What do you find important?
What is your passion or dream?
What do you want to mean to others?
The goal of step 1
The first step in designing your own enterprise is also the most important. After all, drive is about you and is at the heart of your enterprise. It also helps you decide how you are going to position yourself in practice. It is important to outline your drive in words then make it explicit because:
— it will help you understand where your creative strength lies and what you are good at;
— it will make it clear to you what you want to achieve and why;
— it will enable you to clearly explain to someone else what inspires you to do what you do.
Important before you start
Your drive will not always be constant. After all, you change as a person and therefore what moves you often changes too. Try not to see your drive as something that limits you and that you need to stick to for the rest of your life. It is and will continue to be an organic process and will change with you.
For many creative entrepreneurs, passion and fascination are the underlying motives, or drive, behind the enterprise. It is essential that you can put this drive into words and communicate it to other people. This ensures that you gather people around you who want to work with you because of your drive. In the creative professions, people are often employed based on their passion – to inspire an organisation, for example, or because people can tell a story relating to the product that they buy from you. Being able to communicate your drive also ensures that you will continue to enjoy your work. The closer you stay to your drive, the more you can excel and the better you will feel. Your drive also leads to dialogue with like-minded people.
There are four different dimensions that you can use to express or identify your drive.
– Internal: what are your own ideas, opinions or skills? What do you find important?
– External: in which context or setting would you like to work? Which setting helps you make the optimum use of your drive? In which setting can you, or do you want to, apply your drive to create added value?
Each of these dimensions can be applied in your work and in your private life.
In this short film, Steve Jobs talks – following a long period of illness – about how important it is to know what you like to do best.
Steve Jobs: How to live before you die
“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going, was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love and that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is gonna fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. And don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Another good method that is often used to determine drive is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle®. This works as follows:
By working out and describing why you do or make something, you can find like-minded people (believers) who are motivated by the same things. People with the same motives are more likely to buy something from you and more likely to help you. The Golden Circle is explained clearly and effectively in this presentation:
For many creative people, the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ (step 2) are usually not far removed from one another. Their work is often the result of an autonomous process and their own fascination. As a creative person, you then need to decide who matches your fascination and the things that you make. This is very different from the normal marketing vision, in which you are expected to match your supply to the needs and wishes of the market. Here, therefore, this comes in step 3. After step 3, you may decide that you need to fine-tune your supply.
If you work based on your fascination, this is more likely to be recognized by the market as authentic. This applies to many emerging brands, for example those described in the book Indie Brands. A product is made based on a certain passion, then seems to find its own way to the market. This way of thinking is more in tune with the spirit of the times and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs who create based on their passion.
On the artist Tinkebell’s website, a connection is made between her drive and her work: ‘By turning her own cat into a handbag she tries to show people their own hypocrisy about the use of animals for consumption and leather production. If anything, her works form an extreme incentive for the discussion of our morals and the way society is developing.’ http://www.tinkebell.com/page/about.
This enables her to reach a large audience.
Your turn: identify your drive
In the book Creative Business Map, design your business!, you can learn how to identify and clearly express your drive so that you can describe it to other people, briefly and succinctly. You can buy the book here. Chapter 1 (page 14 onwards) deals with expressing your drive.
The group process and time pressure are important for helping you express your drive properly. The group process is important because other people can help you define your drive more succinctly. The time that you are given to answer the questions makes sure that you write down the first thing that comes to mind (and therefore often the most important), quickly and concisely.
A focus on drive is becoming increasingly popular, and is seen by more and more entrepreneurs as the foundation on which an enterprise is built. Instead of drive, people may also talk about ‘purpose’ or ‘purpose-driven’. Purpose, for example, is also an important element of the increasingly popular ‘strategy wheel’ http://sourcesofinsight.com/strategy-wheel/.
Literature and inspiration
A number of suggestions are given below, should you want to learn more about drive.
- Sinek, Start with Why, How great leaders inspire everyone to take action.
- Edward L. Deci, Why we do what we do, Understanding Self-Motivation.
- Krznaric, Empathie, introspection is out, outrospection is in.
- Dan Pink, Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mG-hhWL_ug
- Definities van drive: http://www.encyclo.nl/begrip/drive (in Dutch)