Debra Swersky
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Journal

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Why… Why?... WHY!?

I bought a new keyring. Not surprisingly, the decision to purchase the accessory was not a trivial one. As a self-proclaimed minimalist, I didn’t think that I needed a new keyring after my massive faux diamond ring lost its diamond a couple of years ago. The massive faux diamond was a conversation starter about my first job in Boston (SCVNGR) where I planned scavenger hunts to find diamond rings “hidden” in cities. Plus, at the time, it was hilarious because I wasn’t engaged. When it broke I felt no reason to replace they keyring or the conversation starter and decided to use just a metal ring, nothing special. But, my new keyring has proven to be a good investment for a few reasons. 

  1. It’s orange. Orange is my favorite color. And, I’ve come to learn that orange is the color of optimism. w00t!
  2. It’s minimal. Just a piece of rubber and a charm to hold the rubber in place. 
  3. It makes me think. That’s because the charm says “Start With Why” and “Inspire Action” and I purchased it from Simon Sinek.

Simon Sinek is an author who popularized The Golden Circle concept (How Great Leaders Inspire Action). He has built his entire world around three words: Start With Why. It’s the idea that if you communicate from the inside of the circle (the “why”) to the outside of the circle (the “what”) you’re speaking first to the part of the brain that controls someone’s behavior and then allowing them to rationalize the behavior exhibited with the tangible things that you’ll say and do (the “how” and then the “what”)… this is the sentence of his Ted Talk that is currently striking my fancy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept as I build the business brand version of myself (that’s the “Phase 2” as referenced in earlier posts). In Simon’s Ted Talk he says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” about a gazillion times. It’s true. So, I have literally spent hours distilling my “why.” 

Think about it: Why do you do what you do? If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, then why are you doing it?

Now I find myself starting everyday thinking about “why” as I grab my keys to head to the gym in the morning...

Debra Swersky