'German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why, can endure any how.’ Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘Why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.' - excerpt from Forbes article

People buy why you do it, so start with the why.

Most business know the what, and how they do it - but rarely understand the 'Why'.

This is what your mission statement should be.

Starbucks does it for customer connection, to make interaction unique for the customer, make it an experience, more than just buying a cup of coffee. People believe Starbucks cares about them so they buy more coffee and keep coming back. It helps that customers enjoy the coffee, but there are lots of places to get good coffee. They go for the experience. Starbucks feels different than the other stores.

The Starbucks Mission Statement is: "Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."

People wonder about the future of Apple after Steve Jobs. Their current mission statement is about products and how much better they are than competitors. This is very different than what Jobs believed, and maybe that is why they have hit a bump recently. I pulled an excerpt from an investing article  -

'It is radically different from Steve Jobs' original ideals, which are encapsulated in his mission statement: "To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind." This reflects Jobs' ethos and statements from his family members after his death – that what satisfied him most was watching kids use Apple products in the classroom.'

The most fundamental difference between Apple's current ideals and Jobs' vision is that Jobs saw Apple products as a tool to improve the quality of life for mankind.' (You can read more here.)

There is a great TED Talk by Simon Sinek called 'Start With the Why'. He explains perfectly this point. He even gives a good summary of Apple's marketing and what makes it so effective.

The rise of social media has taught us a lot about ourselves. One thing is the need for more connection, to feel important, and often to be a part of something bigger.


That is why the 'Why' is so important in business. People can get a bottle of water anywhere. But they would rather buy a brand that is environmentally friendly and trying to help the world. And they will pay more that bottle of water.


Now I believe the 'Why' extends to your personal and professional life also.


Do you know your 'Why' in life? What motivates you to work so hard during the week?


How well we do at our career is often affected by what our motivations are. It is more than just passion (though that helps also). It can be your family, or life mission, or some core belief. Whatever it is , it is always personal. No one else can tell you your 'Why'.


When you are making a plan and it seems like it will be too difficult to carry out, the 'Why' can help. Even if you enjoy your job, relationship, or hobby, there will be tough times. Knowing the 'Why' will carry you through those tough times, and keep you believing. If you know the 'Why, you will find the 'How'.


There are two good articles I read recently which further this topic and can you find your own 'Why'. One is from Forbes -  'Do You Know Your "Why?" 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose' (by Margie Warrell - where I got the starting quote and summary from) - and the other is, 'How To Improve Your Life By Discovering Your Why' posted on Lifehack (by Craig Dewe).


People often need to believe or be involved in something bigger then themselves, or be doing it for someone else. When you know your 'Why', things tend to come together better. Ask yourself, what is your 'Why'?

Then spend time focusing on it in detail until it is clear. After that, write it down. Knowing your priorities helps to organize what you should be spending time on personally and professionally. It brings clarity to each decision.

You become what you focus on, like practicing a good habit. It takes some time. Your life becomes simpler when you ask what is the 'Why'? Good Luck.



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