Everyone wants to know why.
Why is the sky blue, why does the earth revolve around the sun, why is the moon made of cheese—some things we know the answer to and others are more enjoyably left a mystery.
In business however, I think one of the most important things you can do is figure out WHY you do what you do. I don't mean why you have the fastest turn around time, the most user-friendly software, or the fastest airplane. The why I am talking about is the deeper vision that lead you to where you are today, that continues to drive you to be better, bigger, stronger, and faster. What is the goal you are looking to accomplish?
Gary Vaynerchuk, the amped (amped is an understatement) wine enthusiast and owner of VaynerMedia, talks a lot about goals and the importance of following them. Ask him what his goal is and he answers quickly and simply, "buy the New York Jets". Now sure he has his reasons for wanting to buy the Jets, he's been a fan since he was a child, but for him it's not just about having an NFL team trophy, for him it represents his ability to overcome adversity and do what no one else thought was possible. In the world of you can't do it, Gary Vaynerchuk says CRUSH IT and I can't wait to see how he gets there.
For me my goal since I was in middle school was to be Don Draper, long before AMC's Mad Men aired, I learned about the life of ad men from my dad's stories of working in the television industry selling advertising to CBS affiliates all over the country. Instead of advertising, I wanted to be the creative. The guy who steps in and makes something beautiful.
Over time those aspirations have morphed into different goals and pursuits, wanting to get a business degree, work for a marketing firm, move to Hollywood and become a film director...my dreams and goals have changed a hundred and one times and I don't expect them to settle anytime soon.
I'm okay with that.
The reason being is that I've learned the reason why all these goals and pursuits peak my interest. The reason I've wanted to direct movies, own my own business, and work in marketing is because I see all of those things as a platform of influence each with their own unique opportunities.
For me it all comes down to this. I get the most satisfaction out of helping others make and share their art. I'm a very goal oriented person and when I set out to do the things I want to do, I pour myself into them one hundred percent. Design and typography is one avenue, a platform of influence for me that I can use to help people do these things.
Will I do this type of work forever, in some form yes, but if I'm doing the exact same work in twenty years as I am today, I'll have some serious self-assessment to do. For now I will continue to search for ways to continue to work hard, learn to love my work even more, and find new and creative ways to help people create and share their art.
If you keep focused on your vision, the reason why you do what you do, then every decision of what to do next becomes that much more clear, falling into place one piece after another.
Everyone wants to know why.
If you have any thoughts or comments about the importance of goals and asking the question WHY? I'd love to chat with you. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to hear from you!