Once a month, I invite a smart business expert to be my guest star on the Bare Bones Biz Teleseminar call. We ask folks to join us on the call to share and learn and have some fun with business building. In April, my guest was Simon Sinek. You could call Simon a marketing expert. However, his approach is unorthodox. He doesn’t talk about products and features and services and company names and yellow pages and radio ads. His consulting process can be summed up in one word:
Why do you do what you do? Why do people work for you? Why do customers buy from you? Why does your business exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? Why do you do it?
Why is a heavy question. Answering that question can be liberating. And it can help you create an extraordinary business and a rewarding life.
Simon says his frustration building his own business caused him to bottom out and ask himself, “Why?” He made a life changing discovery:
“I used to wake up every day and go to work. I used to provide marketing services. Now, I wake up every day very clear on what it is that I really do. I inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
“No matter what you do, there is someone else doing the same thing…offering the same basic services and products, of about the same quality, for about the same price. So why do your loyal customers buy from you again and again? It isn’t about the products and services. It’s about you. People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
“You can manipulate your customers to buy – with discounts, offers, additional services – but it is exhausting and stressful. Or, you can inspire them to buy.”
He offered business examples…Harley Davidson, Apple, 1-800-Got-Junk… companies that have figured out their Why. It has nothing, really, to do with motorcycles, computers or junk removal. It’s about building a culture. 1-800-Got-Junk inspires you to pay them to haul your junk away even though you can put your own junk on the curb and have it hauled away for free. Apple doesn’t clutter their ads with a laundry list of features. Apple inspires you to be free and creative and challenge the status quo. Harley Davidson inspires people to tattoo their logo on their bodies!
Simon has inspired me and I have been obsessing over the question, “Why?” Can you put it into words? Would you spend some time thinking about why you do what you do? Simon suggests you look into your past and identify the moments where you were really alive and in the moment. Discover the past moments of success and joy and consider what you were doing…and why. Can you engage in those activities in your business today? Just because you love it? Could you share why you do what you do with your team and your customers?
I believe that everyone is better off knowing how to start, fix and grow an extraordinary business. I believe that free, honorable, prosperous trade leads to peace and freedom across the planet. That’s why I do what I do.
Here’s to asking, and answering, the big question.
“Until you find your purpose, your purpose is to find it.”
~Mark Victor Hansen