This work I’m doing, what’s it for?
A marketer who pulled an all-nighter to launch a new social media campaign. Why? What’s it for?
A product manager who’s working to build an app under a tight deadline. Why? What’s it for?
This time I spent writing this blog post for you. What’s it for?
Everyone has a purpose, cause, or belief that motivates them to do the work.
Will this action get you closer to your goals? Will this action make everything better? These actions you’re taking, the research, the planning, the executing, what’s it all for?
If you can have an honest conversation with your customer, your team, your boss and get everyone aligned on what’s it for, it’s entirely possible that they will own the mission and do everything they can to make any new efforts a success.
And that doesn’t mean the old efforts didn’t make a difference. They could have been innovative in their own right, but for a different what’s it for. A different time, a different group of people, a different way of getting things done.
Sometimes you’ll find out that what’s it for, is for the love of the game. To stretch a muscle and get a little practice in a new direction. It’s organizations investing in incubators and startups, giving out grants and scholarships, and hosting free workshops. You might know something extremely well and realize that if more people knew how to do this the way you did, the industry might get a little better, a little faster, might make that extra little difference to the customers.
The best next move is always to get to the heart of what’s it for today, right now, and of course, tomorrow.
What’s it for?
*Note: Inspired by a recent episode of Seth Godin’s podcast Akimbo (The spirit of the game). Seth is a brilliant marketer and educator, as well as a prolific bestselling author. I encourage you to listen the full episode.