Discovering Your Why
13th November 2017
The SIMON SINEK Why Formula
Using the Formula to Find Your WHY
If you have never seen Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why,” view the video before you read any further. Once you understand it, the next step is to apply it to you and your business.
Every Great Business Starts with a WHY
If you aren’t sure WHY you operate your business, you are more likely to fail. Anyone with $100 and five minutes to spare can start a business. If you don’t have a good reason for WHY you want to do what you do, your chances of success are greatly diminished. Without a strong underlying motivation, you are more likely to be distracted, focus on the wrong things, or fail altogether. A successful journey begins with a meaningful WHY. Your WHY is more important than your business plan, and helps you strive toward your long-term goals.
The Strength to Power Through Adversity
A clearly-defined WHY can help you navigate through even the toughest times. Running a business is hard. People who tell you otherwise are either lying to you or to themselves. Eighty percent of new businesses close within five years. If you are unsure of what you do–or why you do it–you’ve set yourself up for failure. Without a reason for your existence, surviving the toughest challenges becomes nearly impossible. Willpower is finite. You must grasp your intrinsic motivation in order to summon the courage needed to persevere. Try to stay afloat without it, and you’re through.
Your WHY is Your Business–Past and Present
What are you contributing to the world? What impact do you want to have in your community? In order to reach these long-term goals, you must envision the path to success. When you have your WHY, the vision becomes clearer. (link to creating your vision). When you feel your motivation waning, think back to the reasons you set your goals in the first place. If you consistently keep these ideas in mind, you will always be aligned with your WHY. Countless business owners have strayed from their path and forgotten why they first went into business. Only after it’s too late do they realize they’ve lost their alignment. We must consider our WHY in all aspects of business.
Evidence of Your WHY Should be All Around You
When your business embodies your WHY, it’s no secret to anyone. Between you, your customers, and your suppliers, the WHY should be obvious. The clearer it is, the likelier you are to get the “buy-in” from others. Internally, you might be the most passionate advocate of (something with a strong polarizing effect). However, if you keep these beliefs inside yourself, never talking about them or acting on them, you might as well believe nothing at all. When you communicate what you believe often enough, you begin to embody it. You live it; you breathe it; you become it. The more passionate you are about your beliefs, the more real they become to others, who will relate to your ideas and see them as genuine. It’s easy to spot those who lack a real connection to the causes they espouse; just take a look at some of the big corporate mission statements. They’re full of nebulous BS. They’re just empty words that nobody within the organisation repeats, believes in, or embodies. They lack meaning or purpose. Your WHY needs to be more than meaningless filler. Your WHY should serve as a genuine, practical mission statement.
Distinguishing Yourself from Your Competition
What makes you better than your competitors? How will you stand out from the crowd? Let’s say you’re a “growth hacker,” a job that didn’t exist before 2010. Now that the industry has been around for some time, there are hundreds of other growth hackers competing for the same business. As far as job titles are concerned, you’re all the same. Or are you? To distinguish yourself from the herd, you must show your customers what makes you stand out. Whether it’s a passionate belief in something or a backstory like no one else, you must embody what sets you apart. Until you communicate this distinction, you’re just another growth hacker, like all the others. You will be judged based only on the price you charge. Take every opportunity to expose customers to your philosophy, values, or beliefs; each time you do, you’ll help them understand why what you do is so important. Remember the phrase, “preaching to the converted”? You won’t have to do that. Your customers will understand your WHY, and be excited to be a part of your journey.
Here is an example of a WHY statement from La Marzocco, a coffee machine maker:
“To build relationships so that we enrich the lives of others”
Notice there is no mention of coffee or coffee machines in their WHY statement. Rather than focusing on their product, they chose to focus on their impact. You can view our why here.
Want to Learn the Simon Sinek “Why” Formula?
Simon teaches a formula to help you break down the process of finding your WHY. I attended one of his workshops to learn his methodology. With just a few quick steps, you can create your WHY statement.
Would you like to learn how to create your WHY?