Title: Start with WHY
Author: Simon Sinek
I was first asked to read the book “Start with WHY” during one of my courses in my Music Business Developer program that I am studying at Diversify Music Group AB. One of the best parts of the program is the books that they assign us to read and this has been one of my favourite so far and one that has had possibly the greatest impact on me.
Start with WHY explains why some companies and brands succeed better than others, why they are able to adapt, change follow and even set trends, whereas others are left dead in the water.
Simon [Sinek] uses Apple as a perfect example of such a brand. Apple Inc. started out as Apple Computers in the 1970’s and had success with its Macintosh computers in the mid 80’s and 90’s. They then completely changed the music industry and how we consume music today with their platform iTunes and their mp3 player, the iPod that could hold thousands of songs in your pocket. Since then they have revolutionised the telephone industry and even how we view video with iPads, iWatches and Apple TV.
So how did a computer company come about being so influential in so many areas?
They had a purpose greater than just to build and sell computers, they started with WHY.
Sinek explains that every person and company knows WHAT they do, some even know HOW they differ from others in what they do – but very few focus on WHY they do what they do.
Steve Jobs didn’t start by saying; hey I want to build computers. He said I want to make a ding in the universe; I want to shake up the status quo. How will we do that? By creating products and services that are accessible to the masses, easy to use and beautifully designed. – By starting at that end it doesn’t really matter WHAT you do, as you can connect them to your WHY.
Below I will share my own personal statement:
As you can see, the what section can be as long as you want. I have always been asked what it is I want to focus on, acting, music, teaching, investing, property, finance, writing, producing, directing. People constantly wonder how and why I have so many balls up in the air at once.
I can now give them a specific answer. And by knowing my WHY I am able to constantly evaluate whether my current actions are in line with my vision and am able to set goals, allocate time and focus my energy accordingly. All I have to do is ask myself; “is what I am doing right now allowing me to inspire and help others in anyway? Am I growing as a person and improving myself in some way? Am I living what I teach?” – If I can answer yes then I keep going, knowing that I am on the right track.
What is your WHY?