Keep your eye on your 'why'

Why you do what you do is your driving force. Sometimes you can get distracted and lose your focus. Do that and it may stop you from achieving what you set out to do. Keeping your eye on your ‘why’ helps you maintain your focus and make your dream a reality.

Overgrown garden at the Welsh woollen mill renovated to preserve it for the future

I’ve had the perfect lesson in how important it is not to take your eye of your ‘why’ recently.

Watch the video or scroll down for a quick summary and some more photos.

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When helping our clients build their brand into something tangible – taking it further than a logo and a tagline, one of the first things that we ask is “why did you start your business?” “Why are you so passionate about what you do?”

That ‘why’ becomes part of your brand because it shines through in everything that you do.

It’s also the reason you show up every day.

But you need to keep it in mind so that you know all the work you’re doing is going to help you achieve what you set out to do.

A lesson in why you need to keep your eye on your why

A few months ago a member of our family passed away. Her life’s work, decades of passion and toil, is now at risk of being lost.

She loved textiles and was a renowned expert in her field. Her career started in the 1950s and she was still involved in textiles when she passed away in her early 80s.

She wanted to know more about the textile industry in Wales and spent time in ’50s and ’60s touring the countryside talking to the owners of the small family-run mills that were prevalent at the time. These mills were the ones that spun the wool and wove textiles like welsh blankets. And they were disappearing, losing business to large factories. The people she spoke to were usually elderly and had started their work at the family mill in the late 1800s. This industry was literally dying out.

Because in her eyes this industry was something of historical and cultural significance, she felt it needed to be preserved for the future. And that became her why. 

She bought a derelict mill and machines from other mills and kept them safe until she had enough money in the 1970s to begin work. She found the people and businesses with the knowledge and skills to renovate the buildings and machinery, make a new waterwheel, and put it all back together in working order.

Everything she did was with preserving this part of the Welsh textile industry in mind. 

But …

The mill was completed 20 years ago. 

She was going to find a charity to carry on her work and keep her mill safe – preserving it for the future. 

Other projects crept in. They needed her time and attention.

Ill health, treatment and recovery.

One charity she believed would take it on if she donated it, said no.

She didn’t have the time to find someone who would do what she set out to do. And then she ran out of time.

What would you have done differently?

Preserving something is about making it safe for the future. 

Ultimately that’s the key – the future. And it’s that part of my relation’s ‘why’ that she never got round to.

What’s your why?

Write it down. Keep it in view. Work out what you need to do to make it happen.

Whatever your ‘why’ is, there are things that you can and need to do to live up to that purpose. Do it. Check them off. 

Keep your eye on your ‘why’.

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