Why and How I Started My Business and 4 Questions to Assess to Kick-Start Your Business
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[fusion_text]I can’t even begin to describe the challenges of starting a business, if I had to have a short and sweet description, though – I would say it’s definitely FAR from being a walk in the park. Ask any entrepreneur you know, because they would most definitely agree!

In fact, starting a business is, in a way, just the tip of the iceberg. There’s still the matter of managing or running your business to make sure it doesn’t just stay on its feet but continues to grow and develop into something more as the years pass by.

As an entrepreneur myself I would say I poured buckets and buckets of my blood, sweat and tears into my business. I experienced difficulties that would sometimes leave me on the verge of giving up, but I also experienced amazing rewards and the satisfaction of knowing I’m making a change by helping people improve their career and lives!

Realizing where I am now in my life as an entrepreneur and in my personal life got me thinking back to why I started doing this in the first place and how I was able to do all this. A lot of people tend to ask me about that as well.  If you read my previous blog post on The Best Thing that Happened that Kick-Started My Business, you might already have a slight idea on the backstory of My Marketability.

This time, we’re going to go deeper on the why and how behind my business, and hopefully this inspires you or has you reflecting on YOUR own whys and hows of starting your business!

The 4Fs of Whys that Motivated Me to Start My Marketability

  1.   Fulfillment

When I coach my clients, I’m all about helping them figure out what career makes them happy and satisfied, and that’s what I perceive as the two root feelings of fulfillment. I find fulfillment and meaningfulness when I help people through my coaching. I find happiness in seeing other people succeed and knowing that I helped them live their purpose, passion, and maximize their potential. I feel as if I’m making a difference in the world, and that’s what fulfills me.

  1.   Freedom

When you run a business you are your own boss. I make the decisions, I do what I want, and I can choose the people I get to do business with. My freedom is what allows me to choose to work with and surround myself with people who are go-getters and are also all about making a difference. It’s so different from working as an employee where you can’t control whom you work with and what to do. Running my business has also allowed me the freedom to work on what makes me passionate, alive, and excited!

  1.   Flexibility

I get to sort out my own schedule and it allows me to work whenever and wherever I want. The flexibility I have as an entrepreneur has also allowed me to have a more mobile lifestyle, where I can travel multiple times a year. One time I was vacationing in Hong Kong and I had a coaching session with a client from Canada, and I was able to do the coaching in my hotel room. This made me realize the high value I have for autonomy, and the convenience and excitement I get from owning my time.

  1.   Family

Last but definitely not the least, I started my business for the sake of my family. This ties in perfectly with the previous two whys as having freedom and flexibility allows me to spend more time with the people I care about the most. I have better opportunities to create great memories with them, and be there for my kids and see them grow.

Those are my 4 reasons why I started My Marketability, now let’s head on to my HOW.

The “Hows” Behind My Marketability

First I gained practical experience.

I love teaching people, so I was involved in a lot of teaching, training, mentoring, recruiting, speaking and coaching jobs. In college, I had my own math tutoring business and volunteered thousands of hours as an Off-Campus Don and as a Peer Mentor & Leadership trainer.

Upon graduation I was still involved in the same type of work, where I worked in Marketing & Training at TELUS, consulting in Accenture, and as a Recruiter at Ivey Business School and Google. This is where I learned how to get people to realize and do what they’re passionate about and what they’re great at.

Second, I conducted thorough research and analysis to understand the market demand and need for my service.

Back when I was getting my MBA, I did a research paper on the Global Talent Management Issues and Strategies. At that time there was an economic crisis that led to several people being laid off and struggling to find new jobs.

Doing this research enabled me to answer a few pressing questions, such as how do we get these people employed and gave me a deep understanding of my niche market. Through this research, I was able to figure out what I needed to do and how I was going to do it and help job seekers who would soon be my clients.

Third, I invested in my own personal and professional development.

I reached a point in my consulting career where I wasn’t happy, so I was in search of something I help all my clients search for – CLARITY. I wanted to be crystal clear on what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it, so I signed up for multiple training sessions and courses in personal development.

I went through the Millionaire Mind Intensive with Peak Potentials course, the Warrior Training Camp course, and the Unleash the Power Within course. Finally, I got professional coaching training at the Coaching Training Institute, where I received 100+ hours of coaching and was able to shape up my own skills in coaching.

Lastly, I got laid-off.

Yes, getting laid-off is never pretty, and I was at the lowest point in my life the moment it happened. However, something amazing came out of that low point – I got the fire to start my own business and build My Marketability!

I realized I didn’t have to wait for the right timing, every day or every second could be the right timing to start your business, there’s no need to wait at all! I didn’t let my fears get in the way. I took the layoff as an opportunity to kick-start my business, and now, I have coached over 500 career changers and job seekers internationally!

The Most Important Pushing Force Behind Starting a Business

[Tweet “Get clear on your WHY. Your Why is the very foundation of your business. It’s the driving force that’ll keep you going even when you’re at an all-time low.”]

Why do you do what you do? If you can answer that with clarity and confidence, you’re all set to start your own business. However, if there is even a tiny hint of doubt in your voice or tone, you need to spend more time working on yourself.

As long as you have your Why, you can proudly market and sell your business to customers and be able to serve them and answer their questions with conviction. Thus, this makes you more credible and people are able to perceive you as a professional who is serious about what he or she does!

What Else Do You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Business?

Before I end, I want to emphasize the importance of seeing or perceiving things at a macro-level when you’re thinking of starting a business. I learned this during my days in business school in my strategy class.

To do that, I’d like to share 3 additional questions you need to assess and ask yourself about before you become an entrepreneur:

  1.   What do you WANT?

Do the inner work and ask yourself what is it do you really want? What do you want to do? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? Once you’re clear on yourself, you’ll do a lot better in starting your business.

  1.   What’s the NEED?

What are the trends? What challenges or problems need to be solved right now? What companies are growing and what opportunities do they have to offer? Assess the external factors so you know what people are looking for and what needs to be done.

  1.   What CAN you do?

Based on the two questions above, what kind of value do you have to offer to your potential customers? What can you do to solve the problems you discovered in the previous question? What kind of knowledge and skills can you share that’ll help and make a difference? This will be the kind of message you can build your business on, so you can attract the right customers.

If you would like to watch my video on this topic, here it is below for you to watch!

Always remember to:

[Tweet “Do what you love and love what you do. Be amazing, and excel in what you do!”]


Here’s my actionable for you:

  • What’s your WHY?
  • What’s your story?
  • What do you want?
  • What’s the need?
  • What can you start doing?

Have your very own story to share about starting your own business? Feel free to share it by commenting below!


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Diana YK Chan

Diana YK Chan

Diana is a former Recruiter turned Career Coach, Speaker and Trainer at My Marketability. She helps ambitious professionals and executives design the next chapter of their life, navigate transformational changes, and land incredible opportunities with a higher income. She’s an expert at distinguishing people’s unique brand value, mastering their messages and networking with confidence to gain a competitive edge. She’s recognized by JobScan as one of the Top 10 Job Search Experts to follow on LinkedIn.