We have been thinking a lot about our ‘why’ recently – the purpose beyond the purpose. This has been inspired by the work of Simon Sinek, famous for his insistence that people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
I started my professional career as an auditor and whilst the environment and the firm in which I was working was top class, there was something missing. It wasn’t until I moved into a business advisory role in the firm that my ‘why’ started to emerge. I found myself aligned with the firm’s vision: “To help our clients achieve more than they ever thought possible – and to have fun doing it.” Working with clients to help them improve their business lit my fire, as did developing systems and training programs internally to help other accountants in the firm do the same thing.
Work/life balance has always been very important to me as well. I am typing this looking out onto the rolling hills of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland from my home office. Everyone who comes here says that they love it and that we are ‘lucky’. No luck – it is a choice that underpins the balance part of my ‘why’.
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of presenting The Proactive Accountant seminar in Brisbane with my business partner, Rob Nixon. At the start of my session, I explained why cameras had been set up at the back of the room. They were there to film my piece so that it could be played by video at the same program in Perth this week. The reason? Because the date of the Perth seminar clashed with my son’s 8th birthday. And I have made a commitment to my family that I am always at home for birthdays.
I was pleasantly surprised at the number of positive comments I received from our guests in Brisbane. Two people said ‘I should do that as well. It’s a great idea.’ So just do it. If it is important to you, make a decision and follow through. Incidentally, I understand from Rob that people even laughed at some of my jokes at the Perth recording (I am not sure that happened when I did it live in Brisbane!) I trust they also received several great ideas on how to create value for clients.
So back to my why. I am inspired by providing coaching, education, practical assistance, systems and technology that together enable accountants to make seriously positive impacts on their clients’ businesses and lives. And in the process, create more life for themselves as well. Every time I get an email from an accountant letting me know that they used a system or tool or followed a piece of advice and their clients loved it, I have a big smile on my face.
And if I can do all of that AND have quality time with my family in wonderful surroundings, happy days.
What’s your why? And how do you articulate it to the market? Remember, people can only buy WHY you do it if they understand why you do it.