This time we were tasked with reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek - a book that explores what makes successful companies and leaders different from the rest.
The answer? They start with WHY.
The main concept of this book is simple: great businesses know WHY they’re doing what they're doing, and they use that as their guiding principle.
Knowing your WHY helps streamline your vision, meaning your decisions and efforts are targeted towards what you truly want, and who you truly are as a business.
WHY did you start your own business?
WHY are you selling these specific products?
WHY have you hired your team?
As your business develops, maintaining your WHY helps you maintain the passion behind your business. Your products or services may be forced to adapt with the times but as long as your WHY stays the same, your business should last long term.
Since when do HOW and WHAT come after WHY?
Did you know the WHY leads to the HOW and the WHAT and not the other way round? Because we didn’t!
The WHY - This is the motivation behind your business.
The HOW - How do you achieve your WHY? This is the practical side of your business which brings your motivation to life.
The WHAT - The thing you are selling - whether that be a product or a service. It’s the thing consumers identify when they first come into contact with your business.
The most important message communicated throughout the book was never start a business with the superficial stuff (the WHAT). Instead, start with the reason WHY people would want to give you their hard-earned money.
You’ve gone on a first date with someone. Someone you’ve never met before.
When starting to form a relationship with someone, your priority isn’t to discover WHAT they own, or WHAT they can do for you. Instead, you want to learn WHY someone is the way they are, and WHY they are motivated to behave like they do.
It’s exactly the same for consumers when looking for a product or service. Whilst short-term marketing tactics such as BOGOF offers and flashy ads occasionally work, connecting with people's emotions and building a relationship with them is the best way to run a successful business.
Our favourite bits
Sophie - "There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it."
Freya M - “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Rhea - “All too often it is not the systems that fail but the ability to maintain them.”
Freya R - I really liked the analogy of the celery test - a simple framework for making decisions - as it's a really straightforward reminder to step back and put things into perspective.