Last year when I was plotting and planning to launch my business it was recommended to me that I check out Simon Sinek's "Start with Why". The Ted talk that goes along with the idea that has since become a movement is one of the second-most watched Ted talks ever.
I found the message very thought-provoking and the question of why has been a constant over the past year. Why do I want to help people? What kind of people need my help? Why do those people do what they do? Why does it matter?
Going even further back I started to ponder why I had started my business Mee a Bee, why I'd started blogging back in 2005, why I'd come to Japan, why I'd studied business at university.
The answers were not surprising. All roads led to Rome. Of course I was looking back on my life through the lens of 'how I can sell myself as a marketing consultant'. It makes sense to say I was born to do it. Whether that is true or not I do think people are born with certain skills and tendencies. Interests develop over the years and you nourish them with more learning and experiences.
I've immersed myself in the creative field of business over the past several years. I have indeed been inspired by many and I think I have inspired those around me too. I regularly meet people who say they've followed my story and love what I do. Still it's easy for me to dismiss my talents
Some of what I do comes naturally to me, it's certainly in my genes to be an enthusiastic marketing geek. Some of what I do is the result of a life-long commitment to studying, always learning more. What I have come to realise is that the source of my knowledge isn't relevant to most, what matters is that I have a burning desire to pass on my knowledge, learning and experience. I get excited hearing about other's dreams and ambitions. I want others to accomplish the things they want to in life.
Despite all the pondering and soul searching over the question of why my answer still seemed too philosophical to me. Too vague, too obnoxious really. It's too shameful to say I want to make money although of course I do. That's not the biggest motivator though since our family does quite well on my husband's salary and my earnings from my other creative businesses.
So the clincher? Hearing about friends struggling to make ends meet. Seeing friends having to put their children in daycare so they can return to soul-sapping work. And these are wildly talented friends. Creatives. It makes me sad to see them suffer and to know that the world is missing out on their true talents. It makes me sad to think that I haven't been sharing my true talents as well as I could have. I don't want another ten years to go by and look back with regret.
That is why I do what I do. To put an end to forgotten dreams.
Thanks Simon Sinek for the Start with Why movement. I finally understand my why.
(picture from Uniqlo.com designed by Alphabet Bags)