Whenever you’re looking to reach a goal in your life, especially if that’s building your own business, there’s one piece of advice you hear over and over again. You must have a ‘why’ that keeps you going when things get tough. And that’s good advice…but it’s incomplete. Picking just one why—no matter how compelling it may seem—isn’t enough to carry you through when things get tough. And they are going to get tough (that’s an inevitability!) Hanging the success of your big dream on one why is setting you on a path to failure.
The Single Why problem
The problem with a single why is that it’s sneaky. It’s not readily apparent that the why you’ve chosen can’t hold up to the stress that comes with being a business owner because the why is incomplete. And let’s be honest—there’s more anxiety and fear in the entrepreneurial journey than anyone realizes before embarking on this path. It’s one of those things that you can’t truly understand until you’ve lived through it.
Most whys are not nearly specific enough. Focusing your why generally on things like financial freedom, becoming a millionaire, or giving your children more than you had can’t hold up to the pressure of the journey. They’re not specific and tangible enough to keep you going when the challenge is so clear and in your face. You must make your why specific. To get specific with your why, paint the scene of the experience with the emotions that will fill you and let yourself really go there in your mind.
A why like this looks like:
- So I can buy my dream house in the mountains to host Christmas every year for my entire family, baking cookies, going sledding in the backyard, and making sure my parents are surrounded by their grandkids to take more photos than any one human ever needs to commemorate it all.
- So I can go to the store and buy anything without having to triple check my account, sliding my card at the register with more peace than I would have sitting at the beach.
- So I can take two hours to myself each morning and focus on my connection to my Higher Power, feel grounded in my body, work out, and feel ready to take on the day before I ever check my phone because there is no one else to answer to. I make the rules.
The more specific you make your why, the more compelling it will be. But you’re not done yet.
Having a compelling why is great—and it’s much stronger than a flat, one-dimensional, wrote-it-in-five-seconds-at-a-conference why. But you actually need more than one why.
“When you know your why, you’ll know your way.” – Michael Hyatt
The Six-dimensional Why™
One why is never enough to really create massive change and amazing things in your life. A single why is too flimsy to truly support incredible dreams. And let’s face it, if you’re reading this, chances are your dreams are big, bold, and some may even say a little crazy. The bigger the dream, the more difficult the journey.
That means there will be times that you are so frustrated, anxious, or stressed that your one why can collapse under the pressure. If the pain of now is more compelling than your why, then the pain of now will win over your why every time. That leads to you telling yourself things like:
- “I want time freedom, but it seems too hard—so just let me get a job.”
- “I want to create this for my kids, but right now, I want to sell those kids to a circus.”
- “I want to publish a book to leave a legacy, but I never seem to have any time. So I may as well pack that dream away.”
The pain of not having your dream must be more excruciating than the pain of accomplishing your goals. That’s why the Six-dimensional why™ will act as your safety net and catch you when things get rough. The Six-dimensional why™ puts the pain of not having what you most desire front and center in your mind to keep you going. Here’s why it works so well.
Having a Six-dimensional why™ means you never have to rely on just one motivational vision. You can clearly see how your goal will impact every area of your life. When one why falls short, the others pick up the slack. The Six Dimensions are:
These whys might look like:
- Financial: So I can pay off my student loans in the next three years, and then put all of that money toward an investment account for my kids so that when they graduate college, they’re set up for a successful start.
- Emotional: So I can finally walk into a bookstore and see the center display full of my books, watching passersby pick up a copy and carry it with them to the checkout counter.
- Mental: So I can hear the ping of my phone without having an anxiety attack and instead feel peaceful and expansive in my life, knowing that the ping I just heard was another sales notification.
- Physical: So I can go to my high school reunion wearing my favorite dress and red bottom shoes, hearing people tell me how I’ve barely aged (hair toss).
- Social: So I can take my kids and my parents to Disney World twice a year for a week or two at a time, so we can fully take in the experience and eat at Cinderella’s castle instead of hitting up the food carts.
Spiritual: So I can look back on my life before I die and know that I fulfilled my purpose, doing everything I could to live up to the vision I had for my life.
When you write out your Six-dimensional why™, you should feel the power of it coursing through your body. Each one should evoke an emotion from you that makes you want to get to work on your goals. That way, when the challenges hit you hard, you have something six times stronger than the challenge to meet it with. Crafting the right why makes all the difference in your resilience and success. Take the time to go all-in on your own Six-dimensional why™.