Me, You & Why
Start With Why
Start With Why is a series of explanations and a theory about what motivates us. We are emotional beings and we make decisions based on our feelings, for the most part. “Start With Why” is based on always answering the question “WHY?” first. The author, Simon Sinek says, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do”.
The question “WHY?” will tell you if something is motivated by something positive of negative and denies unnecessary assumptions. It’s easy to make a decision based on positives and negatives. Logical, rational decisions often take more time and energy so we don’t like them, but feelings are easy to believe, which makes it easy to persuade ourselves to trust in them. We like to think that we are beings of logic and reason, though the truth is that we are capable of logic and reason, but we more than often fall short of that, because of our self-delusion. This is not always a bad thing though, we all need our imaginations, curiosity, naivety and so on to a certain extent.
Simon Sinek explained the idea of the “Golden Circle”, which consists of three circles, all with different purposes. In the center is WHY, around WHY is HOW and around HOW is WHAT. The idea is to start with WHY, which is the motivation and belief. After the question why, the next question to be answered is HOW, which explains the structure and the process. WHAT is the question that should be answered last, though often it is talked about first and simply answered the question of what you are selling etc. It is the actual product and though you may think it is good to start with that, it is atleast according to this book, a terrible idea in most situations. Let’s remember, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do, therefore connecting on an emotional level will almost always work better than connecting with logic, because we are emotional beings and our emotions, moods and feelings control most aspects of our life.
There are two obvious ways to sell a product, idea etc. You can either INSPIRE or MANIPULATE. Inspirational selling starts with why, meaning you have a cause, a reason or a belief. Manipulative selling includes promotions and discounts, but this doesn’t grow loyal customers or followers. This doesn’t really connect with people or give them a solid reason to care about you, therefore the only attention you will get is if you have another discount or promotion and that is not a long-term solution. Another tip, if something doesn’t feel right, it won’t make a difference how logical it may be.
The idea of starting with why is good for selling, business management, relationships and a bunch of other situations. When you start with why, all the beliefs, hopes and dreams create of culture that a business and its customers then share. I can see this in my own life too. Things like the Iphone or Apple products in general, old spice deodorant, Vuokko clothes and less specifically things like the music I listen to and the types of foods I eat. All of these things have there own image, beliefs and values and because I agree with them I can connect with them. This also gives me a way to express myself through the products I buy. A product such as the Iphone is really no better or cheaper than a Samsung, but because I connect with the Apple image and message I will most likely keep buying their products for a long time. Old spice deodorant is no better than Dove deodorant but I would still never buy dove deodorant or talk about it.
For my business, Löz Studios, I think that the message or “WHY” behind it is the most important obstacle to conquer and we have put a lot of time into it. The clothes we make may be nice looking and made of good quality fabrics or even gross looking and made from terrible fabric, BUT if my why, my message etc is strong enough, it wont matter, because I support and spread a larger/deeper meaning.
People want to find meaning in everything and explain everything, but if they can’t, they most likely won’t be very loyal and definitely won’t care about you.