February '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 F E B R U A R Y G R A P H I C S P R O 8 7 piece of any business. I have found that if you have a clear "why," not only does it mo- tivate you, it gives your potential customers a connection point, creating more profit- able and loyal customers. Having a clear purpose and mission statement also makes the decision-making process much easier as you have one statement to weigh your deci- sions against. This to me is one of the most important things to work on and discover. 10 STARTING QUESTIONS We know how important having a clear purpose is to our future business success; now it is time to determine how we find it. Einstein once said, "If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determin- ing the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." The first place to start is asking ourselves and our stakeholders, team members, and partners questions that can lead us to our "why." It is in the patterns of the answers to these questions that your true purpose is hidden. Let me share with you my 10 favorite questions to ask and answer. After that, I'll give you some examples of my answers to the questions and how I pulled my "why" out of the answers. 1) What task or project do I/we lose track of time when involved with it? 2) What traits about other businesses really rub me/us the wrong way? 3) What do I/we absolutely hate about or hate doing in the business? 4) What do people come to me/us for advice or guidance about? 5) If I/we knew the business couldn't fail, I/we would be doing … ? 6) What would I/we like to change about or contribute to the world? 7) If I/we had more time to hone my/our skills, I/we would be really good at … ? 8) My/our biggest fear of being success- ful is … ? 9) What do I/we want to have less of in the business? 10) If I/we had $1 billion dollars in the bank, I/we would … ? With those 10 questions, you have a great start to finding your "why" or the purpose of your business to exist. As Ein- stein said, though, finding the right ques- tions to ask is the most important part of the process. Don't stop here. What other questions come up in your head? Think about the extremes of your business and what ques- tions and thoughts are associated with them. For example, when you had a big setback, did you ask yourself why you keep doing this to yourself? What was the an- swer? Or maybe right after a huge success, did you ask why this is so exciting to you? Keep asking questions, working on the an- swers to those questions, and a pattern will start to emerge. STANDOUT ANSWERS From the above 10 questions, once I had the answers, three of them stood out for me. What task or project do I lose track of time when I'm involved with it? Answer: I find myself getting caught up for hours creating tools and templates that can be used in a business, from spreadsheets to templates to how-to guides. I also love spending time talking about those tools, sharing those tools, and fulfilling one of my core values: significance. What traits about other businesses really rub me the wrong way? Answer: I struggle with the people and businesses who are needy, lazy, blameless, irresponsible, unmotivated, and righteous. They tend to want to blame everything and everyone else yet find the need to share with everyone else. I, instead, am interested in working with businesses that show the traits of being independent, industrious, ac-

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