In Brand Strategy

What Is My Why?

Firstly, if you are a COACH, EXPERT or LEADER, make sure you grab your copy of my free “What is My Why” Business Workbook here!

When I first began my business in 2009 the world of entrepreneurship had a vastly different outlook. It was mostly about making money. And faxing people. You were pretty cool if you had a fax machine (yes I totally had one). 

Over the last decade I have observed the entrepreneurial world step up its game. It just had to. We went from a local marketplace to a global marketplace with competitors vying for our client and customer’s attention. We had to get clever. We had to be unique. We had to stand apart.

But you can’t do this while you’re solely focused on making money. You have to make an impact. You have to anchor in something more powerful. 

And so in 2011 when I first stumbled upon Simon Sinek and his powerful Start With Why theory and subsequent book, I knew this was part of the missing link.

In order to be chosen over your competitors, you need to stand out. You need to be the obvious choice. In fact, for your business to not just survive, but THRIVE, you need to stand out. BUT in order to build an AUTHENTIC and fulfilling business that stands out – you need to do some alignment work first. 

The effects of your WHY can trickle down into every area of your business. Your WHY is an important tool in to use to build a fulfilling and impactful business that you LOVE.. but I’ll explain this a little later on.

Finding out your WHY can be a tough task, so I’ve attempted to break it down into bite-sized steps. It’s not something that you should rush – but is such a valuable process from both a personal and business perspective.

What is my WHY? 5 Steps:

free what is my why workbook

Step 1: Watch the TedX Talk

Simon Sinek is the author of Start With Why, and his amazing TED talk is about how great leaders inspire action. It is 18 minutes long, but an extremely good use of your time. All my clients love it and often thank me for showing it to them! I’m sure you will too.

free what is my why workbook

Step 2: Discover Your WHY

Take a look at The Golden Circle diagram (pictured below). What is your WHY? Your WHY will have nothing to do with WHAT you do or HOW you do it, rather it has a ripple effect on both. Your WHY will be wrapped up in emotion and stories and events in your life.

Your WHY can also be stepped back further and further – mostly occurring in your childhood. At first you might be saying “I like makeup”, ask yourself WHY you like makeup, “because I feel pretty with makeup on”, ask yourself why you feel pretty with makeup on and you’ll discover a memory or emotion from long ago. For this example we’ll agree that your WHY is that you love feeling empowered and empowering others. It may take some pushing and soul-searching, but keep asking yourself WHY until you can’t go any further.

What Is My Why? Start With Why Diagram

Regardless of your HOW or WHAT, your WHY can translate across industries. Think about Richard Branson, he is a multi-industry entrepreneur – from planes to mobile phone networks. Yet his brand remains intact despite of what he is doing. Why is that? His WHY remains the same, but his HOW and WHAT changes. He owns fun brands with spunk that delivers. He removes the fluff so you pay for the stuff you want and gets rid of the stuff you don’t. I’d love to know his why!

Step 3: What is your HOW and WHAT?

What is your HOW? Using our example, HOW you feel empowered is through the use of makeup.

What is your WHAT? Notice your WHAT is the last step in this process. This will be your business, or occupation. Using our example, WHAT you do will flow out from both your WHY and HOW. In this case it could be a blog about makeup, or an online store selling makeup.

Step 4: Get to the Heart

Which emotions does your WHY tap into? Emotions are powerful motivators! List them out.

Step 5: Get Useful

Understanding your WHY is great in itself, but what’s the purpose of understanding it? As a Coach for CEO’s and leaders, knowing WHY my clients do what they do is so important for helping them to design a business that feels both aligned and fulfilling to them. It helps me understand the emotion that is driving them.

what is my why workbook - updated

Simon Sinek says (and I completely agree!) that we are attracted to others that believe what we believe. For example if you believe wearing the colour pink is a way of life, you’ll naturally attract other people (through social media, websites etc) that believe the same thing as you go about life. You’re wearing your heart and belief systems on your sleeve.

Knowing your WHY (eg. feeling empowered and therefore empowering others) and injecting that into your business and marketing will attract people that believe the same thing. Using our example, if your brand is properly executed you’ll naturally attract people who love to empower or need be empowered.

Good luck!

PS. Entrepreneur or biz owner? Download your FREE Copy of these steps with a BONUS WORKBOOK here.

free what is my why workbook

What is your why? Have you discovered it yet? Share it below if you feel comfortable doing so!

what is my why simon sinek | The golden goose brand consultant, business namer, brand strategist

Showing 16 comments
  • JessicaLNewell

    Great post! I love the idea of going back further & further with your WHY. I’ll have to take some time to go through mine and see the why underneath it all.

    Somehow I think our WHYS tend to carry a much deeper meanings than we think they do on the surface.

    • Leah Bridge

      You got it! ‘Why’ can be a little like an onion, you’ve got to keep peeling back the layers and get to the bottom of it. 90% of the time it will be a childhood experience. Good luck with yours! x

      • Sarah

        Can you dive into 90% childhood a bit more.

        • Leah Bridge

          Hey Sarah! What we’ve found is that a powerful Why is fuel for fixing something from your childhood as an adult, to create a different, improved world. Hope that helps you nut yours out some more! Lx

  • Kate @ Wondrous

    I love TED videos so I will be adding this to the watch list! I am blogging to inspire people to lead more active lifestyles and to have the confidence to try new things! Thanks for sharing. Kate, Wondrous

    • Leah Bridge

      Enjoy the TEDX video – his is particularly strong. Although, I love them all. Try choosing a favourite, huh! 🙂 x

  • Reply

    I absolutely love this! There are so many points that resonate with me. I’m off to watch the TED Talk!

    • Leah Bridge

      Yay! It’s so good! Drop back and let me know what you think x

  • Tamlyn

    Thank You Leah! This post has been very helpful! xx

  • Brian Sommers

    This is so frustrating.
    I’m an abstract artist.

    What? I create original abstract paintings.
    How? By putting paint on a substrate.
    Why? To be creative.

    This is a lame why. I paint abstract paintings because it’s just what I do. How can I get a better why?

    • Leah Bridge

      Hi Brian! It can be a slower process than most would like to do the deep dive 🙂 So your what and your how sound about right. Your why for making paintings is to be creative. But WHY do you want to be creative? What are your deeper reasons underneath this? Keep digging why why why why to every answer you bring up.

  • Kate Najar

    I did this process… why why why…. and I have it! It will be my new daily mantra of WHY I get up each day! Even brought out a few tears!

    To create a life of freedom, being the best version of me, to inspire and help heal peoples pain!

    • Leah Bridge

      Oh my goodness Kate – this made my WHOLE DAY! I am so glad that you were able to be with the process and even connect to it so much you cried! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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