Why am I doing this?

What is Your WHY?

Tom CoffinsmartPRENEUR Blog Series

What makes YOU tick?

Before we delve into this existential discussion, I have to mention Simon Sinek, who wrote a really great book that I recommend that you read. It’s called Start With Why. Now, he is not the first author to question why we do what we do. Kierkegaard, considered the first existentialist, wrote about it 250 years ago. One of my favorite books is As a Man Thinketh, or As a Woman Thinketh. You could even dig into Maslow’s 7 hierarchy of needs. It seems since the early days we have always asked why are we here.

But Really, What Makes YOU Tick?

Are you focused on making money? Is your ultimate thrill the chase and feel a little underwhelmed after closing a deal? Do you enjoy the creativity of the design but hate the sales side or the management side of your business? Finding out what motivates you is a great way to be happy.

Happy You Say?

Happy you say? Who said anything about being happy? Funny, they never taught us that in school did they? One of my favorite John Lennon quotes when I was growing up was when the reporter asked him how he answered the teacher in school when he was a young boy. The teacher asked, “John, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Lennon answered, “happy.”

I grew up in a very small rural working class town. We always had food on the table and love in the house. But my sister and I wanted more, a lot more. We were both very aggressive with our careers.

I worked in high end audio retail and loved the thrill of the close and those weekly spiffs. As I transitioned into being a rep then into custom installation, it seems my motivation was still the same: the thrill of the hunt. As I started a home automation manufacturing company, American NetLink, we created things back in 1995 such as TVNet which you would talk to in natural language and it would play mp3’s and videos and control our ActivLink system which had distributed processing including lighting, climate control, audio distribution, email, and other features. Julie Jacobson of HA Pro magazine, back then, even came to our booth and sat and programmed an example house in about 10 minutes. That was pretty exciting, Julie is a home automation hero and trail blazer. Ask her what makes her tick.

This Was My Big AHA Moment

My time in manufacturing, albeit short, changed my motivation. I really enjoyed helping people. I really got excited when I was able to help someone succeed. So I went back into the custom world, but we changed the construct and called it systems integration. We developed words like Information Infrastructure to better describe the goal of that wire. The networks were coming. The pleasure I received from designing neighborhoods to make people’s lives better was the ultimate buzz. We even became experts on LEEDS (Green Building Standards).

Ultimately, I found my true calling here at Simply Reliable. We envisioned a complete Business Operating System for systems integration companies. Guess what, it works for other trades too. Wow, that was cool, one platform to run your business. Ford did it. McDonalds did it. Custom is chaos by design, but we did it. Many thanks to the Gerber Group, the book E-Myth, and the thousands of systems integrators we’ve worked with over the years.

Working with small business owners and their staff, listening to what features would save them the most amount of time, and hearing the joy in their voice as they start to see how creating process in their companies changed their lives, the lives of their employees, and all of their families. THIS IS MY WHY…

What’s Your WHY?

About the Author

Tom Coffin

Facebook Twitter

Tom Coffin is CEO/President/Co-Founder of Simply Reliable. He has owned and operated companies in retail, security, Audio/Video, Systems Integration, and Home Automation product manufacturing sector.

Website:   https://www.simplyreliable.com