What’s your reason for doing what you do?

How to use that reason to find motivation and direction and engage with your marketplace

Why did you choose the business or profession you’re in – and not something else?

All of the effort and heartache and the joy of when it works are so closely tied in to your reason for choosing it.

Research suggests that on the inside people often chose their business or profession, in their words: “Because I had to.” Often people interpret this as a lack of choice or perhaps a kind of compulsion. We find that when you dig a little, there’s usually a great story involved, of determination,  resourcefulness and dreams for the future.

If you look at that story as an outsider, once things have clicked into place and people understand the reason behind it, it tells you lots of things about what’s important to the founders and the people around them  – and what they want to leave behind, their legacy, what they want to be remembered for.

And one of the really brilliant things about uncovering the reason, is that the story behind it and the legacy you’re aiming for is a great way of standing out in your marketplace. It says something unique about you and your business and lets other people feel the strength of your “why”.  Clients and customers who feel aligned with your reason will engage with your business in a deep and enduring way.

The exercise we sometimes use to work with the reason behind your business is the Blue Plaque Game – that’s mine in the picture. To think about your own, imagine what a third person might have to say about you?

You might also like this link, to a Telegraph article about “Britain’s Best Blue Plaques”.

To Be is To Do

“To be seen you must make yourself visible; To be valuable you must do something of value…”

I think this is a quote from somewhere? I’ve been reading and re-reading it for ages without knowing where I first found it; and Google doesn’t seem to know either.

To be seen you must make yourself visible;

To be valuable you must do something of value;

To be important you must do something important;

To be remembered you must do something memorable;

To be wanted you must create something people want;

To leave a legacy for those you love, you must create one.

I like it!

There’s also this old graffiti joke:

“To be is to do”—Socrates.
“To do is to be”—Jean-Paul Sartre.
“Do be do be do”—Frank Sinatra.

Get together with others to help leave your legacy


What do you want to leave behind?
And who do you need to get together with to make it happen?

Years ago I took a personality profiling test that told me I was: “the kind of person who can’t walk past a patch of waste ground without wanting to build something useful there, like a hospital”.

The test was called the Enneagram. I came out as a Type 8 and you can find out more about the system here: Enneagram Institute

The results of the test felt true, but I actually found it a bit overwhelming. How was I supposed to leave a big legacy like that!?

Which is why I feel so lucky that I got to be a member of my local NHS hospital board. It was the first time I’d been part of a big team again for quite a while, and I was really ready for that (despite it being an uncomfortable constraint at the same time). We had to face down some silly opposition to change and stand up to some bullying by the NHS authority, to get this hospital build going in my home town!
Gives me a smile whenever I go past.

Here’s the “before” picture:


What do you want to leave behind?
And who do you need to get together with to make it happen?