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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Know your why-factor

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Start with WHY
Simon Sinek

Milja Laakso


Today I heard a heart-warming comment about one of the projects I am working on. It was so genuine when a team mate of mine said that she truly thought that this one particular project in her opinion is really good. She was talking about my art project. The project supports young Finnish artists and let’s their art be seen since their paintings are printed on shirts. My team mate said that she likes that the project is different and that you can see thought has really been put into it. On top of all that the idea behind the project is important and it is for a good cause.


Thank you. Your words mean so much to me. I have gotten good feedback and positive comments before, but somehow now your words really sunk in.


I always have wanted to do something that has a meaning. That was something I knew I would do the moment I got into Proakatemia. Even at that moment when I simply thought of what I would do if I would be an entrepreneur, I knew that my business idea would have a meaning. I believe I said that even when I was interviewed and when friends questioned me about it. The art project is something I have really devoted my time to and it does just that. It has a meaning. I’m really happy about that.


Supporting local Finnish artists is the “why” of my project. It is the purpose, the cause and the belief of it. I thought about this while reading Simon Sinek’s book “Start with WHY”. After reading about the why-factor in the book, you understand the importance of it in business. People buy your product because of the why and you inspire others because with it too. You can succeed when you have it. Having a WHY is necessary.


The base for every business is to have a reason to do what you do. You need something that drives you to work. You can easily see and recognize these days those businesses that do not have a why-factor. And very often those businesses are overtaken by the ones that do.


As I said before, people don’t buy your product because of the what, they buy it because of the why. The why is an influence. Small businesses often have a clear why. That is one of the reasons I, as a consumer, like supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Very often when a business grows, the likelihood of WHY the business does what it does becomes vague and might even be forgotten.


Businesses should have goals to be successful. However, if your WHY is only to make money, very soon your customers might see it and it might make them not believe in you, your business or your product anymore. I believe that business is changing and that having a good cause as your why in business is something very important. By helping others while you grow you can achieve much more.

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