Over the past week I’ve spoken with all of my closest friends about a single question – Why? Why do I do what I do for a living? Why am I an entrepreneur?

On Thursday night Jaspar and I went to EO Alchemy, an entrepreneurial speaker series. Each of the half dozen, successful entrepreneurs who spoke made the point that the most important question to ask yourself before starting a business is why? If you figure out why you want to build a business everything else falls into place. You can figure out what your business will be and even how you will build it, after you have your personal reasoning clearly defined. Why is essential, because in every business – new or acquired – the shit is going to hit the fan. And when it does if you aren’t absolutely certain why you are doing what you are doing, you’ll drop the ball and run for the hills. If, on the other hand, you know exactly why you are in business, what it is your are striving to achieve, you will stay the course.

The next day Tom and I sat down to discuss my options in business. We talked about growing the current operation, building something new and acquiring new businesses. “If were left without a dollar to my name, I would go out and buy an existing business,” Tom said. “Starting something new takes a lot of inertia.” Tom is someone who has his why clearly defined – Too never think about money and be free to do whatever he wants. He’s had the same crystal clear why for the past twenty years. When looking at Work-Life-Money balance, Tom is hands down the most successful person I know. So he’s someone to pay attention to on this subject.

Over the weekend I spoke with Rich and I told him about my conversations with Tom and Jaspar about Why. “That’s crazy,” he said, “this week I was asking myself the exact same thing!” Rich, like me, is pondering his next move and his genius nature led him to the most important question.

The why can be anything: Money, women, changing the world, fame, helping people, proving yourself, taking care of your family, legacy, power, etc. Usually it will be a combination of many factors. But its useful to try and boil it down to its essence. I’ve asked myself why over and over and come up with two reasons…

Glory and Freedom.

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