What’s your why? A vital question to ask when going into business

When Lital and I started to make plans to open a coworking space in the Sutherland Shire, we spent time on WHY we wanted to open the space and what benefit it will have to the community. We wanted to make the Sutherland Shire a better place to work and live. A place to collaborate and get a lot more done while being close to family. We did this by fostering a professional collaborative workspace that people enjoyed coming to work at. What you get is the coworking, studios, meeting rooms, business grade internet access, complimentary tea and coffee and so much more.

We were sent a link to Simon Sinek’s TedTALK on how great leaders inspire action… And inspired we were! Within and hour our company had not only our Why Statement but also a well written How and What.

In Simon’s talk he mentioned that all great leaders and inspiring companies alike are completely opposite to everyone else. Most companies go into the market starting with what it is they are doing; they then go onto the how they do it; which is followed by a measly why which usually sounds like “want to buy one”.

He uses Apple as a great example. With Apple being just a computer company, how is it that they are so innovative? They have the same access to market, the same media connections, the same marketing tools – how is it that they, a computer company, can sell MP3 players, mobile phones, tablets, TV’s etc.?

Simen Sinek codifies it by calling this technique as “The Golden Circle”. You start from the inside out. You begin with your why then focus on the how and what. Let’s take Apple for example:

If Apple were like everyone else a marketing message from them might sound like this: We make great computers, they’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly… Want to buy one?

However, Apple’s consistent message to consumers sounds more like this: In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. We just happen to make beautiful computers… Want to buy one?

Apple makes you believe in their product. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. When you are selling from the inside out you are speaking to people’s behaviour, it’s their gut, it’s how they feel! Once they are sold on their feeling they then rationalize their decision based on what it is that we say and how we do it.

Inspired leaders and organizations all think, act and communicate in the same way. People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

When asking yourself what is your why, you’re asking yourself what’s your purpose, what’s your cause… To make profit is a result, it’s not your why. The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.

So when you go to bed tonight, think of your business and ask yourself why is it that you are doing what you are doing? If you come up with something you believe, you are already half way there.