Why do you do what you do? What do you truly believe?
I’m convinced that if you can answer those questions all other business challenges will be made more manageable because your vision will be clear. Your clear purpose will inspire your organization to not only be in alignment but also to be motivated to succeed, however you measure that.
Not knowing “why” you do what you do will make it impossible to have a compelling vision. And an organization without a shared vision results in a lack of focus and probably bad decision-making. Reaching your goals may not be possible.
You’ll be “stuck.” John Jantsch says:
The thing that moves people to act beyond what they are currently doing is a vision to do something so compelling that it forces them to change their behaviors in ways that would make it so.
The problem with most business owners is that they are only looking towards next week or next month. What if you looked at making your business and your life multiple times bigger and better than it is right now?
What would that force you to change? What would that force you to stop doing? Where would that compel you to take massive action first?
Easy enough to say, but how do you get to that compelling vision? Simon Sinek tells us to start with “Why” we are doing what we do. His concept is the “Golden Circle” of Why, How, What with Why at the center of it all.
The Why is based on your beliefs. What do you believe? What does your company believe? When your business “walks the talk” it will invariably attract customers who also share those beliefs. It’s how you make an emotional connection with people.
People make decisions, for example whether or not to buy something from you, based on emotion more than anything else. Then they rationalize those decisions afterward with actual facts such as pricing, product features, etc.
Most companies start with What and How in their business plans, marketing, and even internal communications. We “communicate from the outside in.” We say What we do, we say How we do it, then expect people to get on board. To use Sinek’s example if Apple did this the message might be:
“We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. Want to buy one?”
Not very compelling is it? To continue his example, this is how Apple really communicates:
“Everything we do, we believe is challenging the status quo, we believe in 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 great computers. Want to buy one?”
Emotions. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
In the very dynamic world of modern marketing “How” and “What” our company does seems to never stop changing. It can get frustrating when it seems impossible to lock down a specific set of product offerings, processes, or even a business model because of the nature of this business category.
But the “Why” is constant. It’s important to have that constant, those beliefs, principles and “anchors” to keep ourselves focused and our motives in check.
We believe that business owners are our brothers and sisters, and that we’re united by our struggle to create something of value, and be of service to others. We believe that our purpose is to help them succeed, and grow. The way we help is by simplifying marketing, focusing on what gets results, and what can be measured. We are a modern marketing agency.
It’s a work in progress, but the Why is on the money.
Finally, getting the Vision right is just the beginning. And the beginning can happen in the middle or near the end. Starting over is often what it takes to succeed. Tim Ferriss reminds us that
Most miraculous successes are nothing of the sort.
Those on front lines, the people who seem to jump into the limelight from nowhere, experience the same plodding frustration and trial-and-error as the rest of the world.
They differ in that they don’t expect luck to help them, nor good fortune to save them.
Keep on keeping on.
Related reading and viewing:
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek
- Feeling Stuck? Read This… – Tim Ferris
- 7 Reasons Why Your Business Is Stuck – John Jantsch
- Photo above by avlxyz via Flickr
- Simon Sidek speaking at TED: