When a great fighter is down on the mat, nearly for the count, there is one common thought that helps him get back on his feet and rise to the challenge to keep fighting. When this moment comes, it’s the beginning of his comeback. It’s the moment we all start cheering.
At times over the last few years, you may have felt like the world has had you down on the mat, counting slowly to 10, ready to count you out. Changes in staffing, increases or decreases in sales that directly impact big changes in demand, work and delivery dates, and increased costs of doing business seem to have reached every facet of what we do. It’s as if our collective lives were turned upside down, shaken, and dropped to see where the pieces might land. To say it’s been difficult is a huge understatement.
So you ask, what is that one common thought that makes the fighter persevere? Like the fighter struggling to stand up, you have to remember your why. Not only do you have to remember it, you have to leverage it, and it can work for you if you want it to.
When you are ready to quit, remember why you started.
Even with all the dramatic changes of the last few years, what hasn’t changed is that your families still need you to care. They need to grieve, mourn, honor, celebrate, and memorialize their loved ones. When you are connected to your why, you are the best person to help guide them through it. For most of us, the families we serve are our why. Maybe it’s your own family and providing for them. For some, it’s the creative process, the artistry, the power of memorializing a life. What is your why? Can you put it into words? Asking yourself why your business exists and where you want it to go from here can help guide you down the path to finding it.
Here’s one of my favorite examples of someone’s why and how it makes the biggest difference. In the 1960s there was a gentleman who was working diligently, mopping floors. He took his job seriously because he knew it was impacting the world in a big way. You see, he worked for NASA. When the janitor was asked what he did for NASA, he replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” He was so connected to the why of NASA, he made it his why too.
Once you can connect to your why and your purpose, sharing it with your staff is the next step. When your staff understands what is motivating you, the work that you do, and the difference it makes, they will more easily jump onboard and make it theirs. They will show up every day with a stronger commitment.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek
Have you heard of Bombas? If you haven’t, it’s a sock company. While socks aren’t that exciting, I get excited about Bombas socks. Do you know that millions of people pay $10 or more for a single pair of socks? Well, not a single pair. When you purchase a pair of Bombas socks, the company donates a pair. To date, they’ve given 75 million articles of clothing to people in need. People don’t complain about the price because they are connected to their why.
Knowing your why is important. Sharing your why is the key.
Finding your why isn’t always easy, and it may take some time. Here are some questions to get you started on leveraging your why.
- Why are we in business?
- Why are we who we are today?
- Why are we good at what we do?
- What do people say about us?
- What are we great at?
An easy formula to help you determine your contribution/impact is the following: “To (name of contribution) so that (impact).” Basically, what do you contribute and what is the impact you hope it makes?
Once you reconnect to your why, the real fun begins. You now get to lead the way. Your ability to articulate both your why and your business’s why to your staff and customers is important.
How do you build your staff’s confidence in sharing its why with families you serve and allow it to guide your marketing?
Tell your story as often as you can and with passion. This isn’t always easy because sometimes your story may be emotional or challenging to tell. The more you share it, the easier it gets. When you are willing to be transparent, people will respond. Connect with your staff, help them find their personal why, and give them permission to share it.
You can ask your staff questions such as the following:
- What do you do every day?
- Why is it important to you?
- What difference does it make?
Make it a staff meeting where everyone either shares their thoughts or writes them down. You just need to start. It will be worth the effort.
Once you have equipped your team to share the company’s why, and you’ve empowered them to share their own why, there is one more step. Teach them how to ask the families you serve about their why. It is amazing how quickly relationships develop when you ask a family, “Why are we creating a memorial today? Whose life are we memorializing?” In this moment, we stop selling and start serving. There’s never been a time when I asked that question that I didn’t find some common ground. When we connect in meaningful ways, we create incredible customer loyalty. The magic moment is when cost becomes less important and the service you provide becomes worth the price.
Start leveraging your why to grow your business.
The last hurdle to tackle is taking all of this and creating a marketing plan worthy of your why. Regardless of where you are advertising, the messaging should connect to what motivates you, your business, your staff, and ultimately, the customers who choose to do business with you.
One way to do this is through social media. It’s the perfect place to put “marketing your why” into action. It’s low cost and easy to do, and being personal is always a bonus on social media. Capture some beautiful pictures of monuments you created and pair them with the story of why you loved creating them. When you create a unique piece, ask the family if you can share it along with the story of their loved one and why creating a masterpiece to honor their life was important to them.
You can also highlight your staff members by asking them to provide you with a picture that reflects their why, then connect your followers/customers to them and their story.
If you are struggling to discover your why, here are some starters to get your mind in the right space.
- I’ve lost someone, I know what it’s like.
- I want to help others going through what I went through.
- Helping people is my
- Serving is what I’m best at; I’ve got a servant’s heart.
- Carrying my family’s legacy in monument building is my priority.
- Providing for my family while doing something that makes a difference motivates me.
If you need some cheering to motivate you to get back up and keep fighting, don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, colleagues, or myself. When we rise to the challenge together, we all win.
– Honnalora Hubbard, Regional Sales Manager, Coldspring