The “start with why” concept was first introduced by motivational speaker and author Simon Sinek; through this ideology, he has been able to explain why individuals and brands are able to stand out, stay successful over a consistent period of time as well as garner loyalty from customers. In his Ted talk as well as his book, he used three prime examples to prove his point on starting with “why”: Martin Luther King Jr, The Wright Brothers, and the tech giant, Apple. He references Apple being able to amass massive sales, loyalty, and popularity when compared to other companies in the industries. He highlights Martin Luther King Jr when he gave his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. He analyzes The Wright Brothers and their ability to make the concept of flight a reality.
What makes them all so different from the average person? How were these individuals to reap massive success? The simple answer and the common thread among these individuals and companies are that they all started with a “why.”
Simon Sinek explains the “start with a why” concept with a simple diagram known as the “Golden Circle” which consists of three main questions: what, how, and why. He states that most of the companies and individuals you see today know what they do and how they do it. For example, Apple knows that they make great computers. How do they do it? By making them beautifully designed with a great and easy to use interface. But then they stop there. This is the marketing strategy of 99% of individuals. They fail to go deeper than this and that’s why you see after a couple of years, they die out. For example look at tech brands like Nokia, Blackberry who do not have the same market share as Apple and Samsung do today.
On the other hand, the 1%, the greats, and the best of the best start inside out with regards to the Golden Circle. They start with a “why” and work their way out. What is your why? It’s your purpose. It’s your cause. It’s your belief. It is what fuels you and drives you. It’s your mission in life. It is why you get up every morning. It is why people should care about what you do. And as Sinek also states, people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.
Going back to the example of Apple and how their “Golden Circle” works, they start from the inside and then work their way out. So their “why”, as Sinek states, is that “they believe in challenging the status quo. They believe in thinking differently.” How do they do this? By making beautifully designed products that are simple to use and user friendly.
Knowing your “why” is pivotal to your success and continued success. There are so many people who do what you do. There are so many bloggers, business coaches, entrepreneurs, teachers, leaders but the thing that’s going to set you apart is your “why”. You must know your “why” and communicate it to people. The thing is that when you communicate your “why”, you attract people with that same belief, and then guess. what happens? They buy into that belief and remain loyal to you. These are the hardcore fans that will show up for you time and time again, whether there’s sunshine or snow — because they want to. Because they believe in your “why”.
If you want to build a successful business, personal brand, career, or team, it is important you start with “why”. Sinek states that “the goal is not to do business with people who do what you do, but with people who believe what you believe.” When you do business with people who share the same beliefs as you or your company, there is greater loyalty. And with regards to building a team, he says “if you hire people who need a job, they’ll work for your money but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with sweat, blood and tears.”
Your “why” is the differentiating factor. It is what makes you tick. It is what will bring and keep the customers. It is what will ensure your guaranteed success; this simple concept of starting with WHY.
Why do you do what you do? Beneath the six-figure salary and good pay, beneath the free holidays and the incentives, beneath the getting to meet new people and travel the world, what is your “why”? What drives those desires? By taking some time to reflect on what drives you internally, you’ll be able to really hone in on your passions and light an internal fire that will keep you motivated and productive towards reaching your goals.