all the mistakes you and your new business make. And trust me, you will make mistakes. Every new company does, and it will make or break you depending on how well you handle your failures.
If you're beginning to regret your decision after reading this and you doubt your reasons "why". You have two choices. Beg for your old job back and view this recent desire for freedom as a mental blip that was nothing more than a lapse in brain function... Or, go back the grindstone and do whatever it takes to pinpoint “why” you are doing what you're doing and don't give up until you've reached the summit.
Content copywriter with a passion for writing about mindfulness, tech and philosophy.