In our personal lives, we ask the first question a lot: Why did this tragic event happen to me? Why do I have to suffer fools? Why does it always rain when I forget my umbrella?
But as professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, we bring this same attitude to work with us:
Why would anyone publish my book?
Why would anyone buy this product?
Why would new clients sign on with me?
Who am I to change the way companies buy software?
Why would I start a business based on passion instead of profit?
Here’s my question back to ‘ya: Why not you?
I have always felt this question deeply on the personal side. After all, why should you NOT be the one in the car accident/struck down with an illness/caught in the rain? I suffered a brain aneurysm and almost died and not once did I ask, “Why me?” What makes me so special that it should be someone else suffering instead of me? Asking “Why me?” seems to me an incredibly selfish and fruitless waste of time.
What if you upended the question and asked “Why not you?” Just think about that. Why shouldn’t you make money pursuing your passion? Why shouldn’t you be the one to transform the way cupcakes are made? Why shouldn’t you publish your great story for others to read? Why shouldn’t you offer a unique service that no one has ever done before? Why shouldn’t you create a racy brand in a boring category? WHY. NOT. YOU?
Asking “Why not?” instead of “Why?” instantly changes the conversation. It goes from self-doubt to birthright; from impossible to completely realistic; from “I could never…” to “Damn straight, I will!”
Take the chance. When others say, “Who are you to change things?,” say, “Why shouldn’t I be the change maker?” When the industry seems to demand that all the players look and sound alike, ask, “Why shouldn’t we build a unique, quirky brand?” Southwest Airlines, Apple, Virgin America, MOO, DRY Soda – all of these companies had execs who didn’t ask, “Who are we to rock the boat and create such a radically different brand?” They had execs who created the brand they believed in and asked, “Why the hell not?”