By: Rebecca Liston
It must be over 20 years since my prof told me that no one would care HOW I did what I did for them.
I was studying the HOW of Homeopathy diligently and without pause. I was immersed in the Learning, the Ways of Doing, the How Tos of the Art and Science of Medicine.
I was so up in the HOW of it that it was all I thought of night and day, and now this man was telling me that no one else would ever care about the HOW but me?!?
It made zero sense to me at the time. So little sense, in fact, that I have remembered that moment for years and…
Turns out he was right.
While it was, indeed, my responsibility to Master the HOW of my Work, no one ever asked me to explain it.
Not one patient ever said to me, “Hey, HOW, exactly, is it that taking that one small drop of that water has me feelin’ better?”
Not one ever asked me, “Hey, HOW, exactly, is it that you choose the best remedy for me from the 4000 you can pick from?”
Not a soul ever pondered my process, my Way of Doing, my How To of this Medicine.
The only things they cared about were that I was willing and able to come to the table and meet them where they were at. That I could listen, openly, without judgement, and seek, always, to understand them and their WHY and their Ways. And that I would leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of finding (and providing) them the individualized support they needed, be it a remedy, an herb, a recommendation, a process, or story that made all the madness they were experiencing suddenly make sense, keeping, always, their WHY at the top of my mind.
When I did those things — when I focused on understanding Who They Were, and their WHY, — I, in turn, created a space into which they could relax, feel held, and heal.
And, it turns out, that’s all that really mattered.
I expect many of you are the same in this way.
In fact, I would be willing to bet that, if asked NOW about the HOW of your Work, you couldn’t really tell me much. Sure, you, like me, were once immersed in your How, following your teacher’s footsteps, fully immersed in the discovery of the How of your Work.
Now your HOW is second-nature. It’s just What You Do.
It’s like breathing.
You Just Do It.
You show up to the table and meet your clients and customers where they are at. You listen openly, without judgement, and seek, always, to understand them and their WHY and their Ways. You are, like me, relentless in your pursuit of finding and providing them the individualized support that they need such that they can achieve their goal (be it health, growth, or a new skill…anything at all), keeping always their WHY at the top of your mind.
You believe in the Power of your Work even though you no longer remember the intricacies of the How, since those details are now just a Part of Who You Are.
And your clients?
They flourish, and they also believe in the Power of your Work, even though they have no idea of the intricacies of the How, either.
Your HOW is not a process, dear one, it’s simply Who You Are, and that is a magical thing, indeed.
But it’s also kinda weird.
We live in a world that is (most often) How-Focused.
We watch a magic show where the magician pulls a rabbit out of her hat — How did she DO that?!?
We see a Facebook ad for making a hundred thousand bucks off one webinar — How did she do THAT?!?
We see movies, Instagram posts, advertisements, we read articles, listen to podcasts. “How,” we ask, “how did that happen?”
It makes it kinda weird, then, doesn’t it, to find yourself in a world that focuses on The How when, by this stage of the game, you’ve integrated your own How so completely you don’t even really know how to describe it any more.
And it also makes it kinda weird to find allies who “get” that you’ve no clue HOW you do what you do and, more importantly, that you no longer share their How-Focus, ‘cuz you, dear one, have become a Why Person.
You watch a magic show where the magician pulls a rabbit out of her hat — Wonder why she decided to be a magician in the first place…
You see a Facebook ad for making a hundred thousand bucks off one webinar — Wonder why she chose a webinar to be the platform for her marketing…
You see movies, Instagram posts, advertisements, you read articles, listen to podcasts. “Why,” you ask, “why did that happen?”
It’s a different kind of conversation, folks, a different way of Being and of Doing, and it’s a magical thing, indeed.
Even though it’s also kinda weird (to others).
Being a Why Person hasn’t always been easy for me, to be honest. Living in a How World when your a Why Person is weird, and can even be a little disconcerting.
Heck, at one point about 6 years ago, I almost gave up working as a Business Coach because everything I was witnessing and being taught was HOW to reach that income level, HOW to build that list, HOW to make money while you slept…
No one asked me WHY I would want to do those things. WHY it mattered.
And whenever I asked of others WHY I “had to” use their HOW to reach that income goal or grow that list or make that money while I slept?
No one could really answer me.
Somehow it was just a “given” that I would follow Their How, regardless of my Own Why.
(insert meaningful and long pause)
Y’all know I did not give up my work as a Coach.
Instead I just decided that it would never be a “given” that my clients would follow MY How, regardless of Their Why.
And that the only HOW my clients would follow would be rooted in Their OWN WHY.
And that, dear one, became MY How.
And that is, indeed, a magical thing.
Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.
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