On the Road to WHY

Written by Dave Rothacker on October 6, 2020

Last week’s Radioback, Start with WHY, Stardate: 9/29/2020, was on the topic of Purpose. Be sure to read and save that document as it contains resources of value.

Knowing our WHY or purpose, is key to unlocking doors of meaningful possibility. It’s the scratch to the itch of wandering about the world without direction. It’s absolute North Star.

For some people, their purpose comes in a flash of lightning. Boom! An ah-ha moment. I bet if you’re the son or daughter of an HVAC owner, working in the business, you never were hit by this particular type of lightning. No worries. You’re not alone. Most people aren’t.

If you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you’re a manager or owner in the skilled trades and have a growth mindset. This means that you have a passion to grow, develop and put your talent, skills and passion to work. If you’re like most, while you have this passion, you lack a real purpose to channel and guide it.

According to Simon Sinek, our WHY expresses who we are when we are at our natural best. Our WHY is not out in the world waiting to be discovered. It’s inside of us, waiting to be uncovered. Who we are is an accumulation of our interaction with the people in our lives, education and in general the world.

The truth we need to be free is the reality of our own lives.

– Martha Beck

Look Back

One key to uncovering our realities is to examine defining moments in our lives. These include people we’ve been influenced by, experiences we’ve had, people whose lives we made a difference in and the highs and lows of our lives. The intent is to bring together these moments and memories and examine them for connection.

In the book Find Your WHY, Sinek and his co-authors discuss a practice where a partner helps to dissect the defining moment stories.

The partner helps to dig out the specifics of your stories. It’s critical to understand the details surrounding why these moments are so special. Perhaps even more important, it’s essential to identify the emotions you experienced.

When My Heart Exploded

Here’s a personal example. I love to write about people and their books, projects and or work that make a positive difference in the lives of others. Years ago I wrote a review of this one person’s project. I spoke with them a few weeks later and they were so grateful that they began to get emotional and tear up.

I felt as though my heart was going to explode. This person’s joy rendered my consciousness to jello. I couldn’t speak and began to choke up myself. In a moment of brainlessness, I cut the call short because I didn’t know how to deal with their positive emotion of gratefulness.

Looking back, I realized that my writing really could make a difference in someone’s life. That emotional exchange still energizes me today, nearly 20 years later.

Again, you need to look closely at the specifics of the story and how it made you feel at the time.

If you’re using a partner, Sinek’s crew suggests asking these questions:
1. How did that make you feel?
2. What is it about this experience that you absolutely loved?
3. How did this experience affect you and who you’ve become?
4. What was the lesson from that experience that you still carry with you today?
5. Of all the stories you could have shared with me, what makes this specific one so special that you chose to tell it?

Big Mistake

The single greatest mistake I made when it comes to trying to figure out my WHY was not asking someone else for help.

Schedule a free half hour Zoom call with me to explore your location on the Road to WHY.

Ben Stark and Chris Hunter uncovered and put their WHYs to work. This practice led them to uncommon wealth. We discuss it in detail in It’s Go-Time: Ben Stark and Chris Hunter Share Insights & Strategies to Help Your Home-Service Company Succeed! We are now offering an early bird special. Don’t miss out! Go here to pre-order and save.