The Heart of Your Business


Your business has a Heart. When I look up the word heart there are two definitions.  One is the innermost or central part of anything.  Another definition is spirit, courage or enthusiasm.  Your business has both.

Identifying the Heart of your business is one of the most important things you can do.  Once done, you can focus your energy and make decisions based on this one thing.

What is the heart of your business?

The heart of your business is the combination of what your core product is and why you offer it.   


Coffee Roaster We roast handcrafted coffees in a small town on Lake Superior (what) to bring daily happiness to our customers (why).

Fitness Center and Bar We offer a fun and supportive experience (what) empowering you to be your strongest self (why).

Birth Center We are specialists who offer supportive and individualized care for moms and families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum care (what) outside of a hospital setting (why).

First define the heart of what you offer.

It should be one thing, the core of your business.  Think of heart in terms of location - the center of your business.  All other offerings would revolve around this.

It can be challenging to do this because our businesses are complex.  Often as we grow, we start to offer and do things that are outside of our core.  You need to drill down to the very heart of what you offer.

If you are a coffee shop and you also offer bakery, the heart of your business is still coffee, not bakery.   The bakery is a complementary item, not the product that defines your business.

Action Item: Brainstorm your what.  Make the statement simple and easy to understand.  If you have a team, each person should do this on their own.  Make a list of everyone’s ideas and then decide together the best option.

Once you define the core of what your business offers, you are able to asses if there are outlying areas that you are putting energy into.  At this point you can decide if you should phase out these offerings or keep them.

There are numerous reasons to get rid of areas outside the heart of your business.  Read more here  about why it is important to say "No" to items outside of your business’s heart.

But now on to the why.

Now we are appealing to the emotion and spirit of Heart.   When considering your why, it goes beyond the types of products/services you offer.  It isn’t monetary or a specific goal.  It addresses why you started this business and what it is that gives you joy from it.

For some people this is harder to pinpoint than the what.   But it is very crucial to know why you do what you do.

Some examples of why’s:

  • To build a great company with great people
  • To serve our community with passion and excellence.
  • To give unlimited opportunity to women

You can see that these are not as tangible as the what.  A little more on the wuu wuu side.

Action Item: Brainstorm your why.  Make the statement simple and easy to understand.  If you have a team, each person should do this on their own.  Make a list of everyone’s ideas and then decide together the best option.

Knowing your why will help drive your business decisions and remind you of the reasons you do all this work!

When writing your why, remember:

  • It is NOT about money
  • keep it simple
  • it is not one specific goal
  • comes from the heart and speaks to the heart
  • it is BIG and what brings you joy in your business

Action Item: Now that you have your what and your why, you can put them together to create your business’s Heart Statement.  Write it down.  Use it as your filter when making all your business decisions.