Years ago I got involved with an MLM company. (Don’t judge me!) Yes, I joined in the frenzy of the latest item sold from one consumer to another in the dreaded multi-level marketing business model. My partner and I developed a small downline, explored the competitive landscape, used the products, attended the conferences, and helped our upline earn a nice bit of money.

After about eighteen months, countless hours, and a few thousand dollars invested in the venture, I was done.

Being the savvy entrepreneur I was, I assessed the lessons learned from that experience. (Trust me, it took all I had not to see it as an ginormous waste of time and money.) Among my takeaways were:

  • Selling is more about the relationship than the product.
  • Good presentation skills will take you farther than you think.
  • Trying to convince people to buy something they’ve never considered buying — and don’t really want — is practically useless.
  • Sales projections look great on paper, but will take you only so far; you have to produce actual sales to make money.
  • Having satisfied customers who are actually pleased with their purchase (and my service), and who use and benefit from what I sell them, matters a lot to me.

I learned a number of other things, too. But the biggest takeaway I got from that experience came from a statement voiced over and over by several of the high-earners on the salesforce: “If your why doesn’t make you cry, it isn’t big enough.”

At the time, that phrase fell on my deaf ears because what I saw among the salesforce were several really hungry people. Not literally hungry, but hungry for money, success, meaning, personal achievement, or a way out of a dead-end life. They needed a lifeline, and they saw the company’s products and earnings model as a way to provide the money and prestige they’d dreamed of, but hadn’t yet achieved.

That wasn’t me. However, I’ve been reminded of that phrase over the years since leaving that venture.

I wasn’t convinced that you need to be brought to tears when considering why you wish to accomplish something, but I did (and do) understand the importance of knowing why you want to do just about anything, including write and publish a book.

In fact, two of the questions I ask new clients on my Author Assessment intake form are:

  1. Why are you writing this book?
  2. What are the reason(s) you chose this process to help with your book project? – essentially, why are you hiring me as your coach?

The answers to these two questions (among others) are essential to helping you get to success with your book project. If your why isn’t big enough or compelling enough, you’ll use every excuse you can think of not to finish your book. That gets us nowhere, and I don’t like that.

So what’s your why?

Download our super helpful report, “14 Smart Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Write Your Book,” to find out if you’re ready to become an author. 

Profile photo of Anita Henderson

Writer, storyteller, The Author's Midwife. Founder of Write Your Life and The Genealogist's Writing Room.

2 Comments on It’s All About Your WHY

  1. WendyY Bailey
    May 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm (2 months ago)

    Insightful post, Anita! Like you, I know my why is what drives me when I face challenges. It urges me to keep going despite what feels like insurmountable odds. It keeps me committed, focused and dedicated. And, yes, my why makes me cry. How kewl is that?!

    Reply
    • Profile photo of Anita Henderson
      Anita Henderson
      May 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm (2 months ago)

      Fab! I love that your why makes you cry. Why am I not surprised? Keep doing what you do Coach WendyY!

      Reply

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