Hey Square Readers,
I hope you’re making your way through Start with Why by Simon Sinek so far, our Square Readers Book Club book for April & May. I’m about ⅔ of the way through! There's still plenty of time to read before our Live Discussion on Tuesday May 23rd.
The keystone of the book is the importance of having, knowing, and explaining the Why for your business.
Sinek defines a Why as an action statement that defines your purpose, cause, or belief. It explains why your business exists and why your customers should care. It should start with a verb (To bring, to give, to change, to ...) and be the heart of your business. It should guide every decision you make, and if your actions are aligned with it, build trust with the kinds of customers that align with it.
So that's my question today: What is your Why?
Feel free to share your How and What too!
It doesn’t have to be perfect – this is hard to do! If you’re not completely sure, that’s perfectly fine. Give it a shot, and if you’re not sure, tell us a bit more about your principles and mission, and maybe we can help.
You can read my Why in the comments below, and I can’t wait to read yours!
We may repost your comments into our summary post at the end of the month.
See these threads for more discussions:
- SwW: Announcement Post
- Post a picture of you with your book
- Introduce Yourself
- RSVP for our Live Video Discussion
- Share your Favorite Quotes
- What can you do to be true to your Why?
Start with Why
I'm still learning this format and idea, so mine is still a work in progress too.
When I had my ice cream shop, my Why was:
To bring connection & a bit of happiness so that the neighborhood can become a community.
We did this by creating a warm and welcoming place that people can come to escape and treating every customer like family.
We made delicious homemade small-batch Ice Cream and Italian Ices, and served it up with a smile.
It’s probably not far off the mark, @Pesso, to say that your “why” is the same as virtually every other ice cream shop on the planet, just worded differently!
When we opened Piper’s 11 years ago, our purpose was to bring ice cream back to our mixed used neighborhood, and to do it differently from the rest. Our motto has always been “It’s time for something different!” It’s always been about community and the neighborhood first. The fact that we draw customers from the region is just whipped cream and a cherry on the soft serve. Ha
Even as we added other things to our model — food, adult beverage service, for example — the core “why” for us has never changed. It’s about coming together, no matter how the rest of the world might divide us.
That definitely sounds right, @TheRealChipA !
I love all of that so much -- bringing something different to the community, and bringing everyone together. So perfect.
And a very fantastically appropriate metaphor -- even though putting whip cream on softserve was always a challenge for us, haha.
Thanks for sharing!
I absolutely love that, @JUYBoutique20 ! A judgement free space to connect and feel safe & at home. That's a huge community builder!
How do you accomplish that and what have y'all been doing to be true to the Why?
Everyone says our space feels very welcoming. We greet everyone who comes in and we talk with them as though we've known them forever. I change the smells in my store every month and music is always playing (all genres). We take pics with our customers and post them on our instore tv. Literally people come into our store to hangout, shop, and catchup with us and I love that. There's no rush to leave...If I added a coffee bar, they'd probably stay all day...
I'm from the Bay Area but this is funny because my husband is convinced on getting me to agree to live in Alaska so I'm sure I will one day. I will definitely keep you in mind!
That all sounds incredible, @JUYBoutique20 !
I love that you're absolutely living your why in your business. Those are all such great strategies that so many folks can learn from!
Making a cozy and welcoming space with zero rush, and just to hang out is huge.
Thanks so much for sharing-
What: Computer repair shop.
Why: because I love technology, I love fixing technology. I love seeing the reaction of people who get their tech fixed because it feels so intimidating to them. I love being the beacon in the community for being approachable, helpiing however I can, and being the source of knowledge for those who need to know about tech.
The sense of pride, the sense of forging my own path, being in charge of my own destiny. For far too long I dealt with people in different industries who treated me like trash, despite always doing what they wanted and beyond. Now I don't have to "ask" to go to the bathroom, "ask" to have a day off, or "request" a vacation.
I love when people see me out and about around town and recognize me and I recognize them. The sense of community. I love how gleeful they get when they see me and tell someone who is with them about the amazing work I did for them.
It's too late for me now, there is no turning back. I am soon embarking on another journey in business in addition to what I do know and I hope to pass on all those things I love about working for myself on to my significant other who is my business partner.
Perrone Technologies: The Computer Shop
Thanks for sharing, @PerroneTech !
I love how passionate you are about this -- it really comes across here in your why, and that your customers can feel that too. That sense of community and connection is huge. I loved being recognized and seeing that joy that I see in their faces.
So great all around!
Thanks @Doran !
I'd love to hear more there-
How would you describe your core values and missions of your business, without anything about the specific products or services your provide?
Why do you help them take care of their skin and themselves?
My why is to bring hope and healing to men and women so they are equipped to break out of the status quo, face their fears and go after what they feel called to do. As a result, they will be happier and in turn be better people. My why is to see people flourish.
Wow. This is the first time I put it that way. As a counselor, I always focus on “treating” a disorder. But I want what we do at our organization to go beyond treating a disease. I want to see people flourish and feel connected to something bigger than themselves. I want them to in turn to inspire others to heal and grow.
Thank you so much for sharing, @CarissaD -
That's so amazing that this inspired you to think of things in a different way, as providing hope and healing as opposed to just treating. Going beyond that sounds like an amazing way to look at it, and I'm so excited for you and to see how that mindset shift affects how you run things in your business!
What can you do to accomplish that?
Because of my why, I started this practice to be different. Due to pressure from my COO, we became paneled with many insurance providers. In some ways this is good, it has made our services available to more people but it has also forced us more into a medical model.
The clients that come to us using insurance are expecting to just “talk to someone” for an hour and leave until their next appointment.
That is not what I intended. I wanted a place where relationships could be developed and other aspects of one’s life would be explored and addressed. There would be more of a integration with mind body and spirit. So, after reading this book- I am thinking, “What do I need to do to realign with my why?”