4 Reasons Why your WHY Won’t Make you Successful in your Entrepreneur Business

You hear it all the time in the arena of Entrepreneur Business and Home Based Business:

“Your WHY must be strong enough”

deborah-tutnauer-success-coach-home-based-businessYour WHY is your reason for doing what you do. It’s the thing that touches you so deeply that you cry. Your WHY forms the backbone that supports one foot in front of the other even when you are tired, even when you fail, even when…..

I’ve met many people with WHY’s that even made me cry, and they are not successful yet, despite years of effort and commitment. There are 4 reasons why your why won’t make you successful in your entrepreneur business. Even the most powerful WHY in the world requires these four things to bring your business forward into profit, consistency, time freedom and joy.

Let’s explore: Hard Skills, Productive Action, Inner Game, Education/Coaching

Hard Business Skills

Face it. There is the work that you do – your profession, product, service – and there is the marketing of the work that you do. Most people who are entrepreneurs have chosen their work because it is a passion or an area of interest or expertise. Many don’t think about the marketing aspects initial. They are caught up in the ideas and the potential.

But in the end, all business is based on exchange of goods or services which means that your customers or clients or even team members in the direct sales industry, must find out about you and your business. This is called marketing. Marketing must occur in order to sell.

I hear people talk often about their dislike of selling, but again…when goods or services change hands unless given away for free, they are essentially sold. You can call it sharing, or inviting, or attracting. In the end when we have a business that earns an income, we must be selling something and in order to for that to happen you must first market.

Marketing is a “hard business skill“.  Not “hard” as in difficult, but “hard” as in concrete and specific. There are facets of marketing that must be learned and considered. Words like “target market” or “ROI” or “conversion” are foreign to those new to business and marketing. And good marketing is much more than just topics and definitions.

Good entrepreneur business marketing begins with a story that engages the audience with interest and more importantly, emotion. In his book Winning the Story Wars, Jonah Sachs teaches us the power of archetypal stories throughout humanity. We love heroes and heroines, challenges and triumphs. When your personal values are in alignment with your business and the story you create for your marketing inspires a person to see themselves as the hero, magic happens.

Marketing can be learned and must be learned to travel the road to success with grace and positive results. My clients learn how to authentically market their businesses in the Framework Program part of Entrepreneur Success Coaching.

Productive Action

This is where the rubber meets the road. In order to work productively on a daily basis you must understand which actions are indeed productive ones. Productive actions are defined as those tasks which yield income. In the age of social media {marketing} one could argue that time spent conversing on the web is “productive”. I would contend that it is “supportive”.

Income producing activities are those that at the very least, bring people into your sphere in a manner which you control. That could mean opting in to your email list, showing up at your networking event, joining your webinar. From those types of actions a certain percentage of people will choose to engage with your services or purchase your product.

Interacting with customers, clients or prospects is your highest income producing activity. This includes those with the potential to engage with your business and those who are already engaged. Remember that your existing clientele is golden. Treat them with respect and honor them in your ongoing marketing. The very best marketing is still word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers or clients.

Your goal of course as a business owner is to create a positive, value increasing, wonderful experience for your customers and prospects. Many talk about utilizing attraction marketing by giving great value and magnetizing your message to draw in your audience. This is a lovely concept and I wholeheartedly believe in it… AND….as long as your marketing and sales funnel are set up to move your audience through from curiosity, to engagement to referral or purchase, you are in great shape. If your flow doesn’t lead to any income, then it’s time to adjust and rethink. You only have a viable business if your business is creating profit.

The best attraction marketing-value-adding-content-creation is not a business if it doesn’t eventually result in a balance sheet that is in the black. Productive activity builds a viable business.  If you activities are not creating income for you, you have a hobby. We can explore what must shift for you to make it a business. Click here for a Vision Strategy Consultation.

I recommend that my clients create a list of tasks that also support productive activities – or TICBD – Tasks I Could Be Doing. (This is an idea I got from my dear friend and Goddess of Nesting and more,  Jacqueline Gates.)   Rather than a list on the computer or in a notebook, I suggest it be in your face. A big white board or bulletin board that you see when you walk into your office space is the place for this list.  It’s a different list than your zero-level, or your to-do list. This is a list of productive activities that you can choose from when the main things of the day are completed, or you are having an off day and not sure quite where to begin.

Inner Game

My favorite topic of all related to Entrepreneur Business Success is Inner Game. It’s been said that Success is an Inside Job. What does that mean?

In my 20+ years of coaching I never once experienced a problem or a stuck place that was not intimately tied up with a story.  A Story is a filter. We all have them.

We view the world through a filter that was created by our life experiences from the earliest moments until now. It’s a message file of beliefs, understandings, limitations, perceptions that we view Everything through. When you put on  a pair of glasses with blue lenses, the world looks blue. If you didn’t know you were wearing the glasses, you would assume that what you see is indeed real.

Our filter – our story – is just like that. We see everything through it, because we don’t perceive the filter only the viewpoint. It’s when we can get a good look at our filter and actually take off that particular pair of glasses, that we can see the parts of our story that are wonderful and the parts that no longer serve us.

Leaders speak from stage and write about “Changing Your Story”.  The trick is to find a way to see your stuff, without looking through your filter. In other words, you can’t see your filter through your filter. This is where we often get stuck. In the Stories Transformation Workshop  you are led through a four session program to discern your story, take it out an investigate it, change the parts that no longer serve you, and rewrite. Essentially you will be given the tools to take of the blue glasses and exchange for another pair with different lenses.

(Access Stories Transformation Workshop by clicking here.)

When you change your story, everything changes. When you perceive the experiences in your life and business differently, you react differently. New actions reap new results.

Another crucial part of the Inner Game is Alignment.

You already have a set of values that you live by, and areas of expertise along with interests, passions, personal purpose. Align your business mission and methods with these.

You may be wondering how to do that, when your product is a widget (for instance). The answer is that the actual product is not your mission. Your product and service is your end result. The reason for your product or service is the thing that must be in alignment with YOU!

So we begin this process with a big question: Who are YOU? Who are YOU NOT? What values inform and support your way of walking through the world?  What are your areas of expertise? How does your business align with the answers to these questions?

When you get clarity on this, flow will begin to happen internally instigating greater focus, confidence and commitment. We work on developing this aspect of your business in the Foundation Program part of Entrepreneur Success Coaching.

One more piece here in Inner Game is Meditation. Ask most highly successful people how they spend their day, and many will have time set aside daily for meditation. I recently reviewed an article about meditation written by Lumosity. Powerful stuff and well worth your exploration. Meditation does many things that set up your inner world as a stable and flexible platform for support of your business mindset, planning and activities.

Education and Coaching

Learn something new everyday.

As important to your entrepreneur success as daily action and productive tasks, is personal growth and education. Possibly it is the most important. Your business, whether a solo endeavor or as CEO of a large company, can only expand to the degree that you expand yourself.

When one reads leadership and management stories written by those running huge corporations, a consistent theme within the stories is personal growth, mentor-ship, education and coaching.  In order to grow, we must grow. You can’t be your own coach.

Our personal commitment to self-growth, education, coaching becomes a mirror of the growth of our entrepreneur success. In my daily calender, regardless of any other tasks at hand, there is a time for reading (or listening) to inspiring or educational books and articles. Some are about business and marketing. Others about insight and energy.

You spend your learning time daily, expanding your mind and your skills. This then translates directly into your daily tasks, personal mission understanding, marketing message and interpersonal communication.

Grow daily and your business will too!

Which brings us to coaching.

I am a coach. You might think I know exactly what to do within my own head and my business, for that is what I coach others on.

And you are correct. I do know. But knowing something is a different animal when attempting to coach oneself.

I am a better coach for my clients because I receive coaching for my own growth  and focus. Everyone -Everyone – has moments of feeling lost, unfocused, unclear. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has challenges.

Could you imagine any pro athlete getting on the field without their coach? They KNOW how to do their sport. In fact their actual skills are better than those of the person coaching them. But you can’t see yourself clearly because you are always looking through that filter we spoke about earlier. Your coach sees you from the outside. Your coach keeps you focused and even accountable.  Even when you  can change your story, meditate daily, stay on task, take productive action and have a strong WHY, your coach is a necessity for being a successful entrepreneur.

Your WHY alone won’t make you successful in your entrepreneur business. But combine a strong WHY with the four elements discussed and you will be unstoppable!

Comment below with your thoughts.

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Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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  1. says

    This is a most helpful overview of what we really need to understand about business to be successful – and written so plainly that it is easy to digest, Deborah, thank you for such insight and coaching right here in this post.

  2. says

    Hi Deborah,

    Entrepreneurship is an amazing goal to achieve and there are many people who are struggling to reach at the top. But do they all get success? No, they don’t.

    There are many reasons due to which they just remain as they was. Hard work is the key. For every business to boost up hard work is required. Many people get afraid and deny to continue their business because they don’t have potential to work that much hard.

    In our life we learn everyday which can be a beneficial point for our business.
    How about inner game? Entrepreneurs try to build up their business after understanding the game plan for their business.

    Thanks for adding such of great points.

    Hope you have a nice week ahead.:)

    Ravi Chahar recently posted…10 Killer Tips To Provide Customer Service Via Social MediaMy Profile

    • says

      Hard work is indeed the key Ravi. And on top of that, hard work that is focused on spending time in a manner that is worthy of your efforts. Many get afraid and many lose focus on both the big picture and the daily action steps. It is my goal to help them with both.

      I sincerely appreciate your comment!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Entrepreneur Business Success Club My Profile

  3. says

    Hi Deborah,

    You are right on point when you say that your “why” won’t make you successful in your Entrepreneur Business.

    We may know our why, give out great information, but it is imperative to know the marketing aspects of business. I see so many talented bloggers and entrepreneurs that come on board, giving great information and never making one cent!

    Let’s face it, it is business, no matter what niche you are in and we are in it to make money. Oh that dirty word lol! But truth be known, there are so many people that are told to follow the leader, and it is not a fit for them.

    There are so many new people coming into the marketplace with no knowledge of marketing. I also came into the blogging world with no knowledge and floundered around for a while scratching my head as to how to turn it into a business.

    It was not until I focused on marketing, that changed the game. I wrote differently, I became a product creator. Instead of one to one coaching, I grew. (Yes I still do that one to one but find that many are out there that cannot afford it) So I set up my sales funnel to meet the financial needs across the board.

    I love the line where you mention “In order to grow, we must grow.” I am a firm believer in that one. We must grow within ourselves, to overcome the obstacles we have and continue that inner growth. It is just as important as growing with the latest learning curve of business.

    Thanks so much for this wise article.

    donna merrill recently posted…Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

    • says

      Welcome to my blog Donna. I appreciate the depth of your comment. There are so many facets to creating a viable business and unless you have a team and can hire out your marketing – you must learn to market, even if “marketing” is not your business nor your forte.

      I spent 20 years doing 50 minute psychotherapy hours in my office with clients. After becoming skilled and successful in online marketing and direct sales I turned my attention back to the coaching modality but knew I did not want to return to the time for dollars paradigm. Yet, like you I also didn’t want to only create products where people did not get human interaction and just followed a formula. I coach because I love facilitating shift in others. It is one of my core values and the thing that gives me the most joy. Thus I too had to learn to “market” in a different way and to package my services as you discussed above.

      Funny how the “making money” thing is one that people seem to shy away from talking about. Money is such a loaded topic, filled with all types of history, meaning, stories, baggage beyond just the dollars in the bank. But you are so right! Would most people put tons of effort into their “business” if no income were needed or desired? Maybe some would. Passion for a project fuels all kinds of things. Yet if you are calling it a business then there is a financial piece to it and let’s get comfortable with calling a spade a spade.

      From reading your blog I can see that we think along similar lines when it comes to helping entrepreneurs and providing accessible and human structure to the world of coaching and mentorship. It’s a pleasure to meet you Donna!


  4. says

    This post should be required reading for all budding entrepreneurs. I cringe every time I hear someone saying that your ‘why’ is ‘all you need to know’. There’s so much more to business building than that.

    And while I agree that hard work is key, I’ve had many clients who’ve worked their tails off with no results. Uncovering of your YOUness (ie what makes you stand out from the crowd) and then the mastery of how to be seen + heard by the people who will ‘get’ you … those are the things to work on. Everything else is busy-ness.

    Love the clarity + candour of this post, Deborah … not-coincidentally, those are the things I love about YOU.

    Bliss-ings + oodles of appreciations for the shout-out,
    the goddess known as Jacqui
    Jacqueline Gates recently posted…5 Ways That Menu-Planning Will Awesomize Your Wallet, Waistline + LifeMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Goddess Jacqui! You are one of the people who has kept going when up against challenges! Your WHY has been so strong AND you never stopped learning, focusing, committing, exploring, producing, marketing until you found the correct recipe for your magic message. And look at you now!! I love the example you have set with your own journey and the unique way you draw so many women to you.

      Feel free to share this post with anyone of your clients or contacts who can benefit. As always, I am thrilled to help shift and inspire!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…How to Accept Fear as a Positive Part of Authentic Business My Profile

    • says

      Hi Nisha!
      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. I do believe that with the right combination of clarity, purpose, commitment, skills, coaching and hard work, most can reach a level of success as entrepreneurs. Many don’t reach it however, because a piece of the puzzle is missing. I often say that when entrepreneurs get stuck, they feel like they are bumping up against an invisible bubble blocking their path. At that point, its usually coaching that can help them burst through the bubble and move forward.

      It’s a pleasure to meet you Nisha!
      I have not quite figured out how I want to set my subscribe button in the comments flow – so if you’d like to be notified of future posts, feel free to here. http://goo.gl/WZJPPW

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…How Does Your Business Garden GrowMy Profile

  5. says

    Wow – I could have written this post Deborah! The number of times I’ve heard ‘oh your why just isn’t big enough’ as a reason for people not succeeding, I could scream! Of course you need a big why – I think it’s the thing that will initially get your moving and the thing that drags you up when you are at your lowest. BUT…you also need skills, patience, vision, a great business concept and ongoing self-education. And the icing on the cake is a fabulous coach to hold your hand, occasionally remind you that you don’t suck and help you see your way forward. If only everyone realised there’s more to it than waking up one day and knowing WHY! I think more people would succeed and more people wouldn’t be so down on themselves when they didn’t get where they thought they would. Thrilled to see a notify button at the bottom of these comments too – I love those things – they save me so much time!
    Tracey Pedersen recently posted…We All Go Off Track Sometimes. This Was My Time!My Profile

    • says

      So glad to see you here Tracey!

      I knew from our first interaction that we think alike in many ways. One day we must get on a skype call! I think a good coach does all that you stated, and more-so, acts a mirror and a shift facilitator. The mirror lets you see yourself clearly, without the baggage of old stories and such. The shift facilitator offers the tools to enable the changes that you want to make on an abstract level, to occur in the here and now.

      Glad you like the notify button. I’m in the process of researching whether people prefer to be notified just about replies to their own comment, or all the replies to a blog post. I prefer the latter, but many seem to wonder if that creates a fertile ground for too many email notifications to be marked as spam. What is your thought on this? Also, I’m exploring the best way for people to be notified of a new blog post – right now it’s this form http://goo.gl/WZJPPW funneled from my home page, but wondering if a check box below comments might be better?? Which do you prefer for you blog?

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Mistakes Line The Road to Success – I ConfessMy Profile

  6. says

    Hi Deborah,

    Thank you very much for the awesome tips… :)

    As you have quoted “I am a better coach for my clients because I receive coaching for my own growth and focus.” – I think this is the absolute truth…. I believe you can define a GOOD teacher who is ready to listen and learn as they have the responsibility to share the knowledge with their students….

    Karmakar recently posted…Zero Backlinks Vs Quality Content – My Ranking Experiment resultMy Profile

    • says

      Welcome to my blog Karmakar and thank you for your thoughtful post.

      I so agree with the mindset you highlighted, of the coach and teacher always also being the student the client. We indeed must be continually growing within ourselves in order to help others grow too.

      I’m glad you found the tips worthwhile. In my writing my aim is for a reader to feel a shift or an “ah-ha” moment, and thus be slightly changed after they read my post.

      I hope you continue to engage here and I will as well on your wonderful SEO information blog.
      Feel free to grab my free secret weapon video to increase energy, creativity and productivity too, as a gift for subscribing!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…When is it OK to be a Lazy Entrepreneur Without GuiltMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Deborah,

    I’m so glad I found you and your blog. I really resonate with your message and what you’re communicating!

    You said a number things that just jumped out at me and I got to feeling a little passionate about it, lol…

    “Marketing must occur in order to sell. If you activities are not creating income for you, you have a hobby.”

    I realize people don’t like sales, but it’s because they don’t understand sales and they have a program or idea of what sales is that prevents them from asking for money. In the end, if you’re messaging and marketing is done right, sales ought to be easy. The people that want to buy from you have already said yes. All you have to do is give them the mechanism to buy you. That could be a product or a service.

    “You already have a set of values that you live by, and areas of expertise along with interests, passions, personal purpose. Align your business mission and methods with these.”

    Another way of saying it is make sure you have a personal purpose or why other than the business and then use the business to fulfill it. An illustration of this is Bill Gates. He knew before he started Microsoft that he wanted to build a foundation that his business could endow to meet the needs of people he was passionate about helping. Microsoft is just a tool to help him fulfill his personal mission.

    We should all be passionate about our businesses, but that passion should stem from more than just the business. It’s what is behind the business.

    I love that you mention the key to success is gaining clarity. I learned a formula years ago that I live by that works so well for me:

    Clarity + Focus = Execution

    If you are not clear, you will not focus and will not be able to execute. If you are clear but have ADD, you will not be able to execute.

    I gain clarity when I understand my business and what makes it work:

    Customer Service

    For each one I have a very clear purpose, strategies, goals and objectives (tasks). That brings me clarity and helps me understand where I need to focus and give attention to my business. It’s the filter through which execution in every area of my business is possible.

    Deborah, I really loved your article. Can you tell? I look forward to reading a lot more.

    I hope you have an awesome end to the work week!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Why Your Business Should Be BloggingMy Profile

    • says

      What a thoughtful and thought provoking comment Don!

      I had a sense today when I landed on your blog, that we would resonate well as we get to know each other. I believe I am correct in this prediction.

      I had an interesting experience this week that made your comment that much more relevant. I was invited a few weeks ago to join a team of Mentors, volunteering time at my undergraduate Alma Mater in their Thought Into Action Entrepreneur Incubator program for students. They invited me based on my focus on meaning, purpose, stories and other “inner game of success” topics. I accepted the invitation and purchased my plane ticket. I also submitted an outline/proposal for my whole University talk the night prior to the Entrepreneur group workshops. It was pretty esoteric – certainly not your typical business nuts and bolts information – more about passion, meaning, money baggage and other “soft” topics . I suggested that at the end of my talk the students would:

      1. Have an understanding of money stories and messages, and how they can both support and impede your success as an entrepreneur and in life in general
      2. Understand a bit more about their own Passions – what really does have meaning to you.
      3. Have a newfound respect for the value they already have and bring to others, prior to even having that BIG success.

      I am waiting for further discussion from the leaders of program, but the initial reaction was so interesting to me. “I don’t really understand this”, was what one administrator said. In turn I was a bit flabbergasted, since I believe that the heart of any business and the foundation of success must come from this internal place – not from pure business plans, venture capital and spreadsheets.

      It struck me as I’ve been thinking about it the past few days, that though many think like you and me, many more business people/entrepreneurs never touch this stuff unless forced to. The personal growth, inner game work of success is pushed aside or away. And thus many traditionally nuts and bolts business minded entrepreneurs miss something important, I believe.

      As I’m writing this Don, it appears I may have veered off on a tangential yet simpatico subject.
      It’s all good and all food for thought.

      Welcome to my blog.
      I look forward to our future interactions.

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Coyotes in our Midst – Avoiding Danger in Entrepreneurial BusinessMy Profile

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