Let the ‘whY’ axis be your guide

Intent matters. “Why I am doing, what I am doing?” has always been important but now it’s possibly the most important guiding light. Let me explain why 😊

My son just launched his third entrepreneurial venture www.studentupstart.com. He has been burning the midnight oil for the last few weeks as he raced toward unveiling his new idea to the world. In one of our many chats on the various ways in which he could move this idea forward, we tripped into the territory of priorities and focus. What to do first? What not to do? Where to spend money? and so many such questions confront him.

The ‘why’ came to the rescue. Why had he walked down this path. What was the purpose of curating studentupstart.com. Once he reminded himself of this simple truth it was easier to start making the right decisions. Serving the student community. Helping them find the tools and resources to give wings to their entrepreneurial spirit and navigate through the choppy waters of starting something new was why he was doing this. Not to get X number of followers or make X amount of money. If those things happened, it would only be because he was serving the student community in a valuable and meaningful way.

The ‘why’ is not always clear or easy to define, but once it’s done, it does simplify so many things. We were on a call with members of PRCAI discussing ideas on how best to serve the PR and media fraternity. One of the ideas was getting a fair amount of debate in terms of whether access to the offering should be to the member group only or the wider fraternity. Till someone said, let’s go back to the objective. Why are we doing this… with that reminder in front of us, the decision was easily made on the next steps and the way forward. 

I can think of so many instances last week where the ‘why’ came to my rescue. It is an unusual time. There is so much to do. There is a shortage of resources. Tempers are frayed. Emotions are high. So this is a reminder to myself and all of you. Ask the why. Ask it again. If what I am doing is in service of helping us collectively move forward then prioritise it. If not, ask why are you doing it?

As communicators we must hold ourselves. Our companies. Our clients to this standard. Shine the light of communication on actions that inspire and educate. Now is not a time to sell. It’s a time to serve. I believe in serving, eventually you will sell because what you are offering has meaning and value. 

So remember to let the ‘whY’ axis be your guide when ‘Solving for X’.

(In the spirit it full disclosure as I type this and I ask myself ‘why’ I chose to share studentupstart.com as an example to make the ‘why’ axis point – I have to admit it’s the proud parent in me that cannot resist the opportunity to share my joy, with my boy and the journey he is on.)

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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