The Why of What You Do

Turns out, lots of businesses can tell you what they’re selling and how their product works, but that alone doesn’t make you want to buy.  If they can somehow explain the why to you, they might be successful.

This talk by Simon Sinek is about the golden circle–thinking from the inside out.  [You start with the why of what you do, and move outwards to the how and what.]  I think he’s made a fascinating “discovery” that can be applied to personal relationships, as well as business ventures.  He’s right.  It’s “I have a dream” not “I have a plan.”  People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do what you do.

Two nights ago, I was bemoaning the fact that many of the blogs I’m reading are all about marketing now, and that they’re no fun to read anymore.  I get it.  I’ve bought your book/class/workshop/seminar/membership, but now let’s get on with it.  What drives your life each day?  What questions are you asking?  What difficulties are you having?  Are they like mine?  Do we have something in common?  What recommendations could you give me that might change my life in some small way?

I understand that merchandise has to be marketed.  But you are not your product.  You are you.  What draws people to you is what you believe, not what you have to sell.  At least not in the long run.

Sinek uses fascinating real-life examples–Apple, Tivo, the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King, Jr.–to make his point.

This is a must-see, if you want to change how you’re approaching your life.  Who knows?  When you work from your heart and soul, great things will happen.  You might change someone’s life.  That alone would be worth everything.  [Thanks to Kevin Kaiser for the heads-up on this video!]

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday.  Tomorrow, I’m in NY for the Jewish Book Council’s Meet the Author event.

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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