Why the What matters

Dec. 8, 2019

It is easy to “start with why”: You sit down, walk, brainstorm or meditate, and eventually you will come up with a lofty “why statement”, which will be your favourite mantra for the next few days. But what will you do with it?

Many people then skip or only lightly touch the “what” because it is much more fun to explore the “how”: it is all about learning and acquiring knowledge, skills needed for future success; networking, talking, fiddling with technologies and figuring out perfect workflows for quite unlikely scenarios.

Do not hide behind the HOW

Spending too much time (and money) in the “how” is a great way to procrastinate and to never get anything done. Because there is always someone better at “how”, and more time is needed to catch up to be perceived as a pro. But who cares?

Here is an example: In the last couple of years I have been working on a social media posting platform on my own server. The idea was to offer something like hootsuite but more exclusive, secure and private, and to help with content. I know, it is almost impossible to compete with Saas but I was stubborn enough to keep going.

I had lost my “why” for this a long time ago and only tinkered with the “how”. I have spent so much time to keep it running, connect it to sales and newsletter modules and to find a reasonable pricing. It probably didn’t help to consider it as a side hustle only …

In the end, I never had the feeling it was stable enough to actually go to market. Though I will keep using it myself, I will not put much effort into this any longer. I let it go.. It already feels much lighter… :-)

Focus on the WHAT

So, let’s rather concentrate on the “what”: I think this is the hardest because it means to translate your why into action, and to let go of some old “whats” and beloved “hows” to get to the essence and to a result that really matters. It needs lots of focus, endurance, and decision power. Of course, a strong why will motivate you to finish your projects.

Which of your “whats” and “hows” do you want to let go next year to make space for something really worth pursuing?