We live in a culture that tells us we MUST know our big WHY before we begin anything truly worth doing. 

“Without a vision, the people perish” is a verse from Proverbs that rings true. It’s like having a roadmap for where you are headed. But while you are out looking for that big, billboard-sized sign pointing you in the “right” direction, sometimes it’s the tiny signposts, the little nudges, that really get you started. And as a result, you guessed it, many don’t begin.  

Not for lack of desire.
That’s just it. Their desire to begin is so strong.
It’s just that they feel lost without a clear, overarching purpose.
Without that big, defining “WHY.”

When Rustic Cuff started in the summer of 2011, I had no big WHY. The dreams of owning a company, being an employer, or taking on the responsibility that comes with entrepreneurship were not on my radar. Yet, there was this one tiny thing nudging at me. A ‘little WHY’.
And it was little.
But it was enough to sustain me until the big WHY came.
And that does come.
It may take a minute.
And by minute, I mean it could take a year.
Or two.
But it does come. 

I remember my husband Terry, ever the realist, would often ask pointed questions.

  • What’s your business plan?
  • What vision do you have for the company?
  • Who’s your target audience?
  • How do you plan to reach them?

And the big one, “How could you even think of starting a company without a well-thought-out strategy and clear goals for the future?” 

I kid you not when I say that my answer to each question was, “I haven’t even thought about that.”  I was just doing what I loved. I was just doing that thing that kept me up at night with excitement for the endless possibilities of what I could create.
That was enough “why” for me.
It was my little why.
And thank goodness, that didn’t stop me from starting.  

Knowledge can be empowering, but it can also be confining. Sometimes, being well-informed can hinder rather than hasten progress. While I may advocate for a solid business plan when talking with aspiring entrepreneurs, I also believe that sometimes the most authentic journeys begin not with a map but with a heart full of passion. The same raw emotion makes you dance when your favorite song comes on or drives you to paint, even when you’re not an artist. It’s about the process, the journey, and the joy of discovery.

So, if you’ve ever felt paralyzed because you didn’t have a “big WHY,” you’re not alone. Remember those small moments of joy, the times you felt alive when doing something you loved?
That’s your “little why”.
It might not shout, but it has a persistent whisper.
Listen to it.
Start there.
Because sometimes, it’s those tiny, relatable steps, those seemingly insignificant reasons, that will carry you to places you never imagined. Big stories often start with just a whisper.
The whisper of your little why.