Why Ask Why?

Why did you start your business? If you have a partner, this question is for the two of you. The why of the business is important and is the first outward symbol of mindset. So often, the why gets lost. The years fly by. Suddenly, one of you wants out. Or, your biggest competitor wants to buy your company. Or one of you cites an opportunity for growth on the horizon- and the other is NOT on board. Are you ready to navigate those changes? Is your organization ready for every transition?

If a growth mindset and a sense of awareness seem unattainable, consider partnering with an M&A Coach.

Mindset and awareness are value-added, learned behaviors. They are a coach away!

Was this company started so that the owners could escape something? Was it because the founders wanted to be their own boss, play to their strengths or because they identified opportunity and wanted to capitalize on it? Or, did you begin this business to build a business that could last- something that could become a valuable enterprise allowing you and your partner to create a legacy? Those are the beginnings for the WHY of “the story”.

Mindset matters in a fundamental, day to day operations, kind of way- the business is either moving towards the goal or or straying through the wilderness or grasping at life trying to stay alive for a few more years until the owners want to retire. An enterprise with value, assets, and on a growth trajectory has an energy of collaboration, creation, and causality that others will want to acquire. As an M&A Coach, I invite owners to adhere to, and to disseminate, that mindset throughout the organization allowing the team to channel the momentum towards strategic objectives rather than backsliding into old patterns, assumptions or limiting beliefs.

What are the assumptions that you hold close?

Do you believe that destiny or fate holds your success in place? Do you believe that hard work, innovation and collaboration are the keys to growth and success in your organization’s community? One set of assumptions represent a growth mindset and another represents a fixed mindset. Where in your business do you employ the growth mindset and where do you employ a fixed mindset? So, I ask you, “WHY?”

Simon Sinek believes that “Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.” Answer the question- why did you start the company? To create a job for yourself and a partner? To do something no one else could do as well as the two of you? In the process did you discover your passion? How has it changed? Do you have that secret process, unique system, special formula to create value, profit, and success in this?

How does your “Why” align with your values?

Conflict between what we believe to be important and what we actually choose to do each day sets the stage for stress. Have your actions evolved to further align with your values or do they conflict? How is your company’s culture, mission, relationships and brand a reflection of your values? What are your partner’s values? Do they align with yours? Are you encouraging a culture of learning, meeting challenges with innovation and creativity? Do you develop the strengths of your people, letting each find their limits and stretch beyond their imaginations? How do you “grow” a sense of community within the organization and encourage that every contribution be recognized?

How is this culture scalable, sustainable, and resilient? Ask yourself it could be integrated into another organization in a merger or an acquisition? There is the value; hidden in plain view.

Consider a thought-partner for this effort. An M&A Coach serves as a sounding board, strategist and advocate for you. You don’t have to do this alone.

Wendy Dickinson

About the Author

Wendy Dickinson is the founder of Ascend Coaching Solutions LLC, a coaching firm that specializes in working with business owners and executives who plan to expand their leadership capacity as their business grows.

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