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12 Soul-Searching Questions To Determine Your WHY

It’s often one of the first things you ask someone when you meet them:

“What do you do?” or “Where do you work?”

Want to know a much more interesting question? Ask them this:

“Why do you work?”

I guarantee their answer will tell you a lot about them.

And YOUR answer will help you perform up to your potential. Keep reading to find out how.

A Key to a More Fulfilling Life

I believe a crucial step to living a more fulfilling life is to know your WHY before you know your HOW.

Lots of people ask me HOW to take their businesses to the next level. I can tell them a million strategies, but if they haven’t answered their WHY first, they’re not going to put those strategies to the best use.

You see, knowing your WHY ultimately makes the HOW so much easier.

Think about it for a second — how effective are you in any project when you’re unsure of what you’re doing? When there’s no “end game” in mind, you feel like you’re floating and your focus, desire and confidence tend to fade away.

So it only makes sense that one of the first steps to success is determining your genuine motivation or drive. To answer that question of “Why do you work?”

Of course, the simple answer is to keep a roof over your head, to keep yourself fed and to provide for your family.

But let me tell you — that answer SUCKS.

Do you want to simply exist, or do you want to excel?

Look Inward & Take a Deep Dive

Identifying your WHY becomes a much more powerful exercise when you look deeper in search of an answer that is emblematic of who you are and why you’re willing to work so hard every day. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself, and don’t be afraid to add others that are meaningful to you:

  • What motivates you?

  • What are your dreams?

  • How much money do you want to make?

  • How many team members do you want to hire?

  • When do you want to retire?

  • What do you want for your spouse/significant other?

  • What kind of future do you want to create and provide for your children?

  • How much vacation time do you want?

  • Where do you want to visit?

  • How do you want to make a difference in the world?

  • What does your ideal legacy look like?

  • What do you want to contribute to outside of business?

Reveal the Real You!

Pretty heavy stuff in there, right? Don’t answer these questions too quickly. Do some soul searching and provide vivid detail in your responses.

Like any goal, the more specifically you define it, the more it’s going to resonate with you.

And like any goal, you need to make your WHY visible and public. It might feel uncomfortable, but put it out there. When you share your WHY with others, you up your cadence of accountability.

Find Your WHY and Become More Efficient

The reason the “Why do you work?” question tells you a lot about someone is because the more thought they’ve given this topic, chances are the more driven they are and the more committed to their businesses they are.

Those who truly know their WHY are people who align their behaviors with their goals and get their work done, day in and day out. To take it a step further, they’re the type of people who spend most of their time working ON their business, not IN it.

Your WHY is a very powerful thing. Do you know yours? If not, find it. Only then should you start thinking about your HOW.

First posted here:


Alex Johnson

Chattanooga, TN

What a great team. So helpful, professional, and friendly.​ 

I'll be recommending the Edrington Team to everyone I know!​

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