From Chaos to Clarity: Finding Your ‘Why’ as a Creative Entrepreneur

Is your creative business starting to feel more like a daily grind than the fulfilling career you initially pictured?

Maybe you catch yourself chasing trends, mimicking others, or making decisions based on what you think you should be doing rather than what truly lights you up. 

It’s like trying to find your way in the dark without a flashlight – directionless and kinda exhausting. 

The result? 

A lack of fulfillment— and as much as you love the creative work you do, that spark seems to be flickering.

Now, take a moment to imagine a different future.

  • Picture being able to make decisions in your business with conviction, purpose, and consistency

  • No more following the crowd. Instead, you’re doing things that really matter to you, while innovating in your niche

  • This newfound alignment brings back the joy, resilience, and authenticity that led you into entrepreneurship in the first place!

So what is this magic fairy dust that can transform your relationship with your creative work from chaos to clarity?

Your ‘why.’

In this week’s blog, we will explore the game-changing influence of embracing your ‘why.’ You’ll learn how it not only fuels your personal motivation to show up day in and day out but also plays a pivotal role in steering the direction and success of your creative business.

Plus, to support you further, I’m sharing one of the most popular business tools I use with my coaching clients (they swear by this one) for FREE so you can start uncovering what truly makes you and your creative business tick

What is Your ‘Why?’

Your ‘why’ is the raw, unfiltered motivation that influences everything you do in your life and your business. It’s the fuel that gets you out of bed every morning, the driving force that shapes your decisions and infuses your work with your distinct style.

So what makes it such a critical factor for creative business owners?

When you dedicate yourself to turning a creative skill into your main source of income, you’ll inevitably face roadblocks along the way.

And while a paycheck is nice, at the end of the day, is that REALLY what’s going to pull you through the tough moments and help you get back on track?

You need something more to tap into. 

The Why Behind Your ‘Why’

When you know your deepest ‘why’ your business will never again be just a business; it will become an extension of who you are and what you care about.

Connecting to your ‘why’ isn’t just a business exercise you complete and move on from. It has 2 main benefits that can be a game-changer for your creative business both now and for the long haul. 

# 1 Motivation

Motivation is never an on-demand thing and it comes in different forms.

Your internal motivation, or ‘why,’ comes from within. It’s rooted in your personal values and passions. It sustains you through challenges and provides a deeper, long-lasting source of inspiration. 

External motivation, on the other hand, relies on outside influences and can be fleeting, making it less reliable in the long run. 

In my professional experience, consistency trumps motivation most days. Instead of relying on willpower or whether or not you “feel” like doing something to move the needle towards your goals, consistency helps you steadily and sustainably work towards your goals, on the good days and the bad alike. 

However, when harnessed properly and intentionally deeply aligned and personal internal motivation is often an exception. 


It will never be all sunshine and rainbows all the time!

Your ‘why’ motivates you to keep going so you can remain strong and stay the course. It allows you to readily tap into the purpose behind your efforts.

And I can guarantee, you will face those moments when the stress feels insurmountable or you just want to throw in the towel and go back to that boring 9-5 jobno matter how talented you are or how much you love the creative work you do. 

When you’re clear on your’ why’, it’s easier to stay motivated

Without a truly deep motivation, it’s easy to lose interest, get off track, get distracted by “shiny object syndrome,” or straight up quit!

But when the work you are doing is tied into something deeper, you are much more likely to keep with it, get scrappy, have a little grit, and find a way forward no matter what comes your way!

#2 Alignment

Your ‘why’ serves as more than just motivation. It also becomes a tool for alignment and direction.

You can leverage your ‘why’ as a decision-making tool. Once you know your deepest ‘why’ you can use it to stay in alignment with your business. 

This allows you to weigh opportunities that come your way confidently. Better yet, it helps you understand and qualify your gut reactions. 

When you’re in alignment, things flow seamlessly. You operate with integrity, and your choices become authentic reflections of your true self.

This alignment reduces friction, especially when confronted with external advice or what society or your industry may expect. 

It’s about getting back to your core values, breaking away from the constraints of one-size-fits-all advice, and embracing what truly matters to you in this season of life and work (spoiler alert: it can evolve and change!).

Taking Action

So what does uncovering your ‘why’ look like in action? 

You start by asking yourself, “Why is my definition of success important to me?” 

Then, with each answer, you go deeper, using the previous response as your starting point. It’s like peeling an onion, revealing what success genuinely means to you beyond the surface.

Now, before you brush it off as just another cheesy exercise, let me share a story that might change your mind.

One of my clients, a seasoned graphic designer who has been in business for 20+ years, was initially hesitant about this exercise. She believed she had a clear handle on her goals and ‘why.’ But after giving the 7-Levels Exercise a shot, she experienced an eye-opening moment!

She later confessed that at first, she was skeptical–she even rolled her eyes at the idea. 

That’s why she was so surprised to find this exercise brought her a clarity she’d been missing for years. 

Suddenly, decisions that seemed impossible became crystal clear. Understanding not just what mattered, but WHY, empowered her to stay true to her vision amidst external pressures.

If you’re ready to experience an ‘aha moment’ for yourself, click here to download the exact 7-Levels exercise my client used and uncover your why!

My Why

Let me illustrate the process by sharing the ‘why’ behind my business as a business coach and outsourced COO and how I used the 7-Levels Exercise to discover it for myself (you can snag it here for FREE).

Why 1: Freedom is how I define success in my creative business. So I started with the word, “freedom” and asked myself, “Why does freedom matter to me?”

Why 2: I uncovered that freedom is something I value because I don’t want to have to report to a boss.

Why 3: I don’t want to be beholden to a boss because life is short and I want to live it fully.

Why 4: Living fully is important to me because I want to create a legacy – I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.

Why 5: I want to leave a legacy and help make the world a better place because I want my kids to be proud of me.

Why 6: I want my kids to be proud of me because I want them to understand that anything they can dream is possible, so that they live their lives to the fullest as well.

Why 7: I want my kids to believe anything is possible because I want their kids to know it too. I want to pass it down from generation to generation. We can all be change-makers.

So ultimately, my deepest WHY is to set a positive example for my family so that pursuing dreams, believing in oneself, and improving the world becomes a family tradition. 

I hope that my actions influence my kids’ kids, their kids, and their kids (and so on…) and create generational change and abundance. 

Pretty deep huh?

Now it’s your turn.

Bringing It All Together

Your creative business is deeply personal, and understanding your ‘why’ goes beyond a surface-level exercise. It’s a process of self-discovery that guides your creative work, business decisions, and daily actions. 

So how do you get started? 

  1. Figure out what success means to you in this season of your life. Is it about money? Having the freedom to do what you want with your time? Maybe it’s making a big name for yourself in your niche. Or a mix of these things? Your definition of success is yours alone, which is why cookie-cutter plans won’t usually support your unique vision in the ways you need.

  2. With your vision of success in mind, complete the 7-Levels Deep Exercise. You can download it for free here and get started right away! Sure, your first instinct might be to roll your eyes (you wouldn’t be the first), but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it—this exercise is anything but fluff. Take it seriously and your business will thank you. 

  3. Keep your ‘why’ close by. When tackling business challenges or considering opportunities, ask yourself, “Does this decision support my why?” It’s like a quick check-in to stay motivated and on track as your creative business expands, thrives, and scales.

The 7-Levels Deep Exercise isn’t just a tool or a neat exercise to try… it’s the key to unlocking growth, sustainability, and a profound connection with your work.

Be sure to revisit this activity (I recommend pulling this into your annual review). Notice how your ‘why’ evolves and how it continues to shape your choices and priorities!

Even if different evolutions of your ‘why’ are rooted in the same core values and beliefs, over time your ‘why’ may change or even become more clear. 

Here’s to unlocking the power of your deepest motivation so you can continue to do the creative work you love in a business that loves you back!

Learn from me for FREE

Don’t forget your free gift

Click here to download the PDF exercise – it’s a resource I’ve reserved for my clients, live workshop attendees, and course participants, but now I want YOU to have it for free!

It’s a perfect companion to this blog post that will help you not only understand why your ‘why’ is so important, but also get you into action right away so you can start implementing what you learn!


Let's Connect!
Follow Me  @erincantwellco