There’s a lot of advice out there on what it takes to build a successful business. But often, that advice focuses on the what or the how. Either the way your product looks or the specific steps you need to take, the tactics you need to implement, and so on.
And while those things are important, they’re not the only things that matter. In fact, there’s one thing that’s even more important than the what or the how: the why.
This notion is most well known by Simon Sinek. He has inspired many people to think about the WHY behind what they do.
Sinek explains that there are three main levels to every action or decision we make:
The WHAT level is the surface-level action itself. For example, if you’re going for a run, the WHAT is simply putting on your shoes and starting to run.
The HOW level is slightly deeper. This is where we start to think about the methods or techniques we’ll use to achieve our goal. In our running example, we might consider things like our route, our pace, or how we’ll warm-up and cool down.
The WHY level is the deepest and most important level. This is where we think about our purpose, motivation, and why we’re doing something. For example, if we’re going for a run to lose weight, our WHY might be to improve our health or feel better about ourselves.
Sinek explains that most people operate primarily at the WHAT level. They focus on the surface-level action and don’t think too deeply about their motivations or the reasons behind why they’re doing something.
However, the most successful people or businesses operate primarily at the WHY level.
They start with their purpose and motivation in mind and then figure out the best ways to achieve their goals.
The WHY is so important because it’s the only thing that can truly inspire us. When we know our WHY, we’re more likely to stick with our goals even when things get tough. We’re also more likely to inspire others to join us on our journey because they can see our passion and belief in what we’re doing.
Think about some of the most successful businesses in the world. What do they have in common? It’s not just that they’re great at what they do. It’s that they’re driven by a strong why.
Take Apple, for example. Their why is to “Think different.” That simple statement has been the driving force behind everything they’ve done – from their innovative products to their unconventional marketing.
Or look at Amazon. Their why is to be “the world’s most customer-centric company.” That focus on the customer has led them to do things like offer free shipping and develop the Kindle.
Your why doesn’t have to be as grandiose as these examples. But it does need to be something that inspires you and gives you direction.
For example entrepreneur Gustavia Lui, the face behind Staavias.
A mum of three with an incredible journey from leaving school at 14 to becoming the creator of products that change the lives of thousands.
The pain of not being able to find shoes fit was the forefront of what precipitated her online shoe store for women with wide feet. She has a range of stylish high heels and sandals in sizes 10 to 14.
From her experience, she endured wearing men’s shoes or jandals for work because nothing out there would fit her. If it did, finding them was a marathon.
Something like this seems small on the surface but it does take a toll on your confidence. It’s not who you really are.
As the saying goes “imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes”.
In her field she found that her pains weren’t just limited to women. Likewise in the transgender community some are unable to fit the feminine styles of shoes made for woman.
But what is the fire behind success?
It is not because the range of shoes she offers is elegantly designed. It is not because she has found a niche problem with a specific and clear solution.
It is because instead, Gustavia’s mission is to empower those who face this struggle of confidence so they can believe that “whatever your circumstance is, it does not dictate your future”.
So if you’re serious about building a successful business, start by asking yourself why you’re doing it. What’s your purpose? What’s your mission?
Now that you know you’re why it’s time to start taking action. Here are 7 tips to help you get started:
1. Make A Plan
It’s important to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. When you have a clear goal in mind, it’s easier to stay motivated and take action.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Don’t try to achieve too much at once. Start with small, achievable goals that you can gradually build on over time. Trying to do too much at once will only lead to frustration and disappointment.
3. Take Action
The only way to achieve your goals is to take action. Don’t wait for things to happen – make them happen.
4. Be Persistent
Building a successful business takes time, effort, and persistence. There will be setbacks and challenges along the way, but don’t let them stop you from achieving your goals.
5. Believe In Yourself
You need to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. When you have faith in yourself, anything is possible.
6. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Negative people will only bring you down and make it harder to achieve your goals. Surround yourself with positive people who will support and encourage you.
7. Never Give Up
No matter how difficult things get, never give up on your dreams. If you believe in yourself and are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.