Why do you need to know your "WHY"?

"The discovery of WHY completely changed my view of the world and discovering on own WHY restored my passion to a degree multiple times greater than at any other time in my life." - Simon Sinek

Through his book "Start with Why", Simon Sinek writes about how individuals and organisations inspires action through communicating the intrinsic reason for their existence and their deep sense of purpose to make a difference in this world. 


Drawing the same parallel, we could surmise that most business owners would resonate with the need to know their organisation's "Vision and Mission". However, most of them have also relegated its importance to merely a once-off exercise or statements which might be good to have. Through our sharing in this article, we would make an attempt to create a compelling case for knowing your WHY in a business context. 


1) Tough times require perseverance

Launching and running a business is never easy and there will definitely be times when you would be tempted to throw in the towel and call it quits. Every setback and failure will put you back in a place of asking WHY - Why did I choose to do this? In life, there are always tried and tested methods to adopt, highways that are beautifully tarred and well-connected. Without knowing your "WHY", it is way too easy to fall back into the mainstream. 


2) Communicates passion and commitment

It is always a great pleasure to hear about a person who is intensely passionate about his/her business. The great lengths they have gone to start and built it, the number of hoops they had to jump through to make it happen, literally spending their lives, energy, resources and making sacrifices just to be on the journey. 

Wouldn't anyone one of us enjoy being in the company of such a person who exudes passion and commitment?


3) Inspires action

A person who is aware and awakened to his purpose is a person who inspires action.

Every business and leader want to inspire action from our customers, partners and employees. There has to be a compelling reason for them to buy your products, grow the company and remain in the job (bearing in mind that the average person today changes 10-15 jobs in their lifetime).

Without knowing and communicating your WHY effectively, your company and products will just go down the list as just another "ordinary" organisation or object. 

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

— Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001


4) Brings together like-minded people

Having a clear vision and goal will set you up to meet like-minded people who are willing to work with you towards reaching the same end in mind. 

An attractive pay package or nice perks is no longer good enough to attract or retain the best talents. People need to know that they are working for a greater cause which inspires and motivates them. 


5) Helps in identifying the right partners, suppliers, employees etc. 

Partner splits, high employee turnover rates, law suit against suppliers may seem to be common problems that affect any business. Far too much resources (both time and money) have been wasted to prevent and tackle these problems. The solution is simple, choose to work with the right people who shares the same heart and vision. 

The objection to this simple solution sounds equally compelling: "My company is new and growing and I can't afford to choose my customers and partners!"

Here is our response: "It will be more costly if you had to manage disputes, difficult customers, inactive partners, poor production quality (and the list goes on)."


Start Thinking About Your WHY

It may require some thought and time for reflection to consider your WHY. But it will be all worthwhile once you begin on this journey.

Today, if you would like to lead a more fulfilled life and create a lasting organisation that leaves a legacy behind, start by asking WHY and take steps to know your WHY!