“Why” Are You In Business?
BY NADIA PALACIOS
When you think of the leading companies of the 21st century, have you ever wondered, how did they reach such an incredible amount of success? What did they do to ascend so high in society?
As a new business owner, it may be in your plans to, at some point, reach a similar level of success. But how? Perhaps “how” is the wrong question. In his 2009 book, Start With Why, TEDx speaker, Simon Sinek dissects a common trend that most successful businesses share. Sinek explained that leading companies and inspiring leaders all had a WHY, a mission that they would carry out every day. It may seem like such a trivial detail that is not necessary at all. However, Sinek explained how by not having a clear “WHY,” companies would often struggle to create a loyal following, much less become household names.
An example Sinek heavily uses is Apple, Inc., a company that started off making computers but now has a foot in several other industries such as the music and phone industry. It is often a wonder how Apple went from creating computers to creating IPhones that people will stand in line for hours to buy. Sinek takes a look at the beginning of Apple to suggest that the reason why they started in the first place is what propels their dominance in whatever arena they decide to take part in.
“Everything they do,” Sinek explained, “works to demonstrate their WHY, to challenge the status quo. Regardless of the products they make or the industry in which they operate, it is clear that Apple ‘thinks different.’”
Perhaps your reason for going into business for yourself was not to “challenge the status quo.” Perhaps they were more personal reasons, such as setting your own hours. How, then, do those reasons create a mission statement that creates a loyal following?
Sinek explained that finding your WHY does not come from setting your sights on a future goal as much as it comes from hindsight.
“It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”
Once you discover your WHY, the HOW and WHAT of your business serve as evidence of the former. Only then will people do business with you, not because of what you do, but because your WHY resonates with who they are.