2.2 Why “Why” Matters
Why “Why” Matters
Before starting a task, project, or goal, it is imperative to understand why you are doing it. It’s too easy to get caught up in activities and forget exactly what you set out to accomplish. This is when having a strong “why” is important. Your “why” serves as the compass that guides you from start to finish. This compass keeps you focused and motivated on your goal and helps you navigate every decision you make through the process.
Motivation – It is easiest to be motivated at the start of something new, but that motivation quickly wears off, especially when what you’re working towards doesn’t have immediate gratification. Networking falls in this bucket since it requires a long-term commitment and no immediate guarantees of tangible benefits. This is why it is critical to have a strong “networking why”. Reminding yourself why you’re choosing to focus on networking and what benefits it can generate will help you keep it a priority. In addition, you need to constantly remind yourself of how important it is to your long-term success to keep your motivation up. Staying motivated will keep you on track and help you find success.
Decision Making – We are faced with so many decisions on a day-to-day basis, and it can be challenging to know what to do if you don’t have a clear “why”. For example, let’s say you are an accountant that started networking to learn more about the different career paths within accounting. Now, when it comes time to get out and meet people, you are faced with the question, “Who should I meet with?”. If you have your “why” figured out, the answer is simple. It would be best to focus on meeting with accounting professionals in different areas of the industry, not lawyers, not bankers, etc. Immediately, you have guidance on where to go. While this is an elementary example, it illustrates how knowing your “why” can aid you in the decision-making process and make you more likely to achieve your goal.
Developing a “Networking Why”
When it comes to networking, there is no quick solution, and it will require an investment of time and energy consistently for your entire career to truly reach success. It can be challenging to see the direct return on the investment of time and energy you are making since you can’t always directly attribute successes to certain networking activities even if you know that networking formed the basis for those successes. It can also take a long time to actually start to see the benefits. This is why it’s important to have a “networking why”. As we said above, when we become clear with ourselves on why we are doing something, it makes it much easier to stay focused and motivated over the long run while also in decision making along the way.
Over the next handful of lessons, we are going to dive into some of the hidden benefits of networking. None of these have anything to do with client conversation or revenue generation, but they are all benefits of networking that will help you professionally and personally. As you go through these lessons, ask yourself if these benefits are important to you, and if so, why they are important. Then you will develop your own “networking why,” where you can incorporate some of these concepts.