Andrea Hardiman is one of our Partner Members, a true Rainmaker and the founder of her own marketing solutions provider based in Norwich, Norfolk, called ‘All About The Message.’ She is as passionate about marketing as we are about the Rainmakers Club, making her a true asset for all out members. Andrea, like many of us, understands the importance of knowing your true ‘Why’ and has written the article below to help spread the word.
What is your ‘Why’ and why is it so important?
You’re a business owner. Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? To earn money? To be recognised? To gain security? To be independent? To regain control? To help your family? Yes, these are reasons, but none of these is your ‘Why?’
Your ‘Why?’ runs deep
When discovered; your ‘Why?’ will pull at your heartstrings or make the hairs rise on the back of your neck. It’s all about you. It’s personal. It is your unique story and you’ll know when you’ve tuned into it.
What happens when I tune into my ‘Why?’
Your ‘Why?’ will be something that fires up your passion for what you do, gives you the energy to keep going when everything seems impossible. It makes you fight, not give up, stand up not stand back, push forward not standstill, never fading. It reminds you why you are here, doing what you are doing, right here, right now. It is your purpose.
It could be about having quality time with your children, being able to pick them up from school, continue a family business, make sure you have the money to have a family holiday, be independent from your partner, get control back in your life and earn your own wage. The list is endless.
For your customers
Your ‘Why?’ helps customers understand what you stand for in a crowded marketplace. You’ll stick in their heads. They’ll want to find out more. They’ll want to connect. It will give them insight into you as a person, someone they may be doing business with now or in the future, your ethos, what drives you and what makes you unique.
Your Why + Your Passion = Your Success
Once I find my ‘Why?’ what do I do with it?
No one else will have your ‘Why?’ Therefore, it can be part of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that shapes your marketing messages. Communicated in the right way, your ‘Why?’ will help you stand out from the crowd vs your competitors, getting you recognised. It can be used in your social media, when you go networking, written into the ‘About me’ page on your website, or when you’re talking about your business to a potential new customer. Of course, you must be comfortable with what you’re saying, if you’re not, don’t say it.
I’ve always loved marketing, watching the iconic TV adverts of the 1970s and 80s and trying to understand why they used aliens to advertise mashed potato, dancing pandas to sell chocolate bars and who was J R Hartley? These adverts captured my imagination and I wouldn’t let my dad change the channel until I’d watched them.
Fast forward 20 years working for some global brands in the UK. My passion was always to create marketing messages that worked for the audience, devising creative ideas that got the products and services talked about and remembered. Nothing gave me a buzz like it. However, I was made redundant. My son was four at the time and I’d planned to take the summer off, spend time with him and find another job when he started school.
As the summer came to an end, I realised this was no longer my Master Plan. I craved autonomy, independence and the flexibility to take my son to school, pick him up, to be there for sports day and volunteer for school trips. I wanted to be with him while he was still young and while it was cool for him to have his mum around! Time passes too quickly. You can’t get it back and I didn’t want to lose a moment. My ‘Why?’ was my son.
So, in 2015, I founded my own marketing company, All About the Message. I have always been a bit of a free spirit. It was essential for me to have flexible working hours, be able to promote my brand how I wanted, to choose whom I collaborated with to grow my business, pitch for the clients that I wanted and to forge the relationships that were important to me. All of this added even more fuel to my fire and my ‘Why?’
Fast forward to last year. My father died suddenly and unexpectedly. He had Stage 3 Prostate Cancer. Neither my mum or I knew. He did. He kept it to himself. He was of the generation that ‘you just got on with it’. He did just that and he got on with life in the time he had left.
The passion and conviction of my ‘Why?’ has never wavered, even when my confidence has crashed and self-doubt has crept in. This is the power your ‘Why?’ holds. Somehow, since my dad died, his resolve, stubbornness and ‘just get on with it attitude’ has fuelled it even more. Imagine a furnace, powered by a volcano…the size of a planet!
If he can get on with life knowing that time is short then, for my business, I can absolutely ‘nail it to the wall and ‘kick it out of the park’… for my son and me and that is ‘Why?’
Want to learn more about ‘Why?’ Simon Sinek is all about the ‘Why?’