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The reason it's worth it

What’s your Why? Why are you starting your business? And if you’re in business already why are you in business? Michael Gerber, of E-Myth fame, was fond of saying, “the person who knows how will always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be their boss.” If you’re in business, you’re the boss and you better know why. Your Why will drive every decision you make.

In business planning lingo, the Why might be the mission or vision statements. These are important parts of your business plan, but in reality, they don’t get to your Why. According to A vision statement defines an “optimally desired future state.” It provides guidance and inspiration as to what an organization is focused on achieving in five, ten or more years.

A mission statement defines the “present state and purpose of an organization.” The mission statement answers three questions about the organization: what it does, who it does it for, how it does what it does. What’s missing here? Why it does what it does!

Starting and running a business takes a lot of hard work. Your Why is what gets you up in the morning and drives you to succeed. It’s what guides your decisions. You definitely need a vision to help with long-term decision making. As a business owner, you have to have an eye on the future as you make decisions today. We’ve all heard the expression, “If you don’t know where you’re going, where do you think you’ll end up?” But let’s face it. How many businesses today actually look like their vision created ten years ago? How many of your employees can recite your vision statement? How many business owners even have a vision statement? 

If I were a banker, I would be asking about your Why. After I write you that check, what you do is out of my control and there is a pretty good chance you’ll be out of business in five years or your business will look nothing like your original vision. Why is so important. It gets to the root of your core values, and what’s most important to you. Your reason why drives your decisions. Your vision and mission statements may change over time, but your values and your Why’s do not.

Being clear about your Why will make you more confident in every decision. Your reason why could certainly be to make lots of money. But Why’s like that don’t usually succeed. Your Why could be as simple as, I lost my job and want to be the best provider for my family. Most likely you have several Why’s. 

Some of my Why’s include, providing a respectful work environment where team members are valued and have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives. Also, each person is unique and one-size-fits-all medicine does not work for everyone. To have the flexibility to spend time with my family. There are safe and natural approaches to treating many common medical conditions. Finally, to be able to give back to the community and help others in need.

Your Why’s can be related to the market you serve, your personal life or a combination of the two. The more reasons why you do what you do, the more successful you will be. 

As a bonus, when you plop down on the couch after a long day and ask yourself, why am I doing all this, you’ll have lots of reasons to get up and do it again.

About the Author

Tim Redline, PharmD.
Owner, Redline Pharmacy, Hastings, Neb.

Tim is a pharmacist and he and his wife, Hilarie, own Redline Pharmacy in Hastings, Neb. Their pharmacy specializes in compounded medications and home infusion services.


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