An About Page is a great place to not just tell a chronological story but to really express your Why, your purpose, your reason for existing. People are more attracted to you because of Why you do something than What you do. “We exist to improve the customer experience in health care” is far more compelling than “We provide online appointment search”, for example.
Don’t know about your Why yet? You can check out more about that from Simon Sinek. Or watch Simon’s TED talk. Or check out Lynne Cazaly’s graphic notes from Start With Why.
We think it will inspire you!**
But getting deep and pouring out your heart all of a sudden on a piece of paper – or worse, a screen – is daunting! A bit of structure may help.
First, give yourself to permission. Permission? Yes, permission. Give yourself permission to think, feel and be anything during this process. Give yourself the permission to express yourself and your desires and not hold back because of any past experiences, things you’ve heard, or what you think you are “supposed” to think.
Next, ask yourself (and your business partners) the following questions. Writing out the answers and sharing them with someone who knows you can also help to gain some clarity in exploring your purpose and motivations in beginning your entrepreneurial journey. It might help to write down the first things that you think of and then set the answers aside for 2-3 days and revisit them. Sometimes this space and time helps us to peel back the onion a little more and add things that we earlier left out.
About you and your business:
- Why in the world did you decide to go out on your own? What motivated you to start your own business?
- When did you begin and what was happening in the industry at that time?
- What excites you and gets you out of bed in the morning?
- What do you do that doesn’t “feel” like work when you are working?
- What do you care about that you are not currently doing or wish you could do?
- Why did you spend so many years in school?
- What do you do that is “your way”, something unique or different about you & your practice?
- What makes you angry about health care or today’s industry?
About your customers:
- What problems do your customers and patients come to you to solve?
- What are their goals (beyond just treating this episode)?
- What do they want to change or improve in their lives that drove them to seek you out?
- What do they worry about?
- What doesn’t work in their lives if you can’t help them?
- What is the future you stand for on behalf of your customers and patients?
After you have thought about these questions, written down your answers and come back to those answers a few days later, it will be much easier to write a more narrative version for your About Page. Just write the answers out in paragraph format and then edit for readability and flow. Use words like “why”, “because”, “believe”, and “purpose”. It’s also okay to say what inspires you and what struggles you faced and currently face. Just try to remove negatives and keep your language positive and forward looking where changes are needed.
Don’t worry about anything being too strong, or too sappy, in the first version. Just write it out, make any changes you want and then read it out loud. Seriously. Do not skip this step. Read what you’ve written out loud and make sure it flows and connects with you emotionally. Then, after you’ve let this sit for a couple of days, share it with someone close to you, who knows you well, and ask them not only if they like it, but what’s missing. They just might surprise you.
And we know this is a project that takes at least a week and may even get a little emotional. This is no quick fix, “3 easy steps” solution. We aren’t writing click-bait here. We’re asking you to open up and be vulnerable, even with yourself. We’re asking you to share Why you do what you do and what drives you, not just a list of services you offer. And that takes some thinking, feeling and courage. And we think if you use this and go through the steps, that you just might be surprised, and even pleased, with the end result and have something you will be proud to publish on your website.
** It came to our attention that Simon may not be following his Why, at least not in ways that align with our Core Values.
“ICE awarded a $98,000 no-bid contract for “customized Simon Sinek leadership training” to take place between April 26 and May 15, according to federal procurement records reviewed by TYT.”
The concept of “Why” is useful. We just think it’s important that we each remain faithful to ours.
You can read more about his ICE contract here.