What’s Your Why?

I’m taking a moment today to give you something to think about and to share something we talk a lot about in my marketing classes that has been on my mind and that is “knowing your why”.

Think about your children for a moment (or some children you know, or.even think back to when you were a child). They’re constantly asking “why”…

Why is the sky blue? Why do we have to do that? Why can birds fly?

Or

Why can’t I do that? Why don’t we have one of those? Why aren’t we like that?

But a lot of times we loose that inquisitive nature with age, and that in many ways, can be one of our downfalls. I believe we should always be asking questions. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Because how else can we learn and improve and better our lives?

In the field of marketing, we are taught that in order to do your job to the best of your ability and to achieve your goals, you have to know the “why” behind every decision you’re making. Whether it’s why you are selling a certain product or why you are using a certain platform for communication or why you are allocating a portion of your budget to a certain area or even why you are using a red serif font verses a blue sans-serif font… the reasoning behind every decision is important to your brand, which should make it important to you. And the moment in which you can’t answer the “why” question is the moment you need to step back, evaluate your situation and make whatever change is necessary for you to be able to answer that question.

Now, whether you work in marketing/business or not, this same reasoning can be directly applied to everyday life.

Life is so busy in today’s society. There’s a constant hustle and bustle and the moments where we get to simply take a breath and relax are few and far between. I want you to take a second and think about every single thing you’ve done today or in the past week. Now imagine writing every little thing down as a list… See my point… (we’d kill half of the worlds trees if used that much paper ๐Ÿ˜†) But, in all seriousness, we constantly have something to do.

So, a main question that we need to be constantly asking ourselves is “why?” Why are we doing what we are doing? Why are we going to school? Why is this worth our time? Why are we working where we are? Why are we saying what we’re saying? Why are we praying what we are praying? And the list of “Why’s” could go on and on and on. And, again, the moment that we can’t answer the “why” question, we need to stop and re-evaluate our situation or our priorities or our desires. Then, take the next step to move a bit closer to where we ultimately want to be.

Did you know that you are a brand? Yes, you! I never really thought about this until the end of this semester, but we each are our own personal brand. One thing that you have to constantly monitor in the world of business is your “brand image” (what people think/say about you). And I know we’ve heard all kinds of people talk about their ‘image” and what they want that to look like… so let me tell you about mine:

When people think of Dylan Duke, there’s a few things that I hope come their mind: honest, dependable, hard-working, creative, positive… (attractive… Hahah just kidding) but those are attributes that I want my personal brand to represent, so it’s important for me to think about how my decisions and my work and my demeanor can show that. Now, believe me, I’m as far away from anything even remotely resembling perfection as you can imagine, but I try to think about what my “Why” is everyday. That’s something that I want to challenge you to do as well, and here’s “why”…

I watched a video someone had shared on Facebook the other day that was talking about why it’s important to find a job/career that you enjoy and are passionate about because we will end up spending about 45+ years of our life working… over forty-five years! That’s a long time! So, if you’re working 100 miles per hour everyday and constantly stressed due to your job but you can’t tell someone why you’re doing what you’re doing… maybe it’s time for a career change.

Now, I know that everyone can’t just automatically step into their dream job and that there are times where you just have to “fake it till you make it”, but I also know that everyone has a “why” and a purpose for their life. And it’s important for that “why” to be developed.

The Bible says that we each are created in God’s own image and God doesn’t make mistakes! So, if you’re struggling right now with finding your purpose, first, you need to know that you have one and the world needs you because of it, and second, you are not the only one searching. This isn’t something that’s a clear, distinct answer… It’s something that is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s ok to still be figuring it out. (Believe me, I’m right there with you!) But, as hard as it can be, don’t let fear stop you from finding yourself! When I was little, we used to watch “The Magic School Bus” all the time in school and the teacher in the show, Miss Frizzle, always said “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” And she’s right! In order to be the best version of ourselves we have to be willing to take a chance and make a mistake… which might result in a bit of a mess, but will help get one step closer to the person we are meant to be.

So, I challenge you to pursue those dreams and ask those questions, starting with this one:

‘What’s my why?”

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