If you’ve ever spent time around kids, you’ve been subjected to a barrage of the most classic of childhood queries: “Why?

Even from a young age, we know intuitively that the motive behind an action is the most important piece of any story. When it comes to your business — whether you’ve already launched or if you’re still in the whiteboard phase — knowing your “why” will help you stay committed to your dream and help others get on board, too.

There are many reasons why people become entrepreneurs: personal satisfaction, creative independence or financial autonomy — the list goes on. Yet all of these have one thing in common. At the core, they all are about freedom.

That freedom can come in many different forms: the freedom to make changes without waiting for corporate green lights, the freedom to offer a product or service that does business differently or maybe the literal freedom to actually make that dentist appointment once and for all.

What is it that drives you? The reason probably isn’t money — at least it shouldn’t be. There’s a reason that career counselors across the country ask the same time-old question: “If money were no object, what would you do?”too much to bear. This is when your “why” becomes imperative.

If a paycheck is just a means to end, how do you know when you’ve reached it? Is it after five years? 10? Or when you finally make a down payment on a house? The more material possessions you acquire — a car, a house, that timeshare in Vermont — the more that steady, safe paycheck becomes a crutch. So ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”

Once you find an answer that speaks to your soul, the next question should be, “What am I waiting for?

Chris A. Hughes
Founder of A Nerd’s World