What’s Your Why?
The power of motivation and moving forward
The power of purpose is compelling. As a small business owner or someone interested in starting their own business, you may be familiar with the amount of focus, dedication, and determination is required to get things off the ground. Without a driven purpose, moving your business to success may be more difficult than planned. Margie Warrell at Forbes puts the concept of purpose into a great analogy:
“The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass. Diffused light has little use, but when its energy is concentrated—as through a magnifying glass—that same light can set fire to paper. Focus its energy even more, as with a laser beam, and it has the power to cut through steel.”
A clear sense of purpose will do something similar. It will focus your energy and encourage you to take the risks necessary to break down barriers and obstacles. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why can ensure any how.”
In business, you may be driven by a sense of purpose for a particular cause, a goal to provide something that you yourself wish you had either in the past or for the future, or a genuine interest and love for a particular service or product. But how do you harness this purpose like the light focused through a magnifying glass?
Author and leadership expert, Simon Sinek has developed a simple leadership model originally created to asses inspirational leadership, but can be adapted to organizations to help determine your “why” and how that can affect branding, business, and company culture. The model starts with the concept of a golden circle:
Image via Finding Your WHY
According to Sinek’s famous TED talk, “Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do.”
He then goes on to clarify that profit is not a “why”. Profit is a result of the process, but never a “why” or a reason.
Most of the time, we start a business or a process by thinking of “what”, then work our way to the “why”, but the most successful and inspirational leaders start with the inside out. They think, act, and communicate according to their “why” at all times. A great example of this is Apple’s marketing. Instead of simply saying “we make great computers”, Apple takes it a step further and hinges their messaging on their beliefs around innovation and challenging the status quo. By focusing on the purpose of their company – the values and beliefs – Apple stands out from the crowd and inspires their audience.
So, how do you use this to your advantage? Step one it to determine your “why”. What has driven you to create your company and why is it important to you? If you’re able to focus your purpose into a clear, actionable cause and apply it to your company from branding to messaging and communication, you are setting yourself up for success.
Already know your “why”? Chat with us about bringing your vision to life.