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Why All Entrepreneurs Should Rethink Their "Why" in 2021 Finding a greater purpose behind your goals is the best way to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

By JR Ridinger Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Adaptation has always been a natural consequence of problems and chaos. A change comes, and organisms are tasked with an option: fight or disappear. It's a system that has worked within nature for billions of years.

In a big way, the Covid-19 pandemic has been this sort of change catalyst. All of the parameters by which we operate are different now. Entrepreneurs who want to survive and become stable again must evolve their goals, aspirations, and the methods through which we achieve them. Instead of seeing a challenge, you have to see an opportunity and proactively make the right game plan. At the center of this entrepreneurial evolution is an incredible opportunity to reevaluate your "why."

What is your "why"?

Having a reason "why" is what lights the flames of your eternal purpose. It's what gives you the drive to succeed and motivates you to take action. A good "why" will keep you working, even when the odds seem stacked against you or whatever's in front of you is emotionally tough.

Nobody's "why" has to be the same as anyone else's. It's deeply personal. There's no need to compare yourself to anybody else with it. But at its core, for most people, "why" is usually all about building a better life for the people we love. We feel good for building and leaving that positive legacy. And, even though it seems like it would be, the motive isn't born of ego.

Related: Why Are You an Entrepreneur? (And Why It's Important to Know.)

Honing in on your why, here and now

Some industries admittedly got hit harder than others by the virus. The restaurant industry, for example, has lost more than 110,000 facilities. People in just about every sector of life have been left scrambling. They're racing to come up with solutions, and they're having to cope with lifestyle changes that would have been utterly incomprehensible just a few years ago.

In this environment, if you want to be successful, you have to take a step back and consider the larger trends and symbiotic connections between different sectors. Few, if any, companies are able to operate in a vacuum. People are understanding this harsh reality and the importance of developing a supplemental income with a clarity they didn't have before.

Yes, you have more than one route to bring in money — investing, for example. But doing it by being an entrepreneur is especially attractive because it serves as a vehicle for your personal ambition.

You can drive that vehicle any way you want, based on the unique purpose you have behind your goals. Entrepreneurship also acknowledges that the standard way of doing things doesn't work for everybody. It can take you off of potentially crippling paths and set you on a safer one that can get real results.

That said, when a change as big as Covid-19 happens, some industries are going to fight an uphill battle to stay relevant and profitable. Not to be cold, but the reality is that some will die out. But others will be like flowers in the desert: They'll bloom and totally transform the landscape.

In 2021, we have a better understanding than ever of what people want and are looking for. Our ability to create tangible solutions is moving at warp speed. Entrepreneurs are in an ideal position to serve as a bridge between those desires and solutions. Once you reevaluate your goals and dig down into your purpose then you'll see where you can grow and how that will influence everything else in the new normal. You'll have a vision of success that's beautifully focused so you can move forward with confidence.

On top of all this, the very experience of the pandemic can shake up our perspective and priorities. With so much tragic loss of life, you might finally see inequalities you didn't before. You might realize that time with others isn't guaranteed and finally say no to work where you're constantly on call. What motivated you before these changes might seem horribly insignificant now. Connecting to a newer, deeper "why" will increase purpose in your work and life.

Related: Why Right Now Is the Best Time Ever to Start a Business

In turmoil, your "why" is the foundation for a great outcome

Even outside of our current state of affairs, it's important to note that the world — and business — is always evolving. Successful people and companies adapt throughout all kinds of turbulence. Covid-19 is no exception to this rule and is forcing everyone to take serious stock of what does and doesn't work. Through this upheaval, you have a chance to look inside yourself and find your "why." Latch on to that because once you do, you can examine the state of things, decide which entrepreneurial path makes sense for you to be on, and get specific about how to build your own success.

JR Ridinger

Founder, Chairman & CEO of Market America | SHOP.COM Worldwide

JR Ridinger is the founder, chairman and CEO of Market America | SHOP.COM, an award-winning global ecommerce and digital-marketing company specializing in one-to-one marketing, and creator of the Shopping Annuity®. For more information: or www.SHOP.COM

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