Your Best Moment

Josh Kaufman: A Case Study On Knowing Your Why

Josh Kaufman the Voice

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“This is my last big chance. I want to do this for my family.”

For those of us who watched Josh Kaufman in his journey on The Voice, we knew what he was about from the first time he stepped on stage. From a town 10 minutes away from me in Indianapolis, IN, Josh went from open call out audition all the way to being named “The Voice” and winning the overall competition in the live finale last night.

Older than most of the other participants by several years, Josh went in knowing that if he didn’t make it through with The Voice, he would likely not have another chance to go big with his music career. He also never missed an opportunity to talk about the importance of his family and that they are the reason he makes music and does what he loves. For those of us who saw him perform locally at Potbelly’s over the lunch hour or at the Chatterbox where his wife served our drinks, seeing this amazingly grounded and gifted singer make it to the top was an unreal experience.

Josh Kaufman is in touch with his Why. It’s what kept him going all these years as a local (incredibly talented) performer. It’s what motivated him to go into every “battle” onstage during The Voice with a positive attitude and to leave it all out there. Every. Single. Time. It’s what caused him to not only improve his voice, but to glean everything he could about performance and connecting with the crowd from Adam Levine and eventually Usher. Josh Kaufman’s Why is what kept his head in the game when he lost a battle to another singer and was potentially going to be sent home until Usher snapped him up.

As the audience that eventually voted Josh through to the big win last night, we all connected with not only his unbelievable talent as a singer, but with his reason for doing what he does. Not only did his Why help him stay in the mental game of performing and stretching himself, but it caused a connection with all of us that compelled us to be on his team. His fans promoted him, shared his Facebook updates, voted for him multiple times, and secretly those of us who connected with him had a personal vested interest in his outcome.

THAT, my friends is the power of a good Why. That is why the first thing I help a performer or speaker with is to identify the concrete and specific reason they do what they do. When you know that, there are not many obstacles that can stop you. And you might just gain an audience that gives you so much buy-in that they push you to the top.

Congrats, Josh! You are a true inspiration and you deserve every good thing that comes from this! To see his humility and determination in action, check out this interview.  And if you haven’t heard him sing…well, this 3 minutes of him singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” from his finals performance will make your day!

And to learn about the importance of your Why specifically in health and weight loss, check out this article by my friend Ann Musico! She is an excellent resource for overcoming obstacles to a healthier lifestyle, and knows the importance of finding the Why.

Did you watch Josh Kaufman’s performances during The Voice? Did you connect with his Why? Share in the comments if you know your Why for pursuing your passion, performance, or path in life!

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7 Responses

  1. Ann Musico says:

    Elyssa I was rooting for Josh from the first time I saw him – his story and heart really touched me and the fact that he is so talented of course doesn’t hurt!! It’s wonderful to see the power of a truly compelling “why” in action.

    • Elyssa Smith Elyssa Smith says:

      Ann – I think he had that effect on a lot of people! It really comes from his heart. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love this post! Knowing why you do something is one of the most important things in life, and can help us figure out so many things, both good and bad. For instance, holding on to a really powerful why, as you describe in this post, is super crucial for finding success, but it’s also amazingly helpful to suss out the whys of our bad habits and negative thoughts as well. I’m going to keep this in mind!

    • Elyssa Smith Elyssa Smith says:

      I love the flip side that you point out – knowing why we have negative thoughts and bad habits can be key to our success, just like knowing why we are pursuing our dream. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Jeremy says:

    The Why is what will really connect you with people. Learnt of this concept from Simon Sinek.

    I love The Voice by the way. This show is overloaded with talent!

    • Elyssa Smith Elyssa Smith says:

      Jeremy, It’s so true! The Why can be so powerful when it comes to connection with your audience. Thanks for reading!

  4. […] love the idea of knowing your why. My friend Elyssa Smith of Best Moment Coach explained that when you know your why (for example, doing it for your family), you not only have […]

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