A few years back, when ‘passion’ was everyone’s byword in order to get ahead in life, one meme in Facebook stood out for me. With a starry night skies as the backdrop, it says simply: Purpose is better than Passion.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek elaborates this quote further, complete with a scientific explanation and examples drawn from historical figures and even from his own personal experiences. He even came up with his own graph called the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle starts with Why in the core, this is followed by the second layer which is the How, and with What as the last layer. Simon Sinek believes that if every business, cause, or personal endeavor is started with a Why, it will not only succeed but it will also inspire people to buy their product or to join their cause. A new concept for me is the Law of Diffusion. Most marketers aim to reach 15-18% of the buyers, but if you focus on the early adopters instead, the rest of the market will follow.
The book is written as if Sinek is just delivering a lecture (I have yet to see the TEDTalk version of the Golden Circle), and he may come off as opinionated and full of hot air, but a quick check at the Notes page at the end of his book reveals that he has done has research and that he has a credible basis for his premise.
Sinek mentions a lot about businesses as his examples, notably Apple. But my favorite of his cases are those of the leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., the Wright brothers and Sam Walton.
For someone who has no interest in the marketing and business world, I was actually impressed with this book and would recommend it to a budding entrepreneur. It has also made me evaluate my personal Whys. With that said, I would also recommend it to anyone who is looking for a direction in their lives.
I started reading this book last year around the time I gave birth to my second child. But I only got to finish it after a year and a half because… well, motherhood. But that is the magic of this book. I was hooked when I read just the first few pages, and amidst the daily chaos of parenting a toddler and a newborn, I vowed to myself that I must finish it. I am glad I did. I know what my Why is now.
It is not hard to see why this book became a global bestseller.