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What, How and Why


I've been talking about WHY a lot recently. I've been running a Masterclass on it in my membership community, the Flourish Club, and a number of my 121 and group coaching clients are at the point in their programmes where they start to craft their "Career Purpose" statement.

"Find Your Why" (to quote Simon Sinek) is pretty hard. It's actually an in-depth process that takes quite some time - I described the process in a previous article here. But the main reason that we find articulating WHY so difficult is that we get side-tracked by the what and the how.

Your what, how and why


Let's reverse the Simon Sinek "Always start with Why" theory and start with the what.

"What do you do?" It's a familiar networking / party ice-breaker isn't it. And it's normally pretty easy to answer. "I'm a career coach / lawyer / accountant / writer / wedding planner / etc"

So far so simple.


How you actually deliver your coaching, lawyering, accounting, writing or planning services can differ greatly. I offer 121 and group coaching programmes using my DREAM pathway methodology. Other career coaches follow a different methodology and offer a different way of clients buying and consuming their services.

How do you do what you do? I am sure that you have your own way of being a lawyer or whatever it is that you do.


Now we get to the hard part. "Why do you do what you do?" (a much more interesting ice-breaker by the way but the person sitting next to you might not thank you for such a knotty question).

Having done the "Find Your Why" process, this is an easy one for me:

"To inspire others to explore beyond their boundaries so we can all live our best lives"

The place where a lot of us get stuck is in making it a generic enough statement that it can fit a lot of different career possibilities. My sentence doesn't just apply to being a career coach. I could teach people to map read, jump out of a plane or become a zoo-keeper.

And my sentence also means that I have to continually explore beyond my own boundaries too. And this ties in with my values and how I want to live my life.

Now, if I got caught up in the what and the how before looking at why, I might end up with a sentence like:

"To coach people to be happier at work so that we can all be happier at work"... It's too restrictive and doesn't open up my possibilities.

Another common error is trying to incorporate all the possibilities you've already thought of so... "To be a career coach, map reading teacher, jump out of a plane instructor or zoo keeper trainer so that ...."

Find your why

The process is actually really powerful but it takes some doing. You can either buy the book and do it alongside a friend or book a free Discovery Call with me to find out more.

For now, just try to create a statement that articulates

  • What contribution you want to make and
  • What impact you want to have

that feels loose enough to fit a myriad of possibilities.

Have fun exploring your WHY!

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