What To Do Before Running For Office – Part 1: Your Why

There is an old saying that champions are made in the gym and not in the ring. Well, elected officials are made during the Pre-Campaign (Pre-Phase) preparation and not on Election Day. I can tell you 9 out of 10 times who will win an election a year or more in advance by the steps they take prior to announcing their candidacy. The more thorough and detailed you are in this phase, the better off you will be in Phases I to IV—subjects we discuss in my free eBook The Five Fundamental Keys To Your Campaign Success.

Why Do You Want to Run for Elected Office?

The very first thing you need to do is to sit by yourself and consider why you want to run for elected office. This step cannot be skipped if you want to be successful. You are going to have bad days on the campaign trail. You will go to bed after a fantastic day of campaigning only to find out when you wake up the next morning that a hit piece has been mailed out against you; or members of the media have said or printed negative information about you. It is possible your family will be attacked, your business will be the subject of ridicule, your past failures put on full display and your insecurities exploited. To get through these times, you need a compelling ‘why.’

Are you running for public office for reasons of vanity? Ego? Financial or professional benefit? Do you have deeply held values that compel you to run? Is your community in such disrepair that you sincerely believe you possess a unique skill set not represented by any other candidates or the incumbent? Is your ‘why’ patriotism and a sense of service? I cannot tell you what your ‘why’ should be. Only you can determine the ‘why’ that compels you.

I can say, however, your ‘why’ must be genuine, compelling, and an expression of deeply held convictions. Anything less will cause you to falter when the race becomes difficult—and it always becomes difficult. Once you determine a compelling ‘why’ statement, write it down in one or two sentences and place it somewhere you can refer to it during difficult times.

In Part 2 of our series, we’ll discuss the value of S.W.O.T. Analysis, what it is, and how you can use this powerful tool to determine whether you should run for a federal office.