You may have heard about the why: This “marketing” concept, trying to help you become more authentic… or something. Simon Sinek was one of the first and most famous ones that came up with this idea. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Every decent advertiser will force you to get real. The competition today is so intense that it seems that the only way to attract clients, to generate profit, to get money, is to deeply touch people, in a way to bring them value. The best way to emotionally connect with someone is to trigger their deepest needs.
It feels as though the most effective way to impact people is to trigger their most intimate feelings; The ones that they guard the most. The intimate thoughts they never imagined would reach the surface
As if showcasing a naked woman, nearly anorexic, on a billboard in time square is the only way to sell lingerie. Here you would naturally ask yourself: what is the ‘why’ behind all of these strategies?
Your why is not…
- “I want to make money.” Frankly, We all want to make money. There;s nothing special about it. However, this is part of the reason we wake up in the morning. But making money just to make money never made anyone rich. Don’t get us wrong, making money can have such a deep meaning: Being able to keep your kids safe and support your parents is a true achievement. But having a great deal of money doesn’t make you rich. It makes you wealthy. Being rich means having a full and meaningful life. A true rich person isn’t someone who has all of the money in the world. It’s someone who is satisfied with their life.
- “I want to be successful.” We all have a different definition of being successful, that’s for sure. One person might want a small house in the suburbs with a decent car and beautiful family. While another one dreams about the nicest penthouse on 5th Avenue in New York City. There are even those who define success by making it into outer space. As you can see, success is pretty relative. But what we want to know, where do these dreams stem from?
- “I want to connect people.” Nokia was one of the first advertisers connecting people. Do you remember their ad replicating “The Creation of Adam” painting by Michaelangelo? At the time, this was groundbreaking for the industry. But today, when we already spend hours on end using social media, is there still an opportunity to connect people? It seems like we are all connected to one global ecosystem, after all. We all have a smartphone, the internet, and a social media presence. Is there still really a need to continue trying to connect people? Wanting to connect people is one of the kindest objectives to have for your company. But where does it come from?
Your ‘why’ is far deeper than that.
Waking up every morning super early to go to work, facing a really tough manager every single day, and not being able to see your kids when you get home because they’ve already gone to sleep is difficult. So it seems that the only way to keep going and remain motivated is to find a deeply intense inner meaning that will never allow your flame to go out.
So, how do you find this purpose? I mean, really, how do you find something that will keep you motivated and give you all the strength you need to fight for things?
We all have interests. Whether it’s philosophy, music, art, mathematics, astronomy, etc. And each one says something about who we are. But it doesn’t make us unique. Our experiences, failures and successes all contribute to shaping who we are. Therefore, what we do with what we’re given is what matters.
More than that, we all have different uses for the outcomes of our experiences and failures. Some may stop, and some may fight even harder. Some may think differently and some may go faster, who knows? And who knows how you will respond? No one, not even you! The thing is, even if we brand ourselves as a marketing & communication agency, we mainly exist to support entrepreneurs.
We know how hard it is, believe us. But we know that being aligned with who you are, following your instincts, trusting your gut and not spending so much time questioning whether you did the right thing or not, is key. It’s not the key to making money, it’s key to preventing you from burning out.
You have no idea how many times we saw entrepreneurs shutting down their business right before their big break. Is it because they didn’t have the guts? The knowledge? The right partners? Not really. Every problem has a solution. (Btw, rebranding a website can easily save you, we’re not kidding!) No, it’s mainly because their “why” wasn't strong enough.
I can tell you that when you know exactly why you want to change, why you started this business, and when you did for the right reasons, the biggest tsunami won’t destroy you.
Your ‘why’ is…
Let’s be honest here: expressing yourself as a person in a business/economic/corporate environment can seem a bit weird. It seems too professional of a setting to express yourself in this way. What can we do? Work is work.
But, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Your why could be something like: “I was a lonely kid who felt unloved. I suffered my entire childhood and I want to do everything I can to prevent other kids from feeling that way.”
“I almost died in a car accident. Now, I know the price of life. I realized working in fashion wasn’t what I wanted to do deep down.”
So, you created a business to do just that.
Without realizing it, your business, product, idea, company, brand or whatever else you create, might just coincidentally be a solution to the problem you face when you were young. Though our traumas can often hold us back in life, there are sometimes opportunities in which we can turn the pain into a strength.
Take Jason Pinchoff for example: he lost three family members in the same year, one of whom was his mother, who passed from breast cancer. A tragedy like the one he faced, all in one year, can send someone spiraling down a hole that is impossible to climb out of. But, he went in the other direction. He took his pain, and asked himself what he could do to try to help others going through the same circumstances. Thus, The Linda B. Pinchoff Foundation was born. Jason felt so silent after the passing of his mother, so he gave a voice to others in order to prevent them from feeling the same way. Spreading kindness using compassion and instilling strength in others when you’re struggling to find it yourself is the ultimate superpower.
Put yourself in his shoes. Would you have done the same? Something so tragic occurs in his life, how did he continue on and persevere?
He found his purpose, and he used it to help others, while simultaneously helping himself.
Your ‘why’ must:
- Come from your personal experience
- Be authentic
- Be precise
- Be strong
- Be inclusive
Now, after all you’ve just read (thank you for making it this far, by the way) think about your purpose and your why.
And tell us, is money really your why?
We encourage you to never be afraid of being vulnerable and honest with your audience. It is precisely what will connect you to them the most.
Fallon, N. (2017, August 24). 7 entrepreneurs who overcame incredible personal obstacles. Retrieved July 14, 2021, from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7929-entrepreneurs-personal-obstacles.htm