Asking the question, “Why do I want to do this?

by | Change to Goal Achievement & Implementation

I once worked with a client who was struggling to accomplish the marketing and sales objectives that we had set out together in a plan. After failing to complete some of the tasks we had outlined from our previous meetings over several weeks, I asked him two simple questions, “why did you go into this business and what do you like about it?”

He could not answer the question directly and told me he would have to ponder it until the next week’s session. The next week rolled around and I began the session by asking the same questions that I had left him with. He still was unable to respond. We moved through the rest of our agenda and agreed to meet the next week.

The next week I asked the same two questions and he became agitated at the questions because he still had no answer. We agreed to meet two weeks later. At the beginning of that meeting, I started to ask those two same questions, when he abruptly interrupted me and told me that his father and he had decided to sell the business to the key employee. He told me that the answers to my questions were that he never really liked the business and that his father had talked him into starting it in the first place. His father had since lost interest in it and was not spending any time in it. Therefore, his answer was that he did not like the business and had no motivation to do what needed to be done to make it a success.

The moral to the story is that if you don’t really want something, then you probably won’t do what is needed to obtain it. In the case above, the client moved on with his life and thanked me for sticking to the question because it brought clarity to his desires and saved him thousands of dollars and who knows how much time, pursuing something he did not really want, and that’s why helping customers define what they want is essential for any business and is when a Legendary Marketer can really help for your business. So, if you’re stumbling at something or failing to take the steps necessary, ask yourself “why did I want to do this and what do I like about it?”

If you cannot answer these questions, it may move you to go in a different direction or help you remember what motivated you to start that journey and get back to that passion that drew you there in the first place.

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


She can be reached at:

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