Viktor Frankl was able to survive his horrifying years inside a concentration camp because he knew his reason to stay alive. As he shares in his book Man\\\'s Search For Meaning, "Those who have a WHY to live, can bear with almost any HOW."
[related|post]Not surprisingly, this basic requirement for personal survival applies to our business survival as well.
World renowned speaker and strategist Tony Robbins reveals that 96 people of people fail in business; in fact, out of every 100 businesses, in 10 years only four of them will be left standing. (Note: these figures were taken just before the recession.)
"Your motive does matter," says Robbins. "Knowing why you\\\'re doing what you\\\'re doing will give you power. Business itself is way too competitive for you to be in it just for the money. Your only competitive advantage is one and one thing only: your passion to add value to people\\\'s lives. In order to get wealthy and stay wealthy, you need to constantly find ways to create more value for your customers."
Robbins knows what he\\\'s talking about. He started building his motivational empire more than 20 years ago, and even though he\\\'s experienced phases of great highs and almost-bankruptcies, Anthony Robbins Companies are still standing strong. This is because he knows that "I\\\'m all about making the biggest difference in the most lives as I possibly can."
How about you? What is your business based on? What kind of impact do you want to make on the world with your products and services? Who are those people that you know you\\\'d serve anyway, even if no one paid you to do it?
Here are three questions that will help you clarify your own BUSINESS WHY:
1. What kind of person were you before you started experiencing success?
Whether you\\\'re just starting out in business or are already a veteran, for sure you can remember a time when you didn\\\'t always believe you could be successful, and needed help and support from several different people.
Remember that person you used to be, and find out how your products and services could make his/her life easier and more satisfying if you met that person now.
2. What kind of customer or client do you love working with?
Admit it. There are customers you just love getting calls from, while there are others who tend to ruin your day with just one comment.
When starting out, you often feel you really can\\\'t be too picky about the kind of clients you get (after all, money is money). But eventually you will realize that your business success and enjoyment depend a lot on how much you enjoy working with the people you serve, and it\\\'s never too early to start purifying your business environment.
3. What is the most satisfying compliment a client or customer has ever given you?
Knowing what it is that gives you the most pride or satisfaction about your work tells you more about the impact you want to make on the world than anything else.
In my consulting work, for example, the feedback that I never get tired of hearing is when training participants or coaching clients thank me for helping them get more clear about who they are and what they\\\'re supposed to do, and for giving them the confidence and tools they need to take positive action in their lives.
When you take the time to really think about your answers to these three questions, you\\\'re essentially giving yourself a personalized formula for success and happiness in your own business.
And as a bonus, you also become aware of an enduring kind of happiness and fulfillment, knowing that you\\\'re building a legacy to enrich other people\\\'s lives.
Aileen Santos is an internationally certified Work-Life ReInvention Coach & A-Ha! Trainer who helps overwhelmed leaders and entrepreneurs create more balance in their lives by helping them achieve success in the things that truly matter.