May 25, 2024

Why the Big Fuss Over Your “Why?”

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about I’m referring to a core training of almost any MLM training out there.

MLM trainers and leaders emphasize the need to drill down deep into your soul to figure why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.

They understand you’re going to hit bumps along the way, and want to shore up your staying power long before you hit those bumps. It is 100% a given. You can count on it.

I have developed my Big Why, and without a doubt, it gave me the fuel to keep going when I hit bumps in the road.

If you’re in MLM or any type of entrepreneurial endeavor, I feel getting clear on your why is worth the fuss. I’ll explain why I think it’s a worthwhile, and ongoing exercise. Finally, I’ll share how my why led to my success.

Let’s get started. Keep reading.

Three Kinds of Motivation

  1. Internal Motivation,
  2. External Motivation,
  3. and most importantly, Sustainable Motivation.

External motivation is what school systems use a lot of.

You motivate children to do well by giving them a specific reward. They get a gold star for acing their spelling test. In MLM, cars are a common reward because it’s considered a status symbol. On the whole, this works really well.

What motivates you personally to reach your goal? This is internal motivation.

Your internal motivation could be the car, but not likely. Think about what drove you prior to starting your MLM. An example of internal motivation might include to be capable of earning enough income to send your child to the private school of your choice.

Can you relate to this?

My why was simple.

I wanted to “retire” my husband from his windshield replacement business. I knew it was hurting his back, and I wanted to bring him home to be with me.

My second motivation was that I wanted to be a good role model for my children. There was no way my boys were going to see their mom fail at a task. No way! That was a huge motivator for me. I’m a huge believer that children do as we do, not as we say.

Let’s now discuss sustainable motivation.

This is most important because it determines the outcome after you get kicked in the teeth, and have undergone hundreds of setbacks (not a just a couple).

Do you remain steadfast, and keep going? Or … well … you tell me, what is the alternative?

Sometimes it takes a coach to guide us, and help us witness our own motivation. This circles back to internal motivation. And that begins with intent.

The Law of Intention

A study was done to find out why some children succeed and others do not, specifically with learning a new musical instrument.

They found out the future success of a child’s musical ability was based off one question:

“How long do you intend to play?”

That means success isn’t determined by the caliber of the music instructor, the quality of the instrument or how many times they’ve practiced.

By the way, this is a good example of why throwing money at a problem isn’t the best solution.

My intention was a deep in-the-belly desire to serve, and give back to my husband who had provided a good household income that allowed me to home school my children for twelve years.

It was my way of thanking him, and plus I’ll be selfish here, I wanted to spend more time with him.

He was putting in massive hours with his windshield business, and missed many hours of our boys’ events. We were both consoled by the fact that I was able to be there with them. It was a true partnership as we shouldered the mutual responsibility of raising and providing for our family.

Why the airport picture?

Things didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned. (Surprise, surprise! They usually don’t.)

I wasn’t able to retire my husband as quickly as I had hoped. Our little windshield business had a number of setbacks. The biggest one being a piece of legislation that muscled the small mom and pop businesses out of existence.

For awhile, my husband pieced together a number of different jobs in an attempt to keep things going while I kept hammering away at my MLM business.

He ended up with a job at our local Minneapolis Airport.

I’ll never forget one evening as he headed out to work. I looked up from my pile of paperwork and remarked, “Brian, I will bring you home.” I will never forget that moment. It was a done deal as sure as the sun setting in the west.

I look back teary eyed. It was the mutual cooperation between my eldest son, Isaiah (who’s now my business partner), my husband and myself … We did it! And best of all, it was a team effort.

What is Your Why?

Is it big enough, and bold enough to withstand the rigors of entrepreneurship?

Do you have the patience to see it through?

I hope so. Take a moment to consider your internal, external and sustainable motivation. Then share it with someone.

How about right here in the comments below? Consider it a public declaration of intent. And yes, there’s plenty of power to that as well.

Your Partner in Success,

Ann Sieg

About Ann Sieg

Ann Sieg is the CEO of 80/20 Marketing, Inc. She's the author of The Renegade Network Marketer, The 7 Great Lies of Network Marketing & The Attraction Marketer's Manifesto. I'm inviting you to connect with me. I love feedback. All of it. So let's have an intelligent helpful conversation to help you become more profitable in your business. Leave a comment below.


  1. I do believe the WHY matters and helps people get through the bumps and hurdles that inevitably come in having your own business (MLM or otherwise). It provides the “staying power” you mentioned. What drives me buggy is that MLM companies stress that as the end all be all of being successful, and it isn’t. You need to learn, and then put into play, sound business principles in order to succeed (ie – have a business plan, for starters). The WHY just helps you stay the course when bumps come along and try to shift your focus or knock your business principles and plan around. Despite that, and the 97% failure rate of people who try MLM, I’ve yet to meet a single MLM company/opportunity who provides direction and knowledge on THOSE basics of having a business, and that’s illogical to me. Don’t they WANT a higher success rate?

    My external motivation: hit the President’s Club in our company (an income indicator).

    My internal motivation: flexibility between home and work = less stress (no 9-5, no commute, no boss, no quotas, etc.) and someone else to do my house chores, and I’m reminded every time I pick up a rag to dust!

    Sustainable motivation: Bring my husband home so we can enjoy each other’s company doing things we love, instead of things we have to do; a freedom to do what we want, when we want (travel, garden, exercise, etc.)

  2. Ann I do agree with you about finding our ‘why’. However I found that really really hard when I joined NWM just over 10 years ago. I could not find my why, no matter how much I tried. Since then I have become older and wiser, and my why is clear to me.

  3. Hi Kelly,

    I totally hear you about motivation being but one part of the overall equation. Pumping people up with just motivation is not enough to get the job done. Ever.

    The reality is it takes a lot of skills in a whole variety of areas, especially while leveraging the power of the internet. Technical know-how ranks right up there.

    Here’s where I feel is one of the biggest flaws in the MLM model and one they don’t talk about much. It’s about utilizing good marketing practices. Core to that is having the ability to stand out. To give people a reason to buy from you rather than someone else. Eliminating the sameness factor that MLM companies seem so fond of.

    In some ways it makes sense. As a beginner you don’t have to sweat it. The company provides you with all the tools and resources you need including replicated sites and marketing pieces. The challenge is once you feel any bit of competition from other distributors and you’re handing out the same material you have to do something different. And on the whole they don’t like that.

    For example, many of them don’t allow you to put together a unique offer around their product or service. The reality is packaging irresistible offers is a big component of successful marketing. Just recently I was able to “close the deal” with a coaching client by being very attentive to their needs and throwing in a bonus training module that was very relevant to their needs. It works!

    Without being able to package unique offers it’s like tying your hands behind your back and asking you to swim.

    I owe my success to looking outside the limited resources of my company and I sure am glad I did.

    Thanks for sharing and stopping by, Kellie.

    Keep us posted on your progress!


    • I’m 100% in agreement with you and couldn’t have said it better myself, Ann. You must stand out from the crowd in order for your marketing efforts to get noticed, and more importantly, action taken. And yes, most companies tie your hands when it comes to that – originality? “squash” new technique? “squash” It’s quite frustrating to do enough to get sales, but not too much to get slapped.

      We are in a mind synch when it comes to your views. I’ve been following you and all things Renegade, etc.for over a year now and I’ve decided it’s time to quit watching and start participating and doing. Imagine that!


  4. Ann,
    Have you heard of Simon Sinek?

    I recently watched/listened to message of his on Youtube.
    He said, and I wrote it down…
    “it’s not ‘what’ you do, but ‘why’ you do it.”

    He drew examples from the marketing strategy of companies like Apple. They don’t market their products, they market the experience their users will have. They don’t market “what” they have, they market “why” people want their products.

    I used to be a little turned off by all the focus on “know your why” that permeates the MLM industry, until I heard Simon’s message. It rang with me.

    So, I agree with you, and this blog post.

    Living according to why we do what we do, is what will set us apart, and cause us to stand out from the crowd. I’m sure that statement needs clarified.
    But my point is that it is not our product or service that sets us apart, but “who” we are, and “why” we are doing what we are doing.

    I learned most of this stuff from you, Ann.

    Thank you so much for blogging,

  5. Knowing my “Why”, has been my big question. I am single, 57 years old, and my children are gone and living on their own, and have little or no interest in what I do. I need a “why”. To keep going on my, MLM journey. Right now my website is interesting and keeps me interested to keep doing what I am doing.

    • Ann Sieg says:

      Hi Melva,

      Thanks for sharing where you’re at in your journey. Here’s what I’d recommend for your why. For me it came through in Napolean Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich.’ In there he talks about having a burning desire. It should be a down deep in the belly kind of desire. Here’s the url to access the PDF of his book.

      My burning desire was to retire my husband from his job. That’s all I cared about almost like a mad woman. Now that I’ve accomplished that I’m on to a much bigger vision. It was always there along my side but now it’s out in front.

      Overall I do believe people perform better when they’re motivated for something beyond themselves. Yes, most of us need a handful of material possessions to improve our lives but at the end of the day I don’t believe it’s “stuff” that brings us joy and satisfaction.

      It’s more the people stuff. It’s about why you’re here on the planet. Lord knows there’s plenty of work to be done to improve the lives of others. You might enjoy a book called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.

      So perhaps to think about some of your favorite causes. What kind of contributions could you make that would make an impact in other people’s lives? I’ll bet there’s a lot you can do and that you would find enormous satisfaction in. I’m guessing you’re already doing just that.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying working on your website. You’re more than half way there with just that.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Great points and so true. Most people think it’s not a big deal and they’re just worried about themselves and the money. Having a bigger reason and bigger mission definitely does keep you going for the long haul unlike a motivational boost that’s only about you. The key for me has been to help and bring value to others. Thanks Ann.

    • Ann Sieg says:

      You’re welcome Alex. I think it’s when all is said and done we want to feel good about what we’re doing. Yes, put food on the table and a roof over our head but give me a life filled with purpose and life is good.


  7. I have been working on my WHY(Whats Hurting You?), it hasnt come crystal clear yet, my wife and I are raising 2 granddaughters(12 and 15) on Social insecurity, so our lives are restricted. At 68 I just went and started a parttime job and working on building our Pre-Paid Legal business because the ends just dont meet, more month than money, then I heard someone recently say “ends aren’t supposed to meet”. Thanks for all you and Eric do to help network marketing people.

    • Hi Galen,

      You’re very welcome. I haven’t heard “the Why” stated as “What’s Hurting You?”. Makes sense. In my case it was wanting to see my hubby out of job that was hurting his back PLUS the pleasure of being able to be with him more.

      Then for my Bigger Why is once again helping people but this time way beyond my family.

      Thanks for stopping by and a super thumbs up for the mighty task of raising your grandchildren. My hats off to you for investing a second time into the next generation.


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