In the spirit of learning more, we are constantly reading! Both Celestina and I recently read Simon Sinek's book, "Start With Why." When I read it I was absolutely blown away! I wondered, "damn, why didn't I know about this book earlier?" Start With Why is such a great foundational book for anyone who is looking to start or grow your own business!
People are always concerned with branding, but rarely are they concerned they are articulating their "why." Why does you company exist? Why should people care? Why are some companies more innovative, influential, and profitable than others?
Most companies, I now believe, use tactics of manipulation to operate. These tactics include: price, promotions, fear, aspirations, novelty, peer pressure (endorsements). But other companies inspire! How do they inspire? They clearly communicate their why, and if their why matches with your values and beliefs, then you'll be an instant fan. Humans want to belong to a community or culture, so a strong why from a company, like Apple who believes in fighting the status quo, will attract others who have similar beliefs and values.
Think of it this way, most computer companies put forth their product and they talk about all their features. Apple does not, Apple talks about their culture first, their product second.
Computer Manufacturer A -
This new computer has two 1 TB Solid State Drives in a RAID for easy backup, an Intel i7 Processor, a whopping 64GB of RAM. It's faster than anything you've tried before, wanna buy one?
Now unless your a computer geek like me, your eyes glazed over as soon as you saw the 1TB Solid State Drive, and you never looked back... As opposed to all of Apple's marketing which follows a pattern of "why" first:
Everything we do, we believe in 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. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?
If you're at all a rebel spirit, or if you're at all confused by what an i7 processor is, you very likely gravitate towards the second example, right?
There are many examples of companies that start with Why. Companies who clearly communicate why they exist before trying to sell you something. Think of Southwest Airlines, Tesla, even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself started with... you guessed it, why!
After Cel and I read this book, we realized we hadn't really put into words what our why is at the Unstuck Institute. Putting words to why is hard, because the part of your brain that motivates you isn't really lingual as Simon Sinek explains in "Start With Why."
So we decided to give it a shot, here's what we came up with:
(Cue inspirational speech music)
We believe that not everyone was meant to have a standard 9 to 5, That some people are only happiest when dreaming big and working hard to achieve those big dreams. We are crazy eternal optimists who see the statistic that 90% of businesses fail in the first 3 years as a challenge we know we will rise to overcome. We see the long term vision over the short term gain, and we know we’re going to succeed.
So, What is your Why? Can you articulate it?
If you're interested, you can get the book or kindle version here