Today I have been thinking about WHY I run this business. Most people spend so much time on how they are going to do things, and What they are going to do. Today, I wrote this and printed it out and posted it on my office wall, “Focus on Why we do what we do, If you do it for the right reasons What you do and How you do it will fall in line and success will follow.”
When I moved my business to its much bigger location I have only a rough idea of what we would be doing. I had a few basic ideas of areas where money could be made, because I was already making money in those areas and my old business made money in those areas, but I was open to doing something else. It turns out that now my most profitable part of my business was something I never did at my old shop. It now accounts for 60% of sales and over 80% of profits, that is recycling computer products.
Once you know the what the “HOW” is very simple and obvious. But I am here to talk about the Why….why do I do what I do? Why am I a business owner and don’t have a job, why do I choose to work with technology? For me that “WHY?” comes down to a few key things that I believe.
First I loved technology, it is always amazing to find out what is new, and to be able to actually play with it, not just read about it. By owning a computer store I get the ability to design and build things for clients, forcing me to become an expert many different tech issues.
Next, I must have adventure I also have found that I don’t like to spend much time on things once I figure them out, and technology is ever changing, allowing me to always be engaged. For example here are some things I have done in the last month, I took apart a top of the line new Asus ultra-thin laptop to see what was inside, it was amazing how it is more like a Cell phone than a laptop. I have explored new database ideas for WordPress, and how to import from XLS files to make carts on something that was designed for blogs. I have had time to play new games. I played a lot with running windows 8 on a big screen TV with wireless keyboard, touchpad. And the list goes on and on. Every day is a new adventure, always learning and always teaching.
Next I love to share my passion for tech with others. Spending time showing someone the new gadget, or the next big thing in the tech world is something that I love. I also love to help people, to give them tools to make their life and their business better, then I love to see them a few months later and how what I did really changed their life.
Next I love a good deal. I love to find good deals, I love to share them and I love to give them to others. It is so fun when I can do something for someone better than they thought it could be done and under the price they thought it could be done in. The side effect of this is that we have never been highly profitable. I am always giving people deals and slashing prices. For me it is often more about the sale than the profit, I have sold many things well below cost to make someone happy. Recently I have been forced to charge most people a bit more to cover costs.
Those are the reasons I am in the IT industry, but now I think “WHY?” did I do it on my own instead of working for someone else. Well I really enjoy my freedom, I also highly value spending time with my Family and friends. I love to be able to sleep in a bit, knowing my shop is taken care of, then spend some time with the kids while they are still kids, and then be able to take them and my wife to work with me. It is nice to be able to take time off when I need it. I also like it when people count on me, when I can show someone…”Yes I built that”.
I guess it all comes down to the fact that if you love what you do then it never seems like work. Most of the time it does not feel like work, it feels like fun. There are there rare times where I told a client Yes to something I should not have because it is something I don’t like to do or don’t want to learn, and in those cases I have found that subcontracting is a great idea.
So what is your “Why”? If you are in business, why are you in business, why did you do what you do, and why do you do it the way that you do it. If you have a job, then why do you work where you work, does it fit in with who you are? If the main answer to your “WHY?” is money then you will likely never live a very happy or fulfilled life. Now-a-days there is also a large part of our population that lives off the government, why do you feel entitled to do that? If you served in the military, or if you are retired after 45 years of work I can see why you would feel that way, but many feel entitled who need neither of these. Do you feel that you could have somewhere else to serve, to make this world better?
You should work to make the most of your short life here, and doing things with no reason why is one of the easiest ways to waste your life. Here are some questions that really helped me focus on what is important…Why do you surf the internet so much, do you really need to read Facebook that many times per day, do you really need to watch that TV show, what will you get out of playing that video game.
Watch what you do and see if it lines up with your why.
A Special thanks goes to today’s episode of the Glenn Beck show for getting my thinking about this again.