The great irony of Simon Sinek’s Start with Why is that, in the book, Sinek actually proposes that we start, continue, and end with “why,” always keeping it at the heart of everything we do. In our individual lives, we know that believing in what we’re doing is important, but “why” is a concept that can be hard to establish in our work lives.
To help with this, Start with Why gives us three questions that we can ask to make sure that our businesses have “why” as the foundation.
Why Does Your Company Exist?
For many business leaders, the answer to this question might be simple at first. If you own a motor parts business, for example, you might say that your company exists to make sure the people of your community can get the parts they need. However, this type of “why” isn’t really what Simon Sinek means. Instead, he’s trying to ask why it is that you do what you do in the first place.
So, even though your answer might sound like the above originally, the more you think about it, the more you’ll realize that there should be a deeper meaning to everything. Instead of just providing parts to your community, for instance, you might come to recognize that your company actually exists to encourage people to get out and explore the world by equipping them with the parts they need to get there. Now that’s a “why” worth believing in.
Why Do You Get Out of Bed Every Morning?
Personally, you might find your family or interests might be what encourages you to get going every morning. That being said, you should also be able to answer this question about your job or your business. Hopefully, the passion that gets your heart racing should be present in some form at your work, as every task should go to further your life’s purpose.
You can obviously get out of bed for less inspirational reasons like to provide for your loved ones or to get more job experience, but the goal here is to find your own inspiration inside the company’s larger reason for being.
Why Should Anyone Care?
We’ve already talked about your company as a whole and you as an individual, but now we’ll start to think externally. Your company cannot fulfill its purpose without interacting with others, so it’s important what others think. If you don’t have a clearly communicable “why” that connects with people outside of your business, you might want to consider if your “why” is really your “why.” Most companies’ missions are broad enough to be meaningful to everyone, not just you or your employees.
For instance, Apple is a brand that has such a strong “why” that it applies to both employees and customers. In a nutshell, Apple’s “why” is that they provide the best tools to the creatives of the world. For employees, this means rigorous training, excellent service, and a deep knowledge of the product. For consumers, it means a certain status that you can only obtain by owning an Apple product.
All in all, answer these three questions, and you’ll be on your way to finding your “why.” We at Dotedison believe that all good marketing starts by answering these questions and, when it’s time to share your company with the world, we’ll be here.